Background:  The Canadian Labour Market

Canadian employers may sponsor of a foreign worker.  However Canada’s labour market is skilled, given the relatively high quality of education available to Canadians. Nevertheless, there may be some occupations in which a foreign worker may legally work in Canada. In cases such as these.  Keep in mind the phase “How To Sponsor a Foreign Worker In Canada” does not reflect the task a Canadian employer must undertake.  Rather the procedures are below.

Exception: Open Work Permit Holders

Some foreign workers are in Canada and possess an open work permit –  a work permit that does not tie the foreign worker to a specific employer.  Such open work permit holders are allowed to work for any employer in Canada.  Such open work permit holders may not need their Canadian employer to adhere to many of the procedures below, unless they are seeking to use their work experience acquired on their open work permit to support an application  for permanent resident status in Canada. Keep in mind the phase ‘sponsoring a foreign worker’ is a misnomer; the employer does not have sponsorship obligations to a foreign worker.  Rather, the employer must comply with criteria below.


The Canadian Employer

The Canadian employer must be registered with Canada’s immigration department.  One pathway to registration is the Employer Portal.  This portal is mandatory for Canadian employers offering a job to a foreign national that does not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (except for employees of other governments – such employers need not be registered under the Employer Portal).  There are other exceptions where the job offer is one that does not constitute a job that Canadian workers typically seek.


The Location of the Job Being Offered

The location and type of job being offered by a Canadian employer determines some of the procedures that need to be followed.  For example,  if the job is in a specific province and not under the Federal regime (of a Labour Market Impact Assessment)    , there are particular protocols that an employer must adhere to.  These typically require an assessment by a province of whether the employer is reasonably established, and whether the job being offered would have some benefit to the province.

The type of Job Being Offered: Temporary or Permanent

Some jobs are deemed by the employer to be for a temporary duration.  Other jobs being offered are intended to be a permanent job. The offer of a permanent job to a foreign worker is valuable to the foreign worker, as this increases their chances of immigration under the Express Entry program.  The increase is manifest through an increase in points of either 50 or 200, depending on the skill level of the job being offered.

Due to the increase in points resulting from the Labour Market Impact Assessment, there is of necessity scrutiny of the employer and impact of the job offer on the Canadian labour market.

Temporary jobs may or may not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment.  Typically, jobs that do not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment are those jobs that may benefit Canada’s economy, or enhance culture.  There are numerous specific examples of the types of jobs that do not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment.


The LMIA Process Generally

The Labour Market Impact Assessment is an application filed with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).  The purpose is to gauge the employer’s business in numerous ways: to determine if the employer is part of a legitimate business that intends to make a profit, to determine whether the addition of the foreign worker (or, colloquially, being the sponsor of a foreign worker) as an employee would be a financially sound business decision,  and to determine whether the addition of the foreign worker would have a neutral impact on the Canadian labour market, among other things. Evidence to present in relation to these factors includes proof of recruitment, proof of required business licenses, and in most cases, proof that the business has employed at least one person in Canada for at least one year.


The Foreign Worker’s (AKA The Would-Be-Employee’s) Requirements

The foreign national must show that they have the experience and or education to perform the job being offered., and also, that they will comply with Canada’s immigration and other laws if granted permission to work in Canada.


Next Step: Professional Assessment of The Canadian Business & the Foreign Worker

If you’re thinking about the bringing a foreign worker to Canada for a Canadian business, contact us.

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