In most cases, the issuance of a work permit depends on the Canadian employer having first demonstrated that they could not find a Canadian for the job that is to be filled by the foreign national.
This is accomplished through a Labour Market Impact Assessment (or LMIA), the approval of which is required before submission of a work permit application.
This frequently poses a problem, as there are often many Canadians available and willing to fill a particular position that is being offered. Because of this, it can be difficult to make the case to immigration authorities that the Canadian employer has to resort to hiring a foreign national, thus decreasing the LMIA’s likelihood of success.
Fortunately for those in the tech industry, they are often better poised to succeed in terms of having an LMIA approved by virtue of the nature of their work.
This is the case for several reasons:
- Firstly, most IT jobs require a specialized skill set that is usually developed through a particular method of training. This makes the LMIA more likely to succeed because in such cases it is more difficult to find Canadians that satisfy the criteria for these jobs. It is, therefore, easier to justify the hiring of a foreign national in such situations, which is a primary focus of the LMIA application. The complex and multifaceted nature of the IT field lends itself well to LMIA approval.
- Secondly, cultural and/or linguistic differences are often a major deterrent to foreign nationals procuring authorization to work in Canada; Canadian employers might be less likely to offer them jobs because of these difference and it can be difficult for an LMIA to be approved if these differences are of such a nature that it clearly does not make sense to hire a foreign national. This is not usually the case for IT/tech jobs for the simple reason that the language of technology is universal. Cultural divides do not come into play as much in the tech field because differences in nationality or background are usually not impediments to a foreign national effectively fulfilling a given IT/Tech role within a Canadian organization. Because of this, foreign nationals will be more attractive to Canadian employers in the IT/Tech field and LMIA’s in this field are often more likely to succeed.
- Lastly, the term “IT field” is actually misleading because the diversity within it is such that it could, in fact, be considered as many different fields. Technology has developed to such an impressive point that it has spawned fields of work that did not even exist a decade or so ago. With so many burgeoning areas of practice, it is increasingly less likely that the demand for talent can be satisfied solely by drawing from the Canadian labour force. The necessity to look outside of the Canadian labour force is the principal focus of the LMIA and this increases its chances of success.
The LMIA is a legal hurdle that must be overcome in order for the majority of foreign nationals to procure a Canadian work permit. Fortunately for IT and tech workers, however, for the reasons mentioned above, this hurdle tends to be a little lower, thereby increasing the likelihood of LMIA approval.