September 28, 2022

Work in Canada for Foreigners

Canadian Employers Can Hire Temporary Foreign Workers

There’s no need to look very far to find information about a labour shortage in Canada. It seems like every headline, broadcast, or social media post speaks to that very obstacle that we are currently facing.

Overcoming NIMBY Philosophy

With the emergence of NIMBY (not in my backyard) philosophy, both in our county and our southern neighbours, there may be a need for Canadian employers to use foreign nationals in positions in their organization. The truth is there’s lots of work to be done and Canadian employers will need to look at different options to get to the finish line. Temporary foreign workers are an essential component of the economic recovery plan of the Canadian government.

Geography Meets Economics

According to StatsCan the Temporary Foreign Worker Program brought over 61,000 labourers to Canada in 2021. A large number of the foreign worker population came from smaller countries like New Guinea (otherwise known as Guinea Ecuatorial). 2021 saw many job gaps filled by foreign workers from island nations like Caicos Islands, Virgin Islands, Saint Lucia, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Norfolk Island, and Saint Martin.

Where Do Canadian Companies Begin?

Many employers in Canada that feel they have an opening that can’t be filled by employees within the organization and have had no luck with recruitment may consider a foreign worker to fill job vacancies through a skilled worker program. Another reason an organization may have for turning to an immigration-based solution is the misperception that they can pay a lower salary. To hire a foreign national, the company often requires a Labour Market Impact Assessment. 

Coming to Canada as a Temporary Foreign Worker

An individual that is not a permanent resident or a Canadian citizen and is looking to fill a job in Canada requires a work permit. Foreign job seekers, like citizens or those with permanent residence, search for jobs before doing anything else. Step two of the job search process is sifting through job ads that align with the kind of work that person is looking for and their previous experience to create a short list of vacancy search results that could house their new job. If the salary expectations and the applicant’s ability are a match, the eligible job-seeking individuals need to contact the Canadian hiring company with a typed and professional cover letter and an out-of-this-world resume that outlines their valuable experience. The foreign worker may want to consider employers with multiple locations. If there’s a position in, say Canmore, that meets the needs of the foreign worker that is looking to come to Canada, they should dig deeper into that employer’s website to see if there are positions with the same enterprise in other parts of the nation.

Considerations for Work Permits

The first consideration is if they’re required to get a work permit, and then what type of work permit is correct for them. There are two main types of work permits allowed by Citizenship Canada: an employer-specific work permit or an open work permit as well as if there are any special instructions that need to be considered. It’s worth noting that a foreign worker may also require a visa to get into or stay in the country, as well as a work permit. If they’re uncertain, they should seek guidance counsel from an immigration specialist.

Employer Requirements by Citizenship Canada

A Canadian employer considering making a job offer to foreign workers may need to fulfill some Canadian immigration documentation for the government; one of which is a Labor Market Impact Assessment. The LMIA is a document that speaks to whether (i) there is a citizen or permanent resident already in Canada with the education, training, or work experience required to fill those jobs (ii) the employer has tried to fill the employment vacancy within the existing Canadian labour pool (iii) if the employer is offering a salary in line with median wages for the geographic location. The salary piece is an important one to break the misconception that by hiring foreign workers an entrepreneur can pay pennies on the dollar. A positive LMIA means that there are no Canadian citizens or permanent residents able to fill job opportunities. More information on the Labour Market Impact Assessment can be found here:  https://oroimmigration.com/labour-market-impact-assessment-lmia-based-work-permit-employer-specific-work-permit/

Next Steps for Foreign Workers to Work Legally

Once a foreign worker has had their credentials assessed and an employer has received the LMIA if required (remember to check the date modified to ensure that it’s still valid), the employee is free to apply for a work permit. Each applicant should be prepared to present a job offer letter, a work contract, and a copy of the LMIA with its number.

This process is counterintuitive for those born and raised here. People who are unfamiliar with Canadian or Ontario Governmental processes, or those who require language training if French or English is not their first language, may find this process daunting. Help is here; let us know if you need patience and clear support.


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