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Process for hiring a temporary foreign worker

It is a fact that Quebec, like the rest of Canada, has been experiencing a major labor shortage for several years now. According to the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) nearly 40% of Canadian entrepreneurs do not see the situation improving for at least a decade.


To remedy this, several sectors of the economy are urging the government to increase immigration thresholds. Very recently, the Trudeau government and the Legault government announced their intention to increase the threshold for temporary foreign workers in a company from 10% to 20%. Other reliefs have also been announced recently. For more details on these reliefs, please see the article recently published on our blog.


Regardless, many companies hope they can turn to foreign workers, sometimes without knowing how to do it efficiently. The process of hiring foreign workers managed at the federal level by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) is not always easy to undertake. Between the job offer issued by the Canadian employer and the hiring of a potential temporary foreign worker, there are a number of important steps to take. These steps, for the most part, are aimed at enabling a temporary foreign worker to obtain a temporary work permit. It is indeed this document that allows him to legally exercise his functions. To do this, certain steps must be taken.


1. Obtaining the Labor Market Impact Assessment


The Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that proves that hiring a foreign worker will fill a need and that no Canadian citizen or permanent resident is available to fill a job offer.


The LMIA is issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). It is not required in all cases of recruiting a foreign worker. Depending on the job offered, the employer may be exempt from it. For example, LMIA does not apply to offers issued under immigration pilot programs. In Quebec, however, this step is accomplished by issuing the Certificat de sélection temporaire granted by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration  (MIFI).


To study the request for a LMIA, ESDC will mainly proceed to validate: the authenticity of the job offer, the reality of the labor shortage related to the position to be filled, the employer’s efforts in unsuccessfully hiring a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, the direct creation of jobs or keeping workers employed as well as the development or transfer of skills from the foreign worker to Canadian citizens or permanent residents.


2. Permit request by the worker


The process for hiring a foreign worker continues with an application for a work permit, in the event the employer is successful in obtaining a positive notice on his LMIA application.


After submitting the information and personal documents required by IRCC, the worker can proceed to submit his application for a temporary work permit. When the permit application is approved, the foreign worker receives a letter of approval.


The work permit application is usually made from outside Canada. It can nevertheless be done from Canada, if the candidate is already a temporary resident. The procedures and documentation required to submit an application may vary depending on the nationality and country of residence of the foreign worker.


3. Hiring


The hiring process is not complete until the foreign worker is in Canada. His temporary work permit will be issued to him by a Canadian Border Services Officer when entering Canada. However, if the foreign worker is already there, his temporary work permit will simply be issued and sent by post.


The temporary work permit that is granted is a closed work permit; that is to say, it is only valid for the employer who hires him and for the period mentioned. If the worker decides to leave the employer, he will have to repeat all the steps previously explained. However, if the temporary foreign worker wishes to extend his temporary work permit, he must submit his application at least 30 days before the expiry date of his current permit.


For more than 20 years, we have assisted businesses in obtaining Canadian temporary work permits. We are able to offer you a solution that best suits your situation.

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