It comes as a big relief for those in the Canadian business community who have been understandably frustrated with the existing process for hiring foreign temporary labor. The new initiative (online portal) aims at making the process more modern and smoother.
In case you are wondering, the LMIA is near mandatory in almost all cases where an employer desires to bring in overseas talents. It initially has to prove that it tried to recruit Canadian workers before reaching out globally. The cost involved in submitting an application to fill in each vacancy at their establishment exceeds $1000, which is not refundable even when the application has been denied. Ambitious employers are often left in the dark as to why their applications were denied and are seemingly caught contemplating if the decision to do so is worthwhile.
Certain business development groups, namely the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) have put forth several recommendations for improving the process after voicing their disdain with the red tape surrounding it. The former had appealed to the federal government way back in 2017 to streamline the process by making it possible to do the same online.
Just this past month, the CFIB gave its own report on the concerns surrounding small to medium-sized business firms regarding hiring foreign skilled workers through the current process.
FEATURES OF THE NEW ONLINE PORTAL
This new LMIA online pilot portal shall, upon registration, permit employers with the TFWP (Temporary Foreign Worker Program) to electronically manage their accounts, perform transactions and remain posted in their correspondence with Service Canada, according to the government’s website.
The following are some key features of the new online portal:
- 1) The portal access shall be based upon the original and existing login credentials for the Job Bank for Employers.
- 2) Embedded within shall be an e-questionnaire that serves a guide to the user for the completion of the application as well as to keep track of its progress.
- 3) Users can upload their supporting documents
- 4) Return at any time to their previously saved LMIA application
- 5) View Service Canada decision letters
Previously, one would not be able to track the applications or get a handle on the appropriate wait times ( which usually take around 3 to 12 months). The new portal can hopefully make the process more transparent and attract more employers to opt for this route.