There are 3 basic steps to hire a temporary foreign worker:
- Get an LMIA or submit an offer of employment
- Have the worker apply for a work permit
- Tell the worker what to expect from their application
Get an LMIA or submit an offer of employment
First, find out if you need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This assessment verifies that there is a need for the job you are offering and that there is no Canadian worker available to do it.
If you don’t need an LMIA, submit an offer of employment and pay the employer compliance fee using the Employer Portal. Provide the offer of employment number you receive to the worker you want to hire so they can apply for their work permit.
Some employers don’t need to submit an offer of employment in the Employer Portal or pay the employer compliance fee. Find out if you are exempt.
Have the worker apply for a work permit
Once you have an LMIA number or offer of employment number, send those details to the worker with the job offer. They need to use this information to apply for a work permit.
If you are exempt from the employer compliance process, send the worker the employment contract. They can use it to apply.
Tell the worker what to expect from their application
Tell the worker that they will receive a letter of introduction when their work permit has been approved. The actual work permit is issued by a border services officer at the port of entry when the worker arrives in Canada. If the worker is already in Canada and eligible to apply, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will mail the work permit to them.
Find out if you need an LMIA
Most employers need an LMIA before they can hire a temporary foreign worker. Before you start the hiring process, you must determine if you need an LMIA.
To see if you and the temporary foreign worker you want to hire are exempt from needing an LMIA or work permit, do one of the following:
- review the LMIA exemption codes and work permit exemptions
- select the LMIA exemption or work permit code that seems most relevant to your hiring situation and read the detailed description
- if an exemption code applies to you, you’ll need to include it in your offer of employment
- contact the International Mobility Workers Unit (IMWU)
- available only if you’re hiring a temporary foreign worker who is both currently outside Canada and is from a country whose nationals are visa-exempt
How to get an LMIA
You’ll need an LMIA from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The LMIA application process depends on the type of program you’re hiring through.
Find out how to apply for an LMIA to hire
- high-wage workers
- low-wage workers
- workers through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
- workers through the Agricultural Stream
How to Hire
How to hire if you need an LMIA
The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) lets you hire temporary foreign workers to fill labour and skill shortages. Once an LMIA has been issued, you should provide a copy of the confirmation letter to each temporary foreign worker and tell each of them to apply for a work permit. You’ll need an LMIA from ESDC, Service Canada.
How to hire if you don’t need an LMIA
The International Mobility Program (IMP) lets you hire temporary foreign workers without an LMIA. If you hire a temporary foreign worker through the IMP, you need to
- pay an employer compliance fee
- submit an offer of employment form through the Employer Portal
This must be done before the temporary foreign worker you want to hire can apply for a work permit.
Hiring in the province of Quebec
If you’re an employer in Quebec and are hiring through the TFWP, the temporary foreign worker will need a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) from the Quebec Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) before a work permit can be issued.
If you’re an employer in Quebec and are hiring a temporary foreign worker through the IMP, a CAQ from the MIFI is not required.
Get in Touch for more information or for applying for a LMIA, submission of an offer of employment through Employer Portal, or/and help your worker apply for a work permit.