Can a Canadian employer hire foreign workers?

How to Hire Foreign Employees in Canada

By hiring Canadian companies with experienced staff to meet business needs, consider hiring expatriate employees from overseas.

Knowledge-based industries are currently facing a shortage of experienced workers, but Canada has implemented a new program to make it easier for the information technology (IT) industry to hire skilled foreign workers.

Canadian Labour Market Test

Most Canadian companies have a rule when hiring foreign workers: they must first recruit in Canada’s local labor market, and they can hire foreign workers if there are no suitable local workers. The company must ensure that no Canadian citizen or permanent resident has the skills required for the job. After completing the labor market test to ensure that there are no qualified Canadian or permanent resident candidates, employers can find foreign workers and hire them to fill positions in Canada.

There are different market testing processes for different job types, but they must continue for at least one month. For example, to hire a chef, you need to advertise on three different channels, such as a website or newspaper. After one month, employers need to review the applicants and submit the recruitment results to the government department, Service Canada. Service Canada will assess employers’ efforts to seek Canadian nationals or permanent residents to fill vacancies. The company must demonstrate that they have tested the labor market and then seek permission to hire foreign workers to work in Canada.

Global Skills Strategy

However, for knowledge-based industries such as IT and artificial intelligence, exemptions are available. Stephen Green, the managing partner of immigration services law firm Green and Spiegel, said: “Currently, there are more than 200,000 vacancies for this type of job. The Canadian government was aware of this problem about two years ago and introduced the ‘Global Skills Strategy’ measure. The measure has a global talent program that allows employers to hire foreign workers in 13 different occupations in the IT industry, exempt from labor market tests. Employers can obtain permission to hire foreign workers and bring them to Canada within ten days.”

Green explained: “Under the Global Talent Program, employers and the Canadian government will develop a ‘labor market benefits plan’ that outlines how employers will benefit Canada’s labor market, generally including how foreign workers will benefit the company. The activities include: providing training to Canadian employees who are already employed, creating employment opportunities, allowing foreign employees to teach in the community, etc. Through this program, Canadian IT companies can find experienced employees around the world, and in a very short time Bringing employees back to Canada within time will help improve our ability to meet customer needs.”

When these temporary workers have been in skilled work in Canada for up to one year and are fluent in English or French; for about six months, they can become permanent residents of Canada. After two and a half years, these employees will be able to hold Canadian passports.

French Mobility Program

If you are proficient in French and want to move to Canada, you can choose to find a job in a Canadian company. In about two to six weeks, they can get work permits; they can immigrate after a year and a half. The goal of the program is to create French-speaking communities outside of Quebec City that can also bring their families to live in Canada.

The impact of U.S. immigration policy

Canada benefits from changes in U.S. immigration policy. In the US, skilled foreign workers need work visas, and the H1 lottery and visa process are not easy. The attractiveness of Canada makes these workers leave the United States and welcomes them with jobs, access to immigration status, and permanent resident status. Canada’s skilled workforce is growing, and at the same time, these immigration programs are creating better jobs and business opportunities locally.

we can assist

The experts at TMF Canada can meet the HR and compensation needs of any type of employee in the company. Our local offices can assist you with setting up your payroll system, paying taxes to the Canada Revenue Agency, processing all electronic transfers, and handling employee claims on your company’s behalf.

For companies looking to set up an entity or operate in Canada, TMF Group can assist you through the process and ensure compliance. We’ll help you keep an eye on all the key things so you can focus on expanding your business and hiring new, skilled employees. 

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