Canada is prioritizing Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) in important occupations in agriculture to help farms and other businesses during the pandemic. The federal government is aiming to ensure Canada’s food security by helping farmers bring in the temporary foreign workers they need to plant and harvest crops.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), which handles LMIA requests through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, says priority is being given to ‘occupations in agriculture and agri-food’.

The following National Occupational Classification codes are being prioritized:

6331 – Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers – retail and wholesale
7511 – Transport Truck drivers
8252 – Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
8431 – General farm workers
8432 – Nursery and greenhouse workers
8611 – Harvesting labourers
9462 – Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers
9463 – Fish and seafood plant workers
9617 – Labourers in food, beverage and associated products processing
9618 – Labourers in fish and seafood processing

Other measures put in place by ESDC include the waiving of minimum advertising requirements until at least October 31, 2020. It has also extended the validity of LMIAs to nine months and doubled the duration of employment from one to two years for workers in the low-wage stream as part of a three-year pilot.

With many visa offices still closed over COVID-19, the once smooth process of bring in workers from overseas has been shattered by the impact of the coronavirus as farmers are desperate to get early-season vegetables planted on time. Canada normally welcomes as many as 60,000 seasonal agricultural and farm workers each year through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

When Ottawa closed Canada’s borders to all but essential travel in mid-March, it quickly became clear that exemptions would be needed for farm workers and other food processing workers.

Pandemic is affecting farmers from across Canada’s provinces.

The travel restriction exemptions previously announced on Friday, March 20 are in place as of Thursday, March 26. Those who are exempt can now travel to Canada. The exemptions include:

Seasonal agricultural workers, fish/seafood workers, caregivers and all other temporary foreign workers.
International students who held a valid study permit, or had been approved for a study permit, when the travel restrictions took effect on March 18, 2020.
Permanent resident applicants who had been approved for permanent residence before the travel restrictions were announced on March 18, 2020, but who had not yet travelled to Canada.

Yuliya Dumanska is a Toronto immigration lawyer, please contact us for all your immigration and work permit needs. 647- 724-3657

The lawyer provides full range of legal services related to obtaining Canadian Work Permits /Work Visas and Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) in all provinces and territories of Canada (including in: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon).

The immigration lawyer assists businesses and corporations in obtaining Canadian work permits and LMIAs for their employees, and we also assist individuals to obtain Canadian Work Permits / Work Visas for all Provinces and Territories of Canada.

Individuals who are neither Canadian Citizens nor Permanent Residents of Canada will most likely need a work permit to work in Canada.

Canadian work permits may be issued at the border or within Canada, depending on circumstances. Many foreign nationals from countries that do not have a visa waiver agreement with Canada will also require a work visa to enter Canada.

Individuals generally need a job offer to work in Canada that an employer extends to a foreign worker. Canadian immigration officials will often require an employer to obtain a positive LMIA – Labour Market Impact Assessment (previously called Labour Market Opinion (LMO)) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) / Service Canada before they would consider a work permit application from a foreign worker.

Due to labour shortages in certain occupations, Canadian government simplified some of the procedures for obtaining Labour Market Impact Assessment – LMIA for “Occupations Under Pressure”.

Some of the work permit applications are exempt from the general requirement to obtain Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from ESDC / Service Canada. Exemptions, among others, include:

Work permit application for business people and professionals under the provisions of international free trade agreements, such as:
Canada-European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
Canada – Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA)
Canada – Colombia Free Trade Agreement
Canada – Peru Free Trade Agreement
Canada – Korea Free Trade Agreement
General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)
“Open” work permits for spouses of some of the work permit holders and eligible study permit holders
“Bridging” open work permits for qualifying holders of work permits who have applied for permanent residence in Canada
Work permits for international students
Work permits under the significant economic, social and cultural benefits to Canada category
Work Permits under Canada’s bilateral exchange agreements
Work permits under various facilitated processing programs
Work permits under Provincial Nominee Programs
Contact Canadian Immigration Lawyer in Toronto, Ontario for assistance in obtaining Work Permits / Work Visas and LMIAs >

Intra-Company Transferee Work Permits
Certain categories of tedmporary foreign workers may be transferred from a foreign company to its branch, subsidiary, parent or affiliate in Canada without Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Confirmation from ESDC / Service Canada:

Senior Executives and Managers
Specialized Knowledge Workers
Certain requirements have to be met for an Intra-Company Transferee to be eligible for a work permit under Intra-Company Transfer provisions of Canadian immigration law.

CETA Work Permits / CETA Visas
Citizens of European Union (EU) countries may be eligible to work in Canada, and citizens of Canada may be eligible to work in European Union (EU) countries, pursuant to provisions of Canada-European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in the following categories: Intra-corporate (company) Transferees, Investors, and Business Visitors for Investment Purposes, Contractual Service Suppliers and Independent Professionals; and Short-term Business Visitors.

Canadian CETA work permits for citizens of EU countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom)
EU CEATA work visas for Canadian citizens
Contact our immigration lawyers if you require assistance with CETA work permits/CETA visas >

NAFTA Work Permits / NAFTA Visas
Citizens of Canada, USA, and Mexico may be eligible to work in each of these countries pursuant to provisions of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the following categories: Intra-Company Transferees, Traders and Investors, and Professionals.

Canadian NAFTA work permits for US and Mexican citizens
US NAFTA nonimmigrant status for Canadian citizens and US NAFTA Visas for Mexican Citizens
Mexican NAFTA Visas for Canadian and US citizens
Contact our immigration lawyers if you require assistance with NAFTA work permits/NAFTA visas >

FTAs Work Permits / FTAs Visas
In addition to NAFTA, Canada also has Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) containing mobility provisions with the following countries: Chile, Colombia, Peru and Korea.

Canadian FTA work permits for Chilean, Colombian, Peruvian and Korean citizens
Chilean FTA work permits/visas for Canadian citizens
Colombian FTA work permits/visas for Canadian citizens
Peruvian FTA work permits/visas for Canadian citizens
Korean FTA work permits/visas for Canadian citizens
Contact our immigration lawyers if you require assistance with FTA work permits/FTA visas >

Francophone Mobility / Mobilité francophone
Canada wants to increase francophone immigration to Canadian Provinces and Territories outside of Quebec. One of the programs that facilitates such immigration is Mobilité francophone, which allows applying for a work permit without the need for Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Some of the main requirements of this work permit category are for the francophone person to:

be destined to work in a Province or Territory outside of Quebec;
to have a valid Offer of Employment / Job Offer to work under NOC 0, A or B in a Province or Territory outside of Quebec;
be qualified to work under NOC 0, A or B;
have French as their habitual language of daily use, or provide language test results that could demonstrate an advanced intermediate or higher level in French (i.e. Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) / Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) of level 7 or higher in the Test d’évaluation de français (TEF)).
Contact our immigration lawyers if you require assistance with Francophone Mobility / Mobilité francophone work permits >

Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs)
Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) applications can be submitted for:

Temporary positions in Canada
Permanent positions in Canada
LMIA process is divided into 3 main streams:

High-wage positions
Low-wage positions
Global Talent positions

Some employers are subjected by the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to time-consuming and intrusive Employer Compliance Reviews (ECR) aimed at determining their compliance with the terms of previously issued LMIA(s). Methods of verifying compliance include the following:

Employer Compliance Review
Review under ministerial instructions

Employers that fail to demonstrate during the Employer Compliance Review that they have met LMIA requirements and conditions may be found to be non-compliant and may be subjected to:

Ban of two years (the employer name, address and period of ineligibility will be published on a public website)
Negative LMIA being issued for any pending applications
Revocation of previously-issued LMIAs

Some business people may also find it useful to apply for an LMIA in order to get a work permit to start a business in Canada.

International Experience Canada (IEC) Work Permits
Canada has agreements with many countries to facilitate youth mobility in corresponding countries.

Young foreigners from certain countries may come to work in Canada under one of the following programs:

Working Holiday
Young Professionals
International Co-op (Internship)
Work Permits under International Experience Canada (IEC) may be available (subject to quotas) to qualified applicants from the following countries:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, United Kingdom.
Canadian young people may also be able (subject to requirements) to participate in Travel and Work Abroad program under International Experience Canada (IEC) in the above-listed participating countries.

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