Processing time: Delays due to recent IRCC and Service Canada strike

Our team has noticed significant delays with LMIA and Work permit processing. In addition, prior to the strike, PR LMIAs (skilled worker stream applications) were getting approved within 2-3 weeks. However, at this moment, we are experiencing 2-3 months of processing time. Low-wage LMIAs (low-skilled stream applications) take 2-3 weeks longer than PR LMIAs.

Work permit processing has been delayed as well. Every IRCC processing center has added additional time necessary for the work permit approvals. As always, we are doing our very best to submit complete applications on time and as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the processing time doesn’t depend on us.

We would like to inform you that in case of urgent staffing needs, please get in touch with your local MP office with feedback and inquiry regarding any application(s) currently in the process. We’ll be able to help you fill out any necessary MP office forms. In addition, please plan the staffing well in advance and allow some additional time for visa processing. 

The minimum wage in BC

Effective June 1st, 2023, the minimum wage is $16.75 per hour. The minimum wage in B.C. was $15.65 per hour until today.

  •            June 1, 2023 – $16.75 per hour
  •            June 1, 2022 – $15.65 per hour
  •       June 1, 2021 – $15.20 per hour
  •       June 1, 2020 – $14.60 per hour
  •       June 1, 2019 – $13.85 per hour
  •            June 1, 2018 – $12.65 per hour

The minimum wage applies regardless of how employees are paid – hourly, salary, commission or on an incentive basis. Reference: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/employment-standards-advice/employment-standards/wages/minimum-wage

The unemployment rate in British Columbia

As of April 2023, the total unemployment rate in BC is 5%. The lowest unemployment rate is on Vancouver Island, following the Kootenay region and Thompson Okanagan.


 April 2023

 April 2022

 British Columbia



 Vancouver Island















 North Coast and Nechako






British Columbia maintains one of the country’s lowest unemployment rates with further forecasts that project more than 106,000 tourism and hospitality-related job openings across the province between 2018 and 2028. Reference: Work BC Labour Monthly Update https://www.workbc.ca/research-labour-market/bcs-economy/labour-market-monthly-update

The unemployment rate in Alberta

As of April 2023, the total unemployment rate in AB is 5.9%. The unemployment rate in the Accommodation and food service sector is 5.4%. Alberta’s tourism sector has a “serious labour shortages” that can threaten its long-term viability as per a new labour study: https://www.tiaalberta.ca/cpages/ab-tourism-labour-study

The Tourism Industry Association of Alberta (TIAA) says most businesses are reporting significant difficulties in finding personnel to fill the vacant positions during the upcoming Alberta’s peak tourism season. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Alberta’s tourism industry was the first to take a catastrophic hit. Many hotels and restaurants were affected and some of them closed permanently. However, when travelling returned and the temporary layoffs ended, much of the labour force didn’t return to work.

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