Hiring Foreign Workers

Favourable immigration policies help companies grow and expand

The information provided on this page is intended for informational purposes only and should not substitute for a lawyer or immigration advisor. While we try to be as timely and accurate as possible, please be aware that immigration policies and procedures are constantly evolving and this page does not constitute legal advice.

 

Temporary Foreign Worker Program

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) enables employers to hire temporary foreign workers to fill labour and skills shortages. Before hiring a temporary foreign worker, most employers need to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to determine if the hiring of a temporary foreign worker will have a positive or negative impact on the Canadian labour market.

An LMIA confirms:

  1. There is a need for a temporary foreign worker
  2. No Canadians are available to do the job
  3.  
    The employer must send the LMIA application to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). If there are any questions about the LMIA requirements or process, the employer can contact the ESDC Employer Contact Centre. Knowing the LMIA processing times will help with planning.

    Once an LMIA has been issued, the employer should provide a copy of the confirmation letter to each temporary foreign worker and tell each worker to apply for a work permit (to help with planning, it’s good to be familiar with the expected work permit processing times). Under the Global Skills Strategy, foreign workers in managerial or professional roles and their family members can benefit from 2-week work permit processing. Foreign workers who do not need a visa to come to Canada have the option to apply on arrival at a port of entry.

     

    International Mobility Program

    The International Mobility Program lets the employer hire a temporary foreign worker without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

    For an employer to determine if they’re LMIA-exempt, they can review the lists of LMIA exemption codes. Some examples of LMIA-exempt programs are Mobilité Francophone (C16) (for qualified French-speaking nationals); Intra-Company Transferees (C12); and International Experience Canada (C21) (for youth aged 18 – 35).

    In most cases, if the employer is LMIA-exempt, they’ll have to submit an offer of employment through the Employer Portal. Once that process is complete, the temporary foreign worker must apply for a work permit (to help with planning, it’s good to be familiar with the expected work permit processing times). Under the Global Skills Strategy, foreign workers in managerial or professional roles and their family members can benefit from 2-week work permit processing. Foreign workers who do not need a visa to come to Canada have the option apply on arrival at a port of entry.

     

    Global Skills Strategy

    The Global Skills Strategy provides Canadian businesses a faster way to bring in global talent in order to scale-up and grow. It is comprised of four pillars:

    1. Two-Week Service Standard – work permits for high-skilled talent will be processed in two weeks or less
    2. Short-Term Work Permit Exemptions – skilled workers and top research talent are able to work in Canada for short periods with less red tape
    3. Dedicated Service Channel – IRCC staff ready to guide employers making significant investments through the immigration process
    4. The Global Talent Stream (GTS) – designed to help innovative firms in Canada hire uniquely-skilled talent and in-demand workers in select ICT or STEM jobs. It does this in an expedited manner, with LMIA processing in 10 business days for qualified employers.

    The GTS is split into two categories:

    Category A – An employer may be eligible for Category A if they are hiring unique and specialized talent and they have been referred to the Global Talent Stream by one of the Stream’s designated partners.
    Category B – An employer may be eligible for Category B if they are seeking to hire highly-skilled foreign workers to fill positions in occupations found on the Global Talent Occupations List.

     

    BC PNP Tech Pilot

    The BC PNP Tech Pilot helps employers to address their talent needs by providing a fast-tracked, permanent immigration pathway for in-demand foreign workers and international students.

    The Pilot’s key features include:

    • Service: A dedicated BC PNP concierge for tech employers provides tailored information and navigation assistance of immigration programs and processes.
    • Timeliness: Weekly invitations to apply are issued to qualified skilled tech workers, minimizing the wait for employers and their prospective employees.
    • Prioritization: Tech applications are prioritized during processing to meet the sector’s fast-paced demands.
    • Engagement: Continuous support to tech sector employers through proactive engagement activities and participation at key industry events.

     
    Last Updated: November 2019