Hiring Foreign Workers - Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program:  Introduction to factors for consideration.

Article by Sarah N. Goodman, B.Bus.Admin. (hons), J.D. immigration-employment-business lawyer in Victoria, BC (contact her)

Sarah N. Goodman, B.Business Admin, York U.; J.D. Osgoode ,  immigration-employment-business lawyer with Victoria BC firm of McConnan Bion O'Connor Bion

Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program allows Canadian employers to fill short-term labour shortages with qualified workers from abroad.  This is easier said than done, however, as foreign workers must always secure a work permit and in many cases, their employers must obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment ("LMIA").  An LMIA is a document issued by the Employment and Social Development Canada ("ESDC") confirming that the employer is authorized to hire a foreign worker on the basis of a perceived labour shortage.

Because the LMIA process involves time and money, one of the first steps involved in hiring a foreign worker is to determine whether he or she qualifies for a work permit under a LMIA exempt immigration stream.  LMIA exempt immigration streams include those pertaining to intra-company transferees, academics and religious workers (to name only a few).

In the event that the foreign worker does not qualify for a work permit under a LMIA exempt immigration stream, the employer will be required to secure a work permit pursuant to a LMIA.  When applying for a LMIA, the employer must demonstrate:

1.  the efforts made to recruit and/or train willing and available Canadians or permanent residents;

2.  that the wages you are offering are consistent with the prevailing wage rate paid to Canadians in the same occupation in the region;

3.  that the working conditions for the occupation meet the current provincial labour market standards; and

4.  any potential benefits that the hiring of the foreign worker may have on the Canadian labour market.

5.  the steps that will be taken to reduce the employer's reliance on temporary foreign workers over time (for high-wage occupations with limited exception).

Once a positive LMIA is issued, the foreign worker must then apply for a work permit. Depending on their country of citizenship and the type of work they will undertake in Canada, foreign workers may also require a temporary resident visa and medical examination. Foreign workers may be refused a work permit and entry to Canada if they are found inadmissible for a number of reasons, including criminal, security or medical grounds.

If you require assistance in determining if your foreign worker is LMIA exempt or in preparing a work permit or LMIA application, please feel free to contact Sarah Goodman in Victoria.

In order to retain a foreign worker on a permanent basis, he or she must become a permanent resident of Canada.  There are several options available for becoming a permanent resident of Canada, however, the most common streams used by foreign workers are as follows:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program - Foreign workers currently working in any skilled occupation in Canada may be eligible to apply to this program under the arranged employment stream.  Applicants must demonstrate that they meet the minimum points requirement in a system where points are assessed based on age, education, work experience, language proficiency in English or French, adaptability and arranged employment  There is no annual cap on the number of applications processed under this stream, however, foreign workers must maintain a valid work permit right up until the time that their application for permanent residence is processed.
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program - Applicants to the Federal Skilled Trades Program must have either a one-year qualifying job offer or a provincial / territorial certificate of qualification in a qualifying skilled trade.  Applicants must also demonstrate a proficiency in either English or French, satisfy the employment requirements for the occupation and have at least 2 years of qualifying work experience within the last 5 years.  Employers and foreign workers who wish to take advantage of this program are encouraged to move quickly because of the annual cap on applications processed in this category.
  • Canadian Experience Class - To be eligible for this stream, foreign workers must demonstrate proficiency in English or French and that they have at least one year of full-time work experience in a qualifying occupation in Canada.  Employers and foreign workers who wish to take advantage of this program are encouraged to move quickly because of the annual cap on applications processed.
  • Provincial Nominee Program - Most provinces have immigration programs geared towards helping employers recruit and retain foreign workers who meet their business needs. These programs are known as “Provincial Nominee Programs”.  Requirements generally differ by province and occupation, but in most cases, the employer is required to make a joint application with the foreign worker to the provincial immigration office.

Applicants to the above-noted streams must also meet admissibility requirements, including health, safety and security assessments. Further, the province of Quebec has its own rules for choosing immigrants who will adapt well to living there.

In January 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) launched a new electronic system called Express Entry to manage applications for permanent residence under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class.  Provinces and Territories will also be able to use the Express Entry system in order to select a portion of candidates for their Provincial Nominee Programs.

The Express Entry system creates a pool of candidates for immigration to Canada based on the information they enter into an online profile.  CIC will assess candidates based on a number of criteria, such as age, language ability, education and work experience, and will proceed to invite the highest- ranked to apply to immigrate to Canada by issuing an invitation to apply ( “ITA”).

If somebody is issued an ITA, he or she will have 60 days to submit an online application for permanent residence.  Candidates can stay in the pool for up to 12 months and if they do not get an ITA within 12 months of submitting an Express Entry profile, they may submit a new profile.

Although the new Express Entry system appears to be more cumbersome than the status quo, the benefit is that applications will be processed in 6 months or less (based on a complete application with all necessary supporting documentation).  In addition, later in 2015, Employment and Social Development Canada (“ESDC”)’s Job Bank will introduce a matching function to connect eligible employers with Express Entry candidates.

Sarah N. Goodman, BBA JD,  Canada immigration and employment lawyer, in Victoria BC, with McConnan Bion O'Connor Peterson law firm in downtown Victoria - initially trained and worked in  Toronto with employment law firm prior to coming to Victoria

The above article was
Prepared and Presented by:
Sarah N. Goodman, BBA, JD

She has a solicitor practice advising clients on:
· Canada Immigration services, for individuals, families and businesses/employers
· B.C. Canada Employment & Labour law

Sarah N. Goodman, Barrister & Solicitor
Jeremy Carr & Associates
520 Comerford Street
Victoria, BC V9A 6K8
Phone:  250 - 388-7571
Email: sarahnicolegoodman@gmail.com

Immigration Practice Services Overview

Sarah N. Goodman,
Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, Juris Doctor, 2010
York University, Schulich School of Business, Bachelor Business Admin. (Hons), 2007

Our firm provides a wide range of personalized immigration consulting and representation services.  We take a great deal of pride in helping Canadian businesses succeed by addressing their human resource needs and in assisting individuals and families relocate to Canada.  Providing our clients with effective and efficient service is our primary goal.

Each case is unique and each type of immigration application has specific pre-requisites, experience and documentation requirements. Accordingly, our job is to determine the most suitable type of application based on your particular circumstances and to facilitate the application process by completing forms, compiling documents and making submissions to the appropriate government body on your behalf.

The following is a list of areas we can assist with:

  • Work Permit Applications
    see article on Temporary Foreign Workers Options in 2015
  • Study Permit Applications
  • Visitor Record and Visa Applications
  • Express Entry Applications for Permanent Residence
  • Provincial Nominee Program Applications
  • Investor Applications
  • Live-In and In-Home Caregiver Applications
  • Labour Market Impact Assessment Applications
  • Temporary Resident Permit Applications
  • Family Class Applications, and
  • Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications
Sarah N. Goodman, BBA JD,  Canada immigration and employment lawyer, in Victoria BC, with McConnan Bion O'Connor Peterson law firm in downtown Victoria

Sarah N. Goodman, Barrister & Solicitor
Jeremy Carr & Associates
520 Comerford Street
Victoria, BC V9A 6K8
Phone:  250 - 388-7571
Email: sarahnicolegoodman@gmail.com

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See also B.C. Acts - Legislation:

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·  Article: Employment Law for Employers "Reasons to Call Your Employment Lawyer Before You Think You Need Them"
by Rose Keith, JD, Vancouver employment law lawyer

·  Article: Awards of Aggravated and Punitive Damages in Wrongful Dismissal Claims by Rose Keith, JD

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Notes in Chinese re Canada Business Immigration Options



我们可以评估您的背景和商务目标,然后协助您选择最合适的商业移民选项。从1990年至今我们曾帮助不同商家移民加拿大,我们可以指导您走过申请过程的每一步。 [quote from CanadaVisaLaw.com/ch 2013.10.02 ]