Need to hire foreign workers? You’re not alone. Every year Canadian employers must tap into the global talent pool in order to address shortages and fill roles within their organization.
However, it’s important to recognize that this is a legal process. It begins with receiving government approval to hire foreign workers by completing a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Canada wants to be sure that your decision to hire foreign workers does not adversely affect the Canadian talent pool. The government also wants to be certain that foreign employees will be treated well.
At CIP we specialize in helping employers like you. Our LMIA applications have a very high rate of approval. This means you reduce your time to hire, save money, and start gaining the benefit of your employee’s productive work that much faster.
What must an LMIA assessment prove?
The government employee reviewing an application must be convinced that hiring a foreign worker will either have a positive or a neutral effect on the Canadian labour market. It must be clear that no qualified Canadians were available or passed up in favor of the foreign worker. It must also be clear the foreign worker will be given a salary and benefits that meet federal and provincial standards.
The process is different dependent upon whether the target employee is a “high wage” or a “low wage” employee.
Temporary foreign workers being paid under the provincial/territorial median wage are considered low-wage, while those being paid at or above are considered high-wage. Depending on whether a prospective employee is classified as high-wage or low-wage, certain specific provisions apply.
Generally speaking, all Canadian employers must provide evidence that they have attempted to find qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents to fill job positions before turning to foreign workers. In addition, employers may be inspected for compliance to government regulations after their employee has begun working in Canada.
Employers seeking to hire high-wage workers must submit transition plans along with their Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application to ensure that they are taking steps to reduce their reliance on temporary foreign workers over time. High-wage workers are those earning above the median hourly wage for a given occupation in specified region.
The transition plans are designed to ensure that employers seeking foreign workers are fulfilling the purpose of the program. This entails that they are using the program as a last and limited resort to address immediate labour needs on a temporary basis when qualified Canadians are not available, ensuring that Canadians are given the first chance at available jobs.
Certain occupations in Quebec are “facilitated”, meaning that local recruitment efforts do not need to be performed by employers as part of their applications to hire temporary foreign workers for any of the facilitated occupations. Learn more about work permits in Quebec and which occupations are facilitated in Quebec.
Median Hourly Wages by Province/Territory
|Province/Territory||Wage ($/hr) prior to April 29, 2016||Wage ($/hr) as of April 29, 2016|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||$21.12||$20.91|
|Prince Edward Island||$17.49||$18.00|
The above figures are correct as of April, 2016.
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey
Employers seeking to hire low-wage workers do not need to submit transition plans with their Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). They must, however, follow a different set of guidelines.
To restrict access to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), while ensuring that Canadians are always considered first for available jobs, the Government of Canada has introduced a cap to limit the number of low-wage temporary foreign workers that a business can employ. Furthermore, certain low-wage occupations may be refused for LMIA processing.
Employers with 10 or more employees applying for a new LMIA are subject to a cap of 10 percent on the proportion of their workforce that can consist of low-wage temporary foreign workers. This cap will be phased in over 2015 and 2016 in order to provide employers who are above the 10 percent cap time to transition and adjust accordingly.
Employers offering a wage that is below the provincial/territorial median hourly wage must:
- pay for round-trip transportation for the temporary foreign worker;
- ensure affordable housing is available;
- pay for private health insurance until workers are eligible for provincial health coverage;
- register the temporary foreign worker with the provincial/territorial workplace safety board; and
- provide an employer-employee contract.
As of April 30, 2015, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program uses the latest Labour Force Survey results for the unemployment rates in regions across Canada. These rates determine which regions are eligible for employers to submit Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) for low-wage/lower skilled occupations in the Accommodation and Food Services sector and the Retail Trade sector. LMIA applications for these sectors will not be processed in economic regions where the unemployment rate is 6 per cent or higher.
Given its unique labour market conditions, and as requested by the Government of the Northwest Territories, applications in these sectors for positions located in Yellowknife will be accepted for processing.
Let CIP give your LMIA its best chance of success.
While there is no way to guarantee that an LMIA will be approved, CIP has the expertise to give your LMIA its best chance of success. We know how to submit effective proof that you have looked for Canadian workers, how to demonstrate positive or neutral impact, the language that must be used to strengthen your application, and more. Remember, hiring foreign workers represents a complex legal process. Don’t try to do it alone.