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Calgary Employing Foreign Workers

Many employers in Alberta require foreign employees to round out their workforce. For example, Alberta currently faces a shortage of early childhood educators, truck drivers, administrative assistants, receptionists, home building and renovation managers, office support workers, accountants, and book keepers. We face a major shortage of anesthesiologists. Farm workers almost always struggle to get an adequate workforce.

In addition to needing foreign workers to round out skilled labor pools, most employers recognize that hiring foreign workers helps to spur innovation, making companies far more competitive.

Every year, our immigration law firm helps employers in Alberta tap into the global talent pool. Here’s a brief overview of what it takes to employ foreign workers.

Temporary Workers

The first step will be to obtain our help completing a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). You must prove the following to the Canadian government:

  • You did everything you could to recruit and hire either Canadian citizens or permanent residents (PRs).
  • The proposed position meets all provincial labor market standards.
  • You have a long-term plan for hiring Canadian workers.
  • The employees will have access to affordable housing, or you will provide them with housing.
  • You will provide the employee with a contract.

Proving this isn’t just a matter of writing out certain facts on your application. You will have to provide the government with proof that you’ve done everything you’re supposed to do. You may also have to attend an interview with the ESDC, which we are happy to attend with you.

You must also advertise your position in Canada’s Job Bank, as well as in two alternative sources.

It can take up to six months for an LMIA to get approved, so plan accordingly. In addition, you’ll need to make sure any worker you hire has an appropriate work permit.

The International Mobility Program

There are some positions that you can hire for or certain pathways you can use for hiring that bypass the LMIA process entirely.

For example, you can hire any foreign-born worker who has already obtained an open work permit on their own.

You can also hire people ages 18 to 35 through the International Experience program. These individuals are listed in a pool of IEC applicants. Once they have a valid job offer from you then they’ll be able to travel to Canada, obtain a work permit, and begin work.

Professions that Do Not Require an LMIA

You can hire certain roles without seeking an LMIA.

These include:

  • Athletes
  • Aviation accident inspectors
  • Civil aviation inspectors
  • Clergy members
  • Convention organizers
  • Emergency service providers
  • Examiners and evaluators
  • Expert witnesses and investigators
  • Health care students
  • Judges, referees, and other sports officials
  • Military personnel
  • News reporters and media crew members
  • Performance artists
  • Public speakers

These roles can change often as the needs of our nation and province change. Consult your immigration lawyer to get the most up-to-date information.

Hiring Permanent Workers

In Alberta employers who wish to use the Provincial Nominee Program to hire skilled workers may only do so through the Federal Express Entry Program. That is, those workers already need to be present in the Express Entry pool.

Over 340+ positions are represented in the Express Entry pool. It is an excellent place to find managerial and professional-level employees. Chances are many of the roles that you will need to hire for will be covered.

You may also hire entry-level workers but you may need an LMIA for those workers. Consult your attorney for more details.

Hiring International Students

Another excellent way to tap into the global talent pool is to hire international students who are attending a Canadian college or university such as the University of Calgary, or who have recently graduated from one.

Students who are in school may apply for co-ops and internships. Once these students have graduated they may apply for a post-graduate work permit (PGWP) and you may hire them.

Hiring postgraduates helps these individuals remain in Canada if they wish, and helps them take advantage of opportunities to earn permanent residency.

Trade and Reciprocal Agreements

If your company has branches around the world then you can transfer any employee to your Canadian offices without having to conduct an LMIA. The employee does not even need a work permit.

There are also reciprocal agreements such as the International Experience (IEC) program. You can hire any student out of the IEC pool and they, too, will fall under trade and reciprocal agreements.

Processing Foreign Worker Applications

You don’t have to do anything special to process foreign worker applications. They may reach out to you of their own accord.

You simply must ensure that you’ve followed all the appropriate steps before hiring them. You should consult with your attorney about what you would need to do to hire any given candidate who approaches you and your company.

Fulfilling Post-Employment Obligations

Your company will have some additional responsibilities after they hire foreign workers.

  • Put a process in place to make sure work permits are on-file and up to date.
  • Make the requisite deductions from the employee’s paycheck, including CPP deductions.
  • Provide housing for your employees when demanded by provincial or federal law.
  • Ensure your workplace meets health and safety standards.
  • Offer break time and time off in accordance with Canadian law.
  • Offer wages commensurate with the position you’ve hired for.

Work closely with your immigration attorney to ensure that your company is prepared to remain in compliance with the law.

Tap into the Global Talent Pool Today.

Our immigration attorneys have decades of experience helping top Albertan companies hire international applicants. We make the process smooth, cost-effective, and hassle-free. Many of our attorneys also have additional experience in business law, providing additional context which can benefit your company.

We can help your employees as well, and have attorneys on staff who speak Mandarin and Punjabi.

Make your first appointment before you start seeking to recruit these candidates. Call (403) 237-7777 to get started today.

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