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Foreign workers: what type of permit to choose?

Équipe Immétis - 04/19/2017

Among the many programs available to apply for a work permit, what is the right one for you or the foreign worker you want to recruit? Find out by reading this article.

In immigration, as in French grammar, there is the rule and the exception to the rule.

In order to obtain a work permit, “the rule” would be a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), as prescribed by the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), and the exception would be to participate in the International Mobility Program (IMP), whereby the employer is exempted from an LMIA.

The Foreign Worker Program, it should be noted, allows employers to hire foreign workers to address temporary shortages of labour and skills, as defined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The employer will have to obtain a notice, from the authorities, that this hiring will not have a negative impact on the job market in Canada.

When applying for a work permit under the International Mobility Program (IMP) the application process follows a more fluid and largely simplified process with generally shortened or even canceled processing times when an application can be made, under certain conditions, at a border crossing.

In general, it is therefore recommended that any employer check whether the situation of the foreign candidate they want to hire is consistent with one of the IMP permits, before starting a LMIA application; whether simplified or not.

What are some examples of LMIA exempt permits?

The following permits, among others, are granted under the International Mobility Program:

– IEC Category – Young Professional Category

– Work permits via an intra-company transfer

– Work Permit for Emergency Repair

– Work permit as a NAFTA professional

– Open work permit for an accompanying spouse

– IEC Category- Work Holiday Category

Please note that each program has eligibility criteria, which are detailed on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

Before opting for any of the programs, if you are applying for a permit yourself, it is imperative that you verify that the candidate and the position offered meet all the prescribed requirements.

Five things to know

Please note these five pieces of information that you should absolutely know before deciding on the specific type of work permit to apply for:

– Nationality of the candidate

– Age of the candidate

– Have they obtained their Québec Selection Certificate or not

– Completed Diplomas

– Current and past work experiences

– Salary, title and duties of the position being considered in Canada

Thus, by knowing the candidate’s age and nationality, you will know which International Experience Canada program will or can be considered, as well as the length of the permit that can be issued.

If your candidate is a US citizen, you may want to check whether a NAFTA permit could be issued.

By knowing the completed qualifications, current and past work experience of the candidate, and, the wage, title and job requirements of the position being considered in Canada you will be able to refine the types of possible permits which could be considered in the specific case of the foreign worker.

These last three criteria will also enable you to determine, in the event that you do not qualify under the IMP, whether you must follow a simplified or regular LMIA process.

Marc-André RANGER, Head Paralegal and Partner

This article contains general information regarding immigration, is intended to provide a general understanding of the terms and does not constitute legal advice. For complete legal advice, contact our professionals.

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