Why and How are Canadian Companies Hiring Foreign Workers?

Ever wonder why Canadian companies are hiring foreign workers? And how do they do this?

Well, it’s pretty simple, Canada has a low unemployment rate and is facing quite a high number of job vacancies. What does this mean? Well, this means that there are more job openings than there are qualified workers to do them.

To break it down better, Canadian statistics state that for every 100 positions in December, Canadian companies are seeking to employ an average of 5.2. workers, up from 3 in the fourth quarter of the year 2019. While the number of vacancies increased, the unemployment rate decreased. In December 2021 it was at its lowest at 5.4%, this was the lowest it had ever been since December 2019 when it was at a low 5.2%

So, due to this ratio of job vacancies to the unemployment rate, Canadian companies are hiring hundreds of thousands of foreign workers per annum. They do this through various work permit pathways. These numbers don’t seem to be decreasing either, since 2015 they have been increasing.

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There are various sectors with staggering numbers of job vacancies and not enough Canadian citizens to do them, so recruiting foreign workers is just one way for Canadian employers to fill these job positions within their companies.

There are procedures to be followed when hiring a foreign employee. The worker needs a work permit for them to legally work in Canada. In some cases, a labor market impact assessment [LMIA] or a labor market test has to be done on the foreign national for them to be hired by the Canadian company. This test is done by the employer. However, most work permits that are given out in a year are LMIA exempt.

If you want to learn more about the difference between the two biggest categories of work permit programs, and how employers can use them to hire foreign workers, then read on!

What is the work permit programs?

So, there are two major work permit programs namely the temporary foreign worker program [TFWP] and the international mobility program [IHP]. The major difference between these two is that the TFWP requires the employer to get an LMIA whereas the IMP on the other hand is LMIA-exempt.

The TFWP deals with labor shortages in Canada. The Canadian employers have to complete the LMIA process as this will prove to employment and social development Canada [ESDC] that the reason for hiring a foreign national is due to the lack or absence of suitable workers.

The purpose of ESDC is to then assess the LMIA submitted by the Canadian employer To confirm that the hiring of the foreign worker will have no negative impact on the Canadian labor market. Once the employer receives a positive or neutral LMIA, they can then proceed to give a copy to the foreign worker so that they can submit it to immigration, refugees, and citizenship Canada [IRCC] alongside their work permit application is approved they can start working.

The IMP on the hand supports Canada’s broad, social, cultural, and economic objectives, so there is no need for a labor market test. Many IMP work permits are a result of Canada’s free trade agreements. For example, the Canada-united states-Mexico agreement [CUSMA] is a prominent free trade agreement that allows U.S. and Mexican Citizens to work in Canada without an LMIA. Foreign youth can work in Canada under the IMP because of the youth mobility agreements between Canada and other nations.

How do I hire a foreign worker under TFWP?

Well, there are a few steps and the first is to complete the LMIA requirements for the work permit that you wish to apply for. There are quite a several specialized application processes, some of which have facilities LMIA process. A good example of a work permit program that allows employers to skip the advertising requirement is the global talent stream, it allows eligible tech workers to get their documents processed in as little as just two weeks.

Remember that the LMIA application process also depends on what type of program you are hiring through. These programs fall into four categories:

  • high-wage workers,
  • low-wage workers,
  • seasonal agriculture worker program,
  • agriculture stream.

Once you get the LMIA, then you can proceed to give a copy to your foreign employee, and then they have to apply to RCC. Alongside the LMIA, they will also need to submit a contact and a job after letter, which should include information about their salary, their job duties as well conditions of employment such as working hours, etc.

If and when the foreign worker is approved, they will receive a letter of introduction. When they arrive in Canada they can then receive their work permit from a border services office. If they are already In Canada then IRCC will mail their work permit to them.

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How do I hire a foreign worker under the IMP?

the Canadian employee must first check the LMIA exemption codes and work permit exemption codes for the list of situations where hiring a foreign worker does not require on LMIA.

Some of the common IMP work permit programs include

  • CUSMA: Citizens of the U.S. and Mexico may be eligible for facilitated processing when applying to work in Canada.
  • Intra-Company Transfers: Allows employers to transfer certain workers to their offices in Canada.
  • Television and Film: Canada welcomes entertainment industry workers to support its booming TV and film industry.
  • Business Visitors: Foreign workers who will be in Canada for less than six months and who will not be entering the labor market, can be eligible to work in Canada without needing a work permit.
  • International Experience Canada: Canada has bilateral agreements with more than 30 countries that allow international youth to gain work experience in Canada.
  • Bridging Open Work Permit: Eligible skilled worker candidates living in Canada can apply for a BOWP while their permanent residence application is being processed. Eligible spouses and common-law partners of Canadian citizens and permanent residents can get a BOWP if they are living in Canada.
  • Post-Graduation Work Permit: The PGWP is the most common work permit under the IMP. Eligible international graduates of Canadian designated learning institutions (e.g., colleges and universities) can get this open work permit for up to three years. To hire through the IMP, employers need to pay an employer compliance fee and submit an offer of employment form through IRCC’s Employer Portal. This must be done before the foreign worker can apply for a work permit.

Hiring foreign workers benefits both Canada and foreign workers!

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