Hundreds of thousands of international workers are hired by Canadian firms each year through more than 100 distinct work permit paths. With the exception of 2020, these figures have been steadily increasing since 2015, with no signs of slowing down.
Canada has a large number of job openings and a low unemployment rate, implying that there are more job openings than competent employees to fill them. According to Statistics Canada, employers were looking to fill an average of 5.2 vacancies per 100 employees in December, up from 3 in the fourth quarter of 2019. This rise in job openings coincided with a drop in Canada’s unemployment rate, which fell to 5.4 percent in December 2021, its lowest level since December 2019, when it was 5.2 percent.
To summarise, there are industries with a large number of job openings and insufficient workers in Canada to fill them. One approach for Canadian firms to fill open positions is to recruit overseas talent.
To work legally in Canada, foreign employees require a work permit. In some situations, in order to hire a foreign worker, the employer must do a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), often known as a labour market test. Although, in any given year, the majority of work permits issued are LMIA-exempt.
We will discuss the differences between the two most common types of work visa programmes in this post, as well as how firms can use them to hire overseas talent.
LMIA and LMIA-exempt work permits
The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP) are the two principal work permit programmes (IMP).
The main difference is that the TFWP requires businesses to obtain an LMIA, whereas IMP work permits do not require an LMIA.
The TFWP aims to address Canada’s labour shortages. Employers must complete the LMIA process to show to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) that hiring a foreign worker is necessary due to a shortage of qualified personnel. The LMIA is evaluated by ESDC to ensure that hiring a foreign worker would not negatively damage the Canadian labour market. The company gives a copy of the positive or neutral LMIA to the foreign worker so that they can submit it with their work permit application to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). After their work permit application is approved, the individual can begin working.
The IMP, on the other hand, exists to promote Canada’s broad social, cultural, and economic goals, hence no labour market test is required. Canada’s free trade agreements have resulted in a large number of IMP work permits. For example, the Canada-United States-Mexico Deal (CUSMA, formerly known as NAFTA) is a well-known free trade agreement that permits nationals of the United States and Mexico to work in Canada without the need for an LMIA. Due to youth mobility agreements between Canada and some other countries, youth from all around the world are permitted to work in Canada under the IMP.
Under the IMP, international student graduates, as well as qualifying spouses and common-law partners, can get open work permits in Canada. Workers with open work permits can accept any job offer in Canada, regardless of employer or industry. Employers do not require an LMIA to hire workers with open work permits because they are covered by the IMP.
Canadian work permits issued by year 2015-2021
What is the procedure for hiring a foreign worker under the TFWP?
The first step is to finish the LMIA requirements for the work visa you want to get. There are several specific application processes available, some of which include a simplified LMIA process. One example of a work permit programme that permits firms to circumvent the advertising requirement and qualifying tech workers to get their documents completed in as little as two weeks is the Global Talent Stream.
The LMIA application process is also dependent on the type of programme through which you are employing. They are divided into four groups:
- high-wage workers;
- low-wage workers;
- Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program; or
- Agricultural Stream.
You can give a copy of the LMIA to your foreign employee so that he or she can apply to IRCC once you get it. They’ll also need to submit a contract and a job offer letter, which should include details about their pay and deductions, job responsibilities, and employment circumstances including hours of work.
A letter of introduction will be sent to the worker once they have been accepted. When they arrive in Canada, they can obtain a work permit from a border official. IRCC will mail them the work permit if they are already in Canada.