Hiring foreign Workers in Canada

Canadian immigration legislation and programs are designed and intended to facilitate the entry of business people and foreign skilled workers in Canada as part of strengthening the country’s economy. However, Canada has vary strict rules and regulations in place to prevent any abuse of the foreign worker process. In fact, our rules and regulations regarding foreign workers continue to change.  This has led to several inconsistencies in the laws that govern the entry of foreign workers into Canada at Ports of Entry across Canada.

As a general rule, a foreign national who wishes to work in Canada generally requires a work permit.  Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) has been re-organized into two distinct programs with major differences between the various streams.  The first stream under which foreign workers enter Canada at the request of employers follows the approval of a new Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

The second stream includes new International Mobility Programs (IMP) will refers to those streams in which foreign nationals are not subject to an LMIA, and whose primary objective is to advance Canada’s broad economic and cultural national interest, rather than filling a particular job.

The TFWP will now be administered based on wage instead of the National Occupational Classification (NOC). Wage has been determined to be a more objective and accurate reflection of skill level and labour need in a given area. Temporary foreign workers being paid under the provincial/territorial median wage will be considered low-wage, while those being paid at or above will be considered high-wage.

New Labour Market Impact Assessment [LMIA]

The new Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a comprehensive and rigorous labour market test Employers may be subject to.  LMIAs are conducted and processed by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) ESDC who will refuse to process applications when there are concerns that temporary foreign workers may or will have a negative effect on the Canadian labour market

New International Mobility Programs [IMP]

International Mobility Programs (IMP) include all streams of work permit applications that are LMIA-exempt under one umbrella. By exempting some foreign nationals from needing a labour market impact assessment before being able to work in Canada, the IMP aims to provide competitive advantages to Canada and reciprocal benefits to Canadians.

For example, labour mobility is a key part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). NAFTA provides reciprocal benefits, allowing foreign nationals in certain occupations from partner countries to work in Canada without the requirement of a labour market test like the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), but also allow Canadians to work abroad with similar privileges.

As part of Canada’s overhaul of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the Government of Canada introduced a series of reforms for those workers who are exempt from the LMIA process to ensure these exemptions continue to promote Canada’s economic and labour market interests.

New Employer Compliance Regime – Accountability and Enforcement.

The renamed International Mobility Programs (IMP) now includes a new Employer Compliance system. This new regime consists of a robust compliance system, featuring inspections of thousands of employers hiring LMIA-exempt foreign workers each year, will an unprecedented system of monitor employers to ensure compliance. Inspections that reveal deficiencies and abuses could lead to significant monetary penalties being levied against employers who are not following the rules, as well as bans from hiring foreign nationals and even criminal investigations/sanctions when warranted.

Effective Legal Representation

Eddie H. Kadri is leading the way advocating for corporate interests’ and legislative amendments that will help continue the growth of the Canadian economy through foreign investment and the facilitation of international business transactions. His extensive experience can be critical for your organization as he fully understands the human nuances associated with the decision making process that affects the entry of foreign workers in Canada. As it stands today, Canadian Immigration Officers both inland and abroad differ greatly in their opinions as to which foreign workers are eligible to enter Canada and the process by which they may enter. This can be highly problematic if you have business interests’ in Canada that are inextricably linked to the entry of certain foreign workers. If these matters are important to you and your business, then you should only put your trust in the most qualified professionals to represent those vital interests.

Hiring a leading professional such as Eddie H. Kadri can help your Company qualify for available legislative exemptions to the LMIA requirement.  Using Canadian law to your advantage, your Company may be exempted from going through the LMIA process when hiring foreign workers you identify as critical to your business interests’ in Canada.

Eddie H. Kadri prepares every application for a Canadian Work Authorization on behalf of his Corporate clients, and where possible, he personally attends with the foreign worker at a Canadian Port of Entry to help facilitate the application. In all instances, his representation is focused on crystallizing the path of least resistance that will facilitate the entry of a foreign worker into Canada in the most cost effective and expeditious manner.  Without effective legal representation advocating for your Company’s best interests, the potential for a negative decision becomes a greater possibility. Once an adverse decision is made, it not only affects the foreign worker, but also your company’s bottom line.

Mr. Kadri often prepares comprehensive legal strategies that address both short term and long term objectives as it relates to a Company’s foreign workers requirements. In fact, he is widely regarded for his ability to transition foreign workers into Canadian Permanent residents.


For more information on hiring foreign workers for deployment in Canada, contact Eddie H. Kadri to arrange a comprehensive legal consultation.