The two main programs available to employers who are looking to hire international talent are the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the Global Talent Stream. These two programs require a Labour Market Impact Assessment to be completed before hiring an employee for the role required.
What Is The Temporary Foreign Worker Program?
The Temporary Foreign Worker Program refers to streams under which foreign nationals enter Canada on a work permit issued based on a positive (or neutral) LMIA. LMIA applications are adjudicated by Employment and Social Development Canada (“ESDC”). Our law firm can assist with both Canadian work permits and LMIA applications.
What Factors Are Considered During an LMIA?
The key factor assessed by ESDC when adjudicating the LMIA is the impact of employment on the Canadian labour market. This factor is assessed in light of labour market conditions, with the employer typically being required to conduct domestic recruitment efforts prior to the application being submitted.
Can Employers Submit An LMIA Without A Specific Candidate?
While LMIA applications are typically submitted when an employer has identified a foreign national it wishes to employ (or continue employing), employers can also obtain blank pre-approval which can be used when a specific worker is identified. We have utilized this immigration strategy in industries with well-documented labour shortages such as tech and construction. It is also widely utilized in the agricultural sector and food production sectors.
Canadian employers participating in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program are subject to immigration employer compliance reviews which can include both documentary requests and inspections. The employer compliance regime is not very transparent or business aligned.
The Global Talent Stream
The Global Talent Stream pilot project falls within the scope of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and allows employers to obtain an LMIA through a new streamlined process that offers flexible criteria and formal recruitment requirements (domestic recruitment is still encouraged).
What Industries Qualify To Recruit Workers Under The Global Talent Stream
Under the Global Talent Stream program, Canadian employers can recruit highly-skilled foreign workers in occupations where there is a shortage of local Canadian talent. The program is divided into two categories:
- Category A. Requires the Canadian employer to collaborate with a designated referral party.
- Category B. Allows the Canadian employer to hire foreign nationals in designated occupations. The occupation list includes:
NOC 0213 – Computer and information systems managers
NOC 2147 – Computer engineers
NOC 2171 – Information systems analysts and consultants
NOC 2172 – Database analysts and data administrators
NOC 2173 – Software engineers and designers
NOC 2174 – Computer programmers and interactive media developers
NOC 2175 – Web designers and developers
NOC 2281 – Computer network technicians
NOC 2283 – Information systems testing technicians
How Long Do Global Talent Stream Applications Take To Process?
Applications are typically processed in 10 business days. Canadian employers who are submitting their first application are required to submit a Labour Market Benefits Plan demonstrating how they will benefit the Canadian labour in exchange for being granted the right to participate in this pilot project. Labour Market Benefits Plans are industry-specific and can include recruiting minorities, creating co-op programs, and others. Work permits for LMIAs issued under this program have a two-week processing time.
Our immigration lawyers have helped companies with both initial and on-going LMIA applications under the Global Talent Streams, and have received great feedback about the program.