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5 Fastest Ways For Employers To Bring Foreign Workers To Canada

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Business Immigration to Canada

5 Fastest Ways For Employers To Bring Foreign Workers To Canada

Canada is a country with a growing economy and a strong demand for skilled workers. As a result, the Canadian government has made it relatively easy for employers to bring foreign workers to Canada to fill labour shortages. To address the Canadian labour shortage, Canada has implemented ways for employers to expedite the process of hiring foreign workers.

There are three main ways for employers to bring foreign workers to Canada:

  1. The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process:
    This is the most common way for employers to hire foreign workers. To obtain an LMIA, employers must demonstrate that they have been unable to find a Canadian or permanent resident to fill the position. If the LMIA is approved, the foreign worker can then apply for a work permit.
  2. The Global Skills Strategy (GSS):
    This program allows employers to hire foreign workers in high-demand occupations without having to obtain an LMIA. The GSS is designed to attract the best and brightest talent from around the world to Canada.
  3. The International Mobility Program (IMP):
    This program allows employers to hire foreign workers to fill temporary positions, such as seasonal work or contract work. The IMP is a good option for employers who need to hire foreign workers for short-term projects.

There are ways to fast-track and expedite hiring foreign workers in Canada. In this blog post, we will discuss the five fastest ways for employers to bring foreign workers to Canada. We will also provide tips on how to make the application process as smooth as possible.

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1. Expedite Hiring High Wage Foreign Employees

Canadian employers who need to hire high-wage foreign workers for essential positions can now get their applications processed more quickly.

The government of Canada has introduced a new expedited processing program for high-wage Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) applications. This program is designed to help employers fill critical positions more quickly and reduce the red tape in the hiring process.

To be eligible for expedited processing, the job must meet the following criteria:

  • The job occupation must be high paid and in the top 10% of wages earned by Canadians where the job is located.
  • The employer and potential employee must meet all other TFWP qualifications, including:
    • A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), if required, which includes a transition plan for the employer to reduce their reliance on foreign workers.
    • The employer is not ineligible.
    • Processing fees are fully paid.
    • The occupation is not unqualified in Alberta or Quebec.

Employers who are eligible for expedited processing can expect their applications to be processed within 10 business days. This is a significant reduction from the typical processing time of 4-6 months.

Learn More: How To Expedite Hiring High Wage Employees

2. Fast-Track Hiring Laid Off Tech H-1B Workers

Starting in July 2023, the Canadian government launched a new immigration stream to allow 10,000 H-1B visa holders from the U.S. to work in Canada. The recent tech layoffs in the United States have created an opportunity for skilled H-1B workers to move to Canada. H-1B workers are skilled, trained and proven employees who have been working for U.S. companies with a similar culture to Canadian companies. However, with the high number of tech layoffs in the United States, it may be difficult for these workers to find a new U.S. employer to transfer their H-1B visa within the 60-day period.

  • Canada has no annual limit on high-skilled temporary visas and no per-country restrictions for permanent residency.
  • Approved applicants will receive an open work permit of up to 3 years in duration, allowing them to work for almost any Canadian employer.
  • Spouses and dependents of H-1B workers can also apply for a temporary resident visa, and a work or study permit if needed.

Another advantage of for foreign workers who move to Canada is that Canadian foreign workers can apply for permanent residence within 3 years, versus the many years wait in the United States. This means that H-1B workers who move to Canada can have a clear path to permanent residency and a bright future in Canada.

Learn More: How Canadian Employers Can Hire Laid Off H-1B Workers and H-1B Workers Can Move to Canada

3. Express Entry Priority Job Categories

The Canadian government has announced new initiatives to welcome skilled immigrants to help fill the country's job vacancies. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced new Express Entry category options for priority jobs for skilled workers with work experience in categories that match business labour needs.

The new Express Entry category options will target skilled workers in the following areas:

  • Healthcare
  • Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
  • Information and communications technology (ICT)
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Transportation and logistics

To be eligible for the new Express Entry category options, skilled workers must have:

  • At least one year of work experience in a priority job
  • A valid job offer from a Canadian employer
  • A language proficiency level of at least CLB 7 in English or French
  • A completed Express Entry profile

Category-based Express Entry invitations to apply for permanent residency have already been out sent this summer.

Learn More: New Express Entry Category Options For Priority Jobs

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4. Expedited LMIA processing for businesses

Employers who need to hire foreign workers quickly can apply for expedited LMIA processing. This allows employers to fast-track their LMIA applications and reduce the time it takes to receive approval.

To be eligible for expedited LMIA processing, employers must meet certain criteria, including:

  • The occupation must be in high demand or pay in the top 10% of wages in the province.
  • The foreign worker must be paid at least the median wage in the province.
  • The foreign worker's job must be for less than 120 days.
  • The employer must take steps to recruit and retain Canadian workers.

If an employer meets these criteria, they can apply for expedited LMIA processing through the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Online Portal. The LMIA Online Portal is a secure and electronic tool that allows employers to submit their LMIA applications online.

Once an employer submits their LMIA application, it will be reviewed by Service Canada. If the application is approved, the employer will receive a letter of approval within 10 business days. This letter of approval can then be used by the foreign worker to apply for a work permit.

Expedited LMIA processing is a great option for businesses that need to hire foreign workers quickly. It can help businesses to fill critical positions and to stay competitive in the global economy.

Here are some additional details about the expedited LMIA processing criteria:

  • Skilled Trades/Professions in High Demand: This category includes occupations that are in high demand in Canada and require specialized skills and training.
  • Top 10% Wage Earners: This category includes occupations where the wages earned by foreign workers are in the top 10% of wages earned by Canadians in the same occupation in the same province.
  • Short Duration: This category includes occupations where the foreign worker will only be employed for less than 120 days.

Learn More: LMIA Processing In 2023: How To Expedite Hiring Temporary Foreign Workers

5. Global Skills Strategy (GSS)

Eligible GSS work permit applications are processed within 2 weeks. You can be eligible for 2-week processing of your work permit application:

  1. If you don’t need an LMIA (LMIA-exempt):
  2. If you need an LMIA (LMIA-required):
    • you’re applying from outside Canada
    • you have a positive LMIA through the Global Talent Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (this will be on the LMIA decision letter)

Learn More: Global Talent Stream: Global Skills Visa: Expedited Processing

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Do You Need Help With Business Immigration and Hiring Foreign Employees? Ackah Law Can Help

Navigating the complex Canada immigration laws can be confusing. An experienced Canadian immigration lawyer can advise you on your best options for business and cross-border immigration, and guide you through the entire process.

Ackah Business Immigration Law has offices in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver to help clients move to new opportunities in Canada and the United States. To get in touch with Ackah Law, contact us at (403) 452-9515 or send an email directly to contact@ackahlaw.com.


Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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