If you wish to hire foreign workers in Canada, you’re not alone.

Employing foreign talent has been a long-standing practice among Canadian employers, with many across the country leveraging this approach for several years.

That’s why Canada remains the top work-abroad destination for foreign workers worldwide.

This guide simplifies global hiring for Canadian employers, providing you with clear steps to seamlessly integrate foreign talent into your business.


3 Steps to Take If You Want to Hire Foreign Workers in Canada


There are many reasons why Canadian employers turn to foreign workers.

First and foremost, they often face labor shortages due to the country’s economic growth. Plus, there may be a dearth of specific skills among Canadian candidates.

When you can’t find suitable candidates among local workers, the Canadian government offers different immigration programs to facilitate hiring foreign workers.

Keep reading to learn the 3 essential steps you must take to hire foreign workers in Canada.


Step 1: Learn About the Different Types of Canadian Work Permits


The Canadian Government issues two types of work permits: employer-specific work permits and open work permits.

An employer-specific work permit allows a foreign national to work for a specific employer in Canada. To hire a foreigner under this type of work permit, you must first provide them with a job offer.

On the other hand, an open work permit allows foreign nationals to work for almost any local employer. Foreigners are eligible for an open work permit only under specific conditions. For example, eligibility may extend to protected foreign nationals or those who have filed refugee claims.

You can find the complete list of open work permit eligibility criteria here.

The employer-specific work permit is issued through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). Likewise, the open work permit is issued through the International Mobility Program (IMP).

Now, let’s take a brief look at each of these programs.


Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)


The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) allows you to hire foreign workers on a temporary basis. You can do this in situations where Canadian workers are not available to fill the role.

This program is regulated through the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

To be eligible for this program, you must obtain a positive Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

An LMIA is a formal document stating that no Canadian workers are available for the role. This grants you the ability to recruit foreign workers from overseas to join your company.


International Mobility Program (IMP)


Some specific roles do not require you to apply for an LMIA. In this case, you can hire foreign workers through the International Mobility Program (IMP).

Positions that do not require an LMIA are those that offer significant competitive advantages and benefits for Canada.

To be eligible for the International Mobility Program (IMP), foreign nationals must:


  • Arrive in Canada under an open work permit


  • Arrive in Canada as intra-company transferees



Step 2: Apply for an LMIA or Submit an Offer of Employment


If your company needs an LMIA to hire foreign workers in Canada, you can file an application through the LMIA Online Portal.

On the portal, you will need to create an account and submit a set of required documents.

Typically, these documents include a business license, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) documents as well as documents proving that the position has been advertised for a specific period.

Do note that you must advertise the job vacancy on the Government of Canada’s Job Bank and two additional sources. One of these sources must be on a national scale and the other within the local area.

The application fee for an LMIA is $1,000 per worker.

The processing time may vary, depending on the specific job role. For example, for low-wage workers, it typically takes 44 business days to get an answer on the application.

Upon approval of the LMIA, you must send it to the applicant who has 6 months to use it and submit a work permit application.

On the other hand, if you are eligible for hiring foreign workers without an LMIA, you must submit an offer of employment.

The offer of employment must include information about the company, the foreign national you’d like to hire, as well as information about the position.

You can submit the offer through the Employer Portal.

The employer compliance fee for an offer of employment is $230.

After you submit the offer of employment, the worker can request a work permit.


Step 3: Your Future Employee Applies for a Work Permit


It is the responsibility of your future employee to apply for a work permit.

In most cases, they don’t need to submit a separate application for a Canada work visa.

To support them during this procedure, we have thoughtfully crafted a comprehensive guide covering the requirements for a Canada work permit.

You can access the guide by clicking on this link.


Hiring Foreign Workers in Canada: Final Considerations


As Canada’s population ages and its economy expands, shortages in the Canadian labor market have reached a critical level.

As a result, lots of local employers are increasingly seeking international talent to incorporate into their workforce.

While hiring foreign workers in Canada can effectively address labor shortages, it’s essential to remain well-informed about the country’s immigration procedures.

This will not only ensure compliance with the country’s labor laws but also enable your company to recruit and hire the right candidates necessary for long-term success.

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