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ESDC Updates LMIA Processing Times: Changes Across All Streams | July 2024 Report

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ESDC Updates LMIA Processing Times Changes Across All Streams July 2024 Report

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has released its latest update on Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) processing times, bringing both good news and challenges for employers and foreign workers. The announcement, made on July 4, 2024, reveals significant changes across various streams, reflecting the dynamic nature of Canada’s labor market and immigration system.

The update, based on statistics from all processing centres, provides a comprehensive view of current average LMIA processing times. Notably, the agricultural sector sees improvements, while other streams face slight increases or maintain their previous processing durations.

Here’s a breakdown of the new processing times for each stream:

  1. Global Talent Stream: Maintains its swift processing at 7 business days, underlining Canada’s commitment to attracting top global talent quickly.
  2. Agricultural Stream: Sees a significant improvement, now processed in 13 business days, down 4 days from the previous timeline. This reduction could greatly benefit farmers and agricultural businesses relying on foreign workers.
  3. Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program: Experiences the most substantial improvement, with processing times reduced to just 5 business days, a decrease of 3 days. This change is particularly crucial for businesses dependent on seasonal labor.
  4. Permanent Residence Stream: Faces a slight increase, now taking 86 business days, up 5 days from the previous timeline. This change may impact long-term planning for both employers and foreign workers seeking permanent status in Canada.
  5. High-Wage Stream: Sees the largest increase, now requiring 51 business days, up 8 days. This change could affect industries relying on skilled foreign talent in higher-paying positions.
  6. Low-Wage Stream: Also experiences an increase, now processed in 54 business days, up 4 days. This change may impact sectors such as retail, food services, and hospitality that often rely on this stream.
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These updates have significant implications for various stakeholders in Canada’s labor market:

For Employers: Those in the agricultural sector can expect faster approvals, potentially easing labor shortages during crucial planting and harvesting seasons. However, businesses relying on high-wage and low-wage streams may need to adjust their hiring timelines and strategies.

For Foreign Workers: Applicants in agricultural roles can anticipate quicker processing, potentially leading to faster job starts. Those in other sectors, particularly high-wage positions, may face longer waiting periods.

For Immigration Consultants and Lawyers: These professionals will need to update their clients on the new timelines and adjust application strategies accordingly, especially for time-sensitive positions.

For Policymakers: The varied changes across streams may prompt a review of resource allocation within ESDC to address processing time discrepancies.

While the improvements in agricultural streams are welcome news for a sector often facing acute labor shortages, the increases in other streams highlight ongoing challenges in Canada’s labor market. These changes may reflect shifting priorities or resource allocations within ESDC, or they could be a response to changing application volumes across different sectors.

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As Canada continues to rely on foreign workers to address labor shortages and drive economic growth, these LMIA processing times play a crucial role in the country’s immigration and labor strategies. Employers and foreign workers alike are advised to factor these new timelines into their plans and to stay informed about any future updates from ESDC.

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