LMIA is often required by the majority of applicants for work Permit in Canada or for permanent residency. The most basic purpose of LMIA is to provide support from Service Canada for local employers in Canada to hire foreign workers to meet the shortfall if they are unable to meet their local workforce. In other words, if a Canadian employer can fill the shortage of enough people in Canada, namely Canadian citizens and permanent residents, Service Canada will not consider the Canadian employer's LMIA progress required.
So what does Service Canada use to determine that there is enough manpower in Canada? At this point, it is Canada's unemployment rate that sets of unemployment. Due to the recent prolonged COVID-19 crisis, more businesses are closing down, which is causing economic losses and unemployment in Canada to soar. In addition, the Canadian government has extended the closure of the U.S. border by another month until September 21, suggesting a prolonged COVID-19 crisis, while also indicating that it may take time for the Canadian economy to normalize.
So, is LMIA still going on at this point? First of all, the LMIA has been going on and getting approval recently. More precisely, LMIA applications and progress remained the same from the time the pandemics were issued to April due to the March COVI-19. However, LMIA stopped for a while until May and mid-June, and from mid-June to now August, LMIA documents can be received, and interviews and approval are proceeding smoothly. I personally feel that the LMIA interview is simpler than before and the approval rate is higher. However, there are still LMIA sanctions regarding a few professions of non-skilled and unskilled workers, so you have to check and prepare this part before applying.
To explain how to proceed with LMIA and the procedure period again, for LMIA applications, we will proceed with 28 days of job openings and apply after preparing LMIA documents. After LMIA registration, recently, Service Canada will contact your employer for an interview between 2-12 weeks on average, and if you complete the interview well, you will receive approval documents within an average of one week. Including the recent LMIA advertisement, the procedure period should be approximately 2-4 months, so it should be prepared 3-4 months before the current stay in Canada expires.
Although LMIA is often abandoned or looking for other ways to proceed with LMIA due to COVID-19 recently, we recommend that you proceed with LMIA as it is still going smoothly or if you need to proceed with it right away. Some states have recently said that LMIA could be stopped, but it's not really happening yet, and LMIA is a federally-run program rather than a state program, so even if the state closes, it's going to be open to the public. For the time being, Covid-19 can change not only LMIA but also immigration policies periodically, so we recommend that you consult with experts before proceeding.