In most cases, to work in Canada, a foreign national requires a work permit. However, there are a number of exceptional circumstances where a foreign worker may work in Canada without a work permit.
Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
In order for an employer to hire a foreign worker, they must obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). A LMIA proves that employer cannot find Canadian worker to fill the job position and there is a need for a foreign worker. ESDC assesses the employer’s LMIA application to determine what impact hiring a temporary foreign worker would have on Canada’s labour market. The LMIA is usually given for a specific period of time and the work permit issued will match that period.
Employers must have a functioning business and supply valid proof of its operations and viability. In participating in the program employer must show that there are no available Canadians for the available position(s) and show that they have the ability to meet their obligations under the program. Additionally, employers must also be responsible for ensuring that the workers have the proper regulations, certifications and necessary experience to qualify for the position.
Canadian employers must provide evidence that they have attempted to find qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents to fill job positions before considering foreign workers. In addition, employers may be inspected for compliance with government regulations after their employee has begun working in Canada.