LIMA is an almost essential process for permanent residency. Of course, it's not mandatory for all permanent residency applicants, but it's essential to earn extra points in applying for the Express Entry permanent residency, or to get a Work Permit that allows you to legally live and work in Canada. However, there is a lot of concern about whether such an important LIMA can proceed at a time when COVID-19 reduces or reduces the number of employees currently employed. The bottom line is that LIMA is receiving applications and interviews with employers and coming out safely, given the massive job cuts, government subsidies and the progress of LIMA from March to May, when telecommuting began.
LMIA stands for the Labour Market Impact Assessment, a program being implemented by Service Canada to help local Canadian companies hire and operate. Service Canada encourages Canadian citizens and permanent residents to get a job first, so companies want to give Canadian citizens or permanent residents a chance first. However, companies that cannot supplement enough human resources only by Canadian locals will be granted permission to meet their overseas workforce through LIMA. However, it may be ironic in some ways to apply for LIMA to hire additional employees at a time when COVID-19 has caused existing staff to be reduced and the business to close. So there's a lot of concern, and fortunately, Service Canada has decided that this is a temporary situation and is approving LIMA applications and approvals.
Of course, there are some companies that operate normally as before, but others that do not have the same approval rate are getting approval with quite a high approval rate.
The most worrisome thing is that the company currently has reduced employees. While it may not make sense to hire new employees during the downsizing process, recent interviews with LIMA officials have shown that LIMA has also given its approval if it intends to rehire existing employees after this COVID-19 incident. In addition, work permit holders were able to return to their home countries due to COVID-19 and obtain approval even if they were short of staff.
On the other hand, companies that have significantly lowered their current income, not restructuring, or that have temporarily closed their businesses have received applications well, and LIMA has been approved without any problems. However, in the LIMA interview, you can ask carefully how you can make up for your insufficient income and when you plan to reopen it.
The duration of the LIMA process will vary from company to company, but usually within two to four weeks of application, the interview contact has been the most frequent, and in the case it takes two to three months. Of course, the duration of the procedure may vary between companies and judges.
As mentioned above, LIMA is proceeding according to existing policy regardless of COVID-19, and applications and approvals are coming out as long as the company's LIMA application conditions are met. However, there may be differences depending on the examiner and the government policy continues to change due to COVID-19. If you need to extend work permit after receiving LIMA from Canada or plan to move forward, we recommend that you prepare and apply for LIMA and Work Permit as soon as possible.