Navigating the Canadian immigration landscape can be daunting, especially when it comes to understanding the role of the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in the pursuit of permanent residency (PR). At Dr. Joe’s Immigration, one of the most confusing areas we encounter with our clients is the misunderstanding of LMIA’s role in gaining PR. It is a common misconception that an LMIA itself is a direct route to PR or that it entitles individuals to PR. However, both of these scenarios are incorrect. LMIA’s are solely pathways to obtaining a work permit, not routes to Canadian permanent residency. Nonetheless, they can significantly enhance an individual’s chances of attaining PR by adding valuable points to their Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores. This pivotal concept, known as ‘having a valid job offer,’ often causes much confusion among applicants.¬†

As immigration consultants, it is our commitment to illuminate the complexities of the LMIA and its correlation with the Canadian Express Entry program, ensuring that our clients are well-informed and strategically positioned for success.

Deciphering the Validity of a Job Offer

The concept of a valid job offer is a critical aspect of the immigration process, yet it often becomes a source of confusion for applicants. The language used by the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) can be perplexing, particularly when it comes to defining what truly constitutes a valid job offer. Many applicants mistakenly assume that a job offer letter from an employer suffices, only to find out later that it does not meet the stringent criteria set by IRCC. This misunderstanding often leads to complications during the application process at best and more often than not, denials. 

LMIA and Express Entry How They Work Together Qualifying for Express Entry Points

In pursuit of additional points under the Express Entry system, applicants can navigate two distinct avenues, each with its own set of criteria:

LMIA-Based Employment

Candidates can secure an extra 50 points in Express Entry by meeting specific conditions related to their employment on an LMIA-based, employer-specific work permit. This includes a commitment from the employer to offer full-time employment for at least one year after obtaining a Permanent Residency (PR). Notably, certain executive positions in companies are eligible for 200 extra points.

LMIA-Exempt Work Permit

Alternatively, individuals can qualify for the additional points by fulfilling the requirements associated with an LMIA-exempt work permit, including working full-time for the employer named on the permit for a year, obtaining an offer of at least one year’s full-time employment post-PR, and maintaining continuous employment with the same employer until the PR process is finalized. This pathway provides an opportunity for individuals on LMIA-exempt work permits to accrue the extra points, albeit following a prescribed period of dedicated employment.

Navigating the LMIA and Express Entry Interplay

Understanding the interplay between the LMIA and Express Entry is paramount for individuals aiming to optimize their CRS scores and enhance their prospects of securing permanent residence in Canada. The presence of an LMIA provides candidates with immediate bonus points in Express Entry, effectively bolstering their CRS score and positioning them favourably in the pool of applicants. Conversely, for those on LMIA-exempt work permits, a waiting period ensues before they become eligible for the extra points in the Express Entry program

To explore how the LMIA and Express Entry align with your unique circumstances, we invite you to book a consultation with our experienced consultant