A labour market impact assessment is a document that a trucking company in Canada shows to prove there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job. It also shows that no Canadian worker is available to do the work. If a LMIA is approved it is called a positive LMIA or confirmation letter. Once the trucking company is able to get a positive LMIA then the worker can apply for a work permit. To apply for a work permit, the driver needs a job offer letter, a contract, a copy of the LMIA, and the LMIA number.
How does a trucking company get an LMIA?
To clarify the aforementioned information, a positive LMIA is a document approved from the Employment and Social Development Canada administration to give trucking companies with LMIA permission to hire a temporary worker.
Because truck driving is considered a semi-skilled trade and falls under National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level C, it is not eligible for a skilled worker visa which is a program that makes it easier for the driver to gain permanent residency.
For that reason, the primary way for a truck driver to obtain a work permit is through the temporary foreign worker in a high wage or low wage position. Most trucking companies choose to apply through the low-wage option because the median hourly wage for provinces such as British Columbia is 22.60 per hour. Truckers whom are paid above the average wage can stay in Canada for two years under the program, a time period within which they may explore permanent residency. But low-wage earners can stay for only one year. The high-wage program allows temporary foreign truck drivers to have their employers create a mandatory transition plan for permanent residency. However, it should be stated that permanent residency is only one of the modes-of-action a sponsoring employer can exact in order to meet their transition plan requirements, there are alternatives. At the end of the TFW’s work term there will be a compliance audit and if the immigrant driver does not gain permanent residency then the employer could be found non-compliant. The purpose of the transition plan is for the employer to demonstrate decreasing future dependence on the TFW program. The path to permanent residency is generally through the express entry or provincial nominee program that is accessible to drivers who currently have a Canadian work permit. Applications are expedited if the job offer is used to support the driver’s permanent residency under one of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Express Entry Program. This type of work permit is called an employer-specific work permit and the driver must work for the trucking carrier for the length of time specified.
The labor market impact assessment fee is $1,000. This may be different if a consultant is used to prepare and submit the LMIA application on behalf of the business. This fee may not be recovered from the temporary foreign worker. A municipal, provincial, or territorial business license is also required. Furthermore, there are specific recruitment practices that must be conducted by the employer prior to submitting an LMIA. One of the primary requirements is placement of an advertisement on Canada’s Job Bank. These requirements can be located on the Government of Canada’s Immigration website. Attention to detail is a critical component for trucking companies with LMIA in the process of applying for temporary foreign truck driver workers.
There are several provincial nominee programs for long-haul truck drivers to gain permanent residency in Canada and then go on to become citizens. For the sake of this article, the BC Provincial Nominee program will be discussed. In order for a long-haul truck driver (local drivers do not qualify) to be eligible for the express entry BC stream, they must have worked for the carrier for at least nine months, have a permanent job offer, meet minimum language and education requirements, and be stable economically. The PNP program is only successful if both the employee and employer are willing to support the application. Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Prince Edward Island are also said to have a provincial program that helps long haul truck drivers obtain permanent residency.