Unless they are a permanent resident, all non-Canadian nationals must hold a work permit, also known as a “work visa”, to be allowed to work in Canada.
There are very few exceptions… these are so limited that you should consult an immigration specialist before offering a job in Canada to an overseas candidate without a work permit.
Generally, a work permit is required even for a trial period
The application for a work permit must be submitted by your candidate. It is not recommended that you access your candidate’s personal IRCC portal, as you may have access to confidential personal information.
However, in most cases, he or she will not be able to do so without your support, i.e., he or she must have received a valid job offer from you. This offer must be submitted to the immigration authorities by yourself and then provided to the foreign worker.
You can also choose to hire a professional, such as an immigration attorney, to represent you and prepare the work permit application for your candidate.
When you hire a Canadian worker, you are making an offer that will outline the terms of the position, including salary conditions. The principle is the same when it comes to a foreign worker. Once the terms of the job are mutually agreed between you and the candidate, you will need to provide these terms to the immigration authorities.
Concretely, this can take two different forms.
1- The application for a work permit can be initiated directly, in which case, you just have to fill in these conditions on your company’s IRCC Employer Portal. The governmental fee to be paid at this stage is $230 CAD.
2- If the application for a work permit is subject to obtaining prior authorization from the authorities, called a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), the job conditions offered to the worker are provided through this LMIA application.
Via the IRCC Employer Portal, you will receive an offer number starting with the letter A followed by 6 digits. This number must be given to your candidate.
Via the LMIA, you will receive one or two documents by mail: LMIA and CAQ (Quebec). You will then give these documents to your candidate so that he or she can apply for a work permit.
Apart from the costs related to submitting a job offer via the IRCC Employer Portal or to the preparation and the submission of a LMIA, which must be paid by the employer, all other costs can be paid either by the candidate or by yourself.
This is a matter of negotiation to be negotiated between the two of you.
There is no « best programme ». There are different programmes and you should choose the one best adapted to your candidate’s situation. This is done once you have consulted at least three documents a copy of the candidate’s passport, his/her resume, your job offer, including the salary conditions.
At this stage, if you both decide there are several possible programmes, one requiring a LMIA, and the other not. You and the candidate should choose the simplest, cheapest and quickest option.
By the way, did you know that we have pre-tagged the candidate’s resumes for you on Immijob? Their ability to come to work easily in Canada is identified by logos:
Already in possession of a status allowing him/her to start working immediately!
This candidate does not yet have a status allowing him/her to work in Canada, however, he/she is eligible for an immigration program. He/she should be able to work in Canada within a reasonable delay!
This candidate does not yet have a status allowing him/her to work in Canada, and he/she will need to apply for one: you will have to be patient to hire this candidate!
This candidate does not yet have a status allowing him/her to work in Canada, however, he/she is eligible for an immigration program allowing him/her to obtain a work permit very quickly!
The necessary information needed to draw up this candidate’s immigration profile has not been provided. Contact the Immijob team to find out more.
While some work permits can be issued directly at the border, processing times are usually two to six months.
For example, the delay is two months for a Young Professional Permit. It goes up to 6 months for a work permit subject to a classic LMIA. Some IT specialists were able to obtain a work permit in 3-4 weeks.
A foreign worker has the same rights and obligations towards his/her employer as a Canadian citizen. Nothing more, nothing less.
This means, among other things, that if you decide to end the contract, you will be able to do so under the same conditions as you would for a Canadian employee.
To avoid misunderstandings and false expectations, it is always better to inform a foreign candidate before he or she leaves his or her country.
As soon as you submit a job offer through the Employer Portal or obtain a LMIA, your candidate will be able to obtain a work permit.
The name of your company will be indicated on the work permit as the employer. Once in Canada, your foreign worker will not be able to find a new job without obtaining a new work permit and starting over again. These procedures can be made easier, in Quebec, once the first step of permanent residency has been completed.
All salary conditions (e.g. wages, holidays, workplace, occupation) declared to the authorities as part of the LMIA or the work permit application must be strictly observed during the employment period.
You should check with the authorities or seek advice before changing your employee’s salary conditions to ensure that you remain in compliance with the Immigration Act at all times.
A work permit does not automatically renew itself and it is the responsibility of the holder to ensure that it is extended or that he or she obtains a status allowing them to remain in Canada.
There are also good options to facilitate access to permanent residency for those holding a work permit. Your support as an employer may or may not be required as part of your employee’s application for permanent residency.
As a holder of a so-called employer-specific work permit, i.e., the employer’s name will be indicated on the permit title, he or she will usually be eligible for RAMQ. A waiting period of up to 3 months may apply.
Despite this coverage, for certain work permits under the IEC program (International Co-op, Working Holiday or Young Professional Permit), the foreign worker may be required to take out private insurance for medical care, hospitalization and repatriation.
This section is intended to provide general information about immigration to Canada, to make the terms understandable and should not be considered as legal advice.