If you are a Canadian business that wants to hire a foreign worker, the worker must have a work permit or be eligible to apply for a work permit.
What is a work permit?
A work permit is a status document issued by IRCC that allows people from other countries to work in Canada.
There are two types of work permits: closed work permits and open work permits. A closed work permit specifies the occupation, employer, work location, or all. On the other hand, an open work permit has no restrictions.
Hiring foreign workers
If the worker already has an open work permit, you can hire the worker. Sometimes, you can also hire international students who have a study permit because they are authorized to work while completing their studies. Last but not least, you may hire people with a letter from IRCC authorizing them to work because they have applied for a work permit or a work permit extension.
If your potential worker has one of the above documents, you may hire them as long as they meet your employment needs.
Otherwise, before a worker can work for you, they will need to apply for a work permit.
Note that even if the job is unpaid, often the worker still needs a work permit. For example, when the worker completes an internship.
How can you help a worker get a work permit?
Essentially, there are two pathways to help your potential candidate get a work permit if they are not eligible for an open work permit:
In other words, without a valid job offer, your potential worker cannot apply for a work permit.
What is an LMIA-exempt work permit?
When the job offer to the worker is eligible, you may file an Offer of Employment via the IRCC Employer Portal. Then, you need to give the Offer of Employment to the worker for them to apply for an LMIA-exempt work permit.
To be an eligible job offer, it must meet certain requirements including occupation, wage, work location, working hours, etc. There may be additional program requirements depending on the type of LMIA-exempt work permit
You as an employer must also meet certain requirements including compliance with the immigration and labour law.
We can help you determine whether you and your job offer is eligible.
The benefits of an LMIA-exempt work permit
Unlike an LMIA, you do not need to advertise and recruit candidates for the position. Often, before you file an Offer of Employment, you have already located the worker. You also do not need to meet other requirements under an LMIA application.
Types of LMIA-exempt work permit
You can help a worker get an LMIA-exempt work permit if they are in one of the following categories:
Candidates under one of the Free Trade Agreements (FTA),
Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applicants
Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) applicants,
Intra-company transferee (ICT) - Executive, Senior or Functional managers,
ICT - Employees with specialized knowledge,
ICT - Employees starting a branch or affiliate,
Emergency repair or repair personnel for out-of-warranty equipment,
Television and film production workers,
Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot applicants,
Coaches and Athletes,
International Experience Canada - Internship/Young Professional,
Academic exchanges (Professors, Visiting Lecturers),
Note that there are specific eligibility requirements depending on the program. We can help you determine whether you and your worker are eligible.
How to apply for an LMIA-exempt work permit?
The worker is responsible to apply for a work permit although you can assist your worker in the application process. In the application, the worker must provide the Offer of Employment together with other required documents and information.
Note that the work permit application does not always receive an approval at the end because IRCC will consider your worker’s qualifications, ability to perform the job duties, and other inadmissible issues. If your worker faces any of the above issues, we can help.
Supporting your worker’s PR application
An LMIA-Exempt work permit sometimes can help your worker get their PR more easily. For example, an LMIA-Exempt job offer is known as an “arranged employment” under Express Entry, and it can give your worker additional points in their PR application.
The work permit also allows your worker to get work experience that may be eligible for PR in the future. In other situations, like the applicants in the PNP and AIP programs, the work permit enables them to financially support themselves and their family members while their PR application is in progress.
If you want to support and help your worker to get PR, we can help you with the planning.
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