covid corona immigration extensions; Waiving Recruitment Requirements For Occupations Related to Agriculture, Food Processing and Trucking

The general rule is that individuals applying for a Canadian work permit require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). As part of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program requirements, the employer must conduct recruitment efforts to hire Canadians and permanent residents before offering a job to a temporary foreign worker.

This program, however, is effective March 20, 2020. Canada Immigration and Citizenship is waiving the recruitment requirements to some occupations related to, for example, agriculture, food processing and trucking. After that, we need to see what the government does.

Applicability To Pending Labour Market Impact Assessments Applications

The waiver applies to pending and future Labour Market Impact Assessments.  In other words, it must be one of the ten occupations below.

Occupations Included In Minimum LMIA Recruitment Requirements Waivers

Ten occupations are exempt from the minimum recruitment requirements:

  • 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;
  • 9463 – Fish and seafood plant workers;
  • 9617 – Labourers in food, beverage and associated products processing;
  • 9618 – Labourers in fish and seafood processing; and lastly
  • 9462 – Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers

Current Waiver Period

The minimum LMIA recruitment requirement waiver for these positions will be waived until October 31, 2020

LMIA Requirements For These Occupations

Yes, a LMIA still is required. This is not exemption from obtaining a LMIA.  Employers are still required to secure a LMIA before applicants applying for a work permit.

Being exempt from minimum recruitment requirements do not mean you do not need to apply for an LMIA.  Applicants still require meeting all the other requirements to obtain a LMIA.

Are work permits waived?

No, being exempt from the minimum recruitment requirement does not mean you are exempt from a work permit.  For instance, you still need a work permit to legally work in Canada.

Who Is Exempt From Requiring An LMIA?

Below the list of some individuals falling under the minimum LMIA recruitment requirement waiver. For example, they include:

  • Workers covered under international agreements.
    • For example, NAFTA Work Permits and Colombia Free Trade Agreement.
  • Intra-company Transferees.
    • Foreign workers who have worked for a subsidiary, parent or branch of a Canadian company abroad and who are coming to Canada to work in a managerial/specialized knowledge position.
  • Spouses and common-law partners of full-time foreign students are eligible for open work permits.
  • Spouses and common-law partners of Canadians who have sponsored them in Canada and who have obtained approval of the Canadian sponsor.
  • Dependents of foreign workers holding a Canadian work permit for a skilled position.
  • Foreign nationals in Canada with permanent residence applications pending.

Certain foreign nationals currently in Canada are eligible for a work permit to bridge the gap between the expiration of their current work permit and the final decision on their application for permanent residence. This differs form the minimum LMIA recruitment requirement waiver. Finally, they must have applied for permanent residence under one of the following classes:

  • Federal skilled worker class (FSWC);
  • Canadian experience class (CEC);
  • Federal skilled trades class (FSTC);
  • Provincial nominee class (PNC), for applicants for whom there are no employer restrictions on nominations; and lastly
  • Caring for children class or caring for people with high medical needs class (if the APR has been submitted before June 18, 2019).
  • Participants in programs such as the Working Holiday Visa program or (IEC).
  • Co-op students.
    • Where a work placement or internship is part of the field of study, the foreign student does not need to obtain a labor market opinion.
  • Religious Workers.
    • Foreign workers in Canada who are working for a charitable organization or religious institution.

How We Help With A Minimum LMIA Recruitment Requirement Waiver

Do you need more focused advice on how to waive the minimum recruitment requirement for a LMIA?  Still unsure whether your occupation qualifies for the minimum recruitment requirement waiver? Call Kahane Law today at (403) 225-8810 in Calgary and surrounding area or (780) 571-8463 for Edmonton and surrounding area or you can reach us tool-free at  1-877-225-8817. Most important, email is often faster so you can email us directly here. Our lawyers are more than ready, willing, and able to answer any questions.