Canada – Four Year Cap for Skill Levels B, C, and D with LMIA Based Work Permit is about to Lapse

What has changed

The four (4) year cap that was instituted by the Canadian Immigration Authorities on April 1, 2011 is about to come into effect on April 1, 2015 for some foreign workers.

Who is affected?
What to expect

  • All foreign workers and companies hiring foreign workers under the LMIA Based Work Permit Skill Levels B, C, and D, who have been in Canada continuously on LMIA Work Permits since April 2011.

Prior to 2011, there was no such LMIA based cap and employers were allowed to recruit and retain the same individual foreign workers as long as they could demonstrate the labor shortage in their industry. Currently, workers outside of managerial and professional occupations (NOC 0 and A) who require a LMIA based work permit and are about to reach the four (4) year limit, will not be eligible for a new LMIA based work permit.

If the  work permit expires before they have worked a total of four years, they can reapply for a new permit, but it will only be valid for the remainder of the allotted four (4) years. Four (4) years must elapse before a foreign worker can apply for another LMIA based work permit under the skill levels B, C, or D.

Foreign workers may be able to continue working in Canada if a position allows for an alternate type of work permit. The four (4) year limit does not apply to such categories as LMIA-exempt permits and LMIA based work permits in managerial and professional occupations (NOC 0 and A).

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Foreign workers who are impacted by this cap should document all breaks from work in Canada of one (1) month or longer, as this time can be excluded from the total four (4) year count.
  • Employers may need to start looking for new hires to replace all current workers who will no longer be eligible for an LMIA based work permit extension and whose work permits are expiring in the near future.
  • Employers should seek further advice on the options they have to keep a specific worker beyond the four (4) year limit.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your clients

The information above was provided by Emigra Worldwide, our global network partners, and relevant government authorities. The information herein is for general purposes only and not intended as advice for a particular matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work.