For foreign workers and employers alike, it is crucial to go through the proper channels before temporary employment in Canada may begin.
While Canada’s economic success is good for business, it is also creating challenges for employers who are struggling to find enough workers to meet demand. With its record low unemployment rate, Canada, today more than ever, must rely on foreign talent to continue to grow a strong national workforce.
The purpose of the Work section, is to guide you and provide the most up-to-date information with regard to working in Canada for your particular situation.
In most cases, to work in Canada, a foreign worker requires a work permit. However, there are a number of circumstances where a foreign worker may work in Canada without a work permit.
Generally, Canadian employers wishing to employ a foreign worker in Canada must first obtain authorization from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), otherwise known as a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Canadian employers must demonstrate that employing a foreign worker will not have a negative impact on the Canadian labour market. In most cases, and that there is currently no Canadian citizen or permanent resident available to fill the position, which is typically done by advertising the position on several venues. A LMIA is a very rigorous and comprehensive process that is subject to a high level of scrutiny from the government, and thus must be completed without errors.
Although the LMIA process is the rule, there are a number of LMIA-exempt work permits, resulting from Foreign Trade Agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA, that enable foreign workers to apply for a work permit without the Canadian employer having to obtain a LMIA. In addition to these employer sponsored work permits, there are a number of work permit options available to foreign workers who do not yet have a job offer, including working holidays, post-graduate work permits, open spousal work permits.
These work permits require the employer to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment as part of the process.
Certain circumstances allow for individuals to work in Canada without first obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment.