Business Immigration

Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is the overall name for a group of wide-ranging programs that temporarily allow foreigners to come to Canada. The priority of Canadian employers is to hire available Canadians to work on their companies. When Canadians cannot be found, employers use various Temporary Foreign Worker Program streams to get the workers they need for their businesses. 

1. Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications

LMIA applicants require approval by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). We specialize in that process, starting from posting and running advertisements following strict Service Canada standards, preparing the submission of LMIA applications, and filling subsequent work permit applications. LMIA is a verification process whereby ESDC assesses an offer of employment to ensure that the employment of a foreign worker will not have a negative impact on the Canadian labor market. With LMIA applications, employers will be required to provide various business documents and information about the position they want to hire a foreign worker. In most cases, they would need to advertise during a specific period of time following strict ESDC police. 

There are multiple types of LMIA such as: 

  • High-wage or Low-wage LMIA
  • LMIA for Agricultural Worker
  • Dual Intent LMIA (PR LMIA)
  • LMIA for Caregiver
  • Temporary Foreign Academic
  • Temporary Foreign worker through Global Talent Stream                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Requirements of the LMIA program:                                                    
  • Processing fee: there is a mandatory $1,000 Government processing fee per application. This fee does not apply only to employers choosing to support a foreign national’s application for a permanent resident visa only.                            
  • Language requirements: French or English language are the only languages that can be identified as a job requirements                       
  • Business legitimacy: this is an essential part of the application. Employers must prove that they will fulfill the terms of the employment offer. The most common documents used for this are T2 Schedule 100 Balance sheet information and T2 Schedule 125 Income Statement information. An Attestation letter can be used to supplement these It can be drafted by a Lawyer or CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant)Employers must also submit proof of providing goods or services. The most common documents used for this part are Business Licence, T4 Summary of remuneration paid and PD7A statement of account. Employers may use an attestation letter here as well.               
  • One year in business (for PR LMIA only): Proof that the business has been operational for one year. Unlike other LMIA streams, this is a must for this type of application.
  • Prevailing wage: advertised rate of pay and offered rate of pay needs to be at least the median rate of pay for that occupation and that region of Canada or in the wage range paid to Canadians and Permanent Residents, whichever is higher. To determine the median rate of pay, we use Job Bank: Search wages – Job Bank
  • Advertisement: there are various websites that we use in practice. Service Canada doesn’t have a specific list of advertisement platforms or recommend particular names. This is one of the areas where we use our experience and knowledge. In addition, there are different platforms recommended following the rate of pay offered. There are Recruitment and advertisement standards for positions where the pay rate is higher or lower than the median rate of pay for the province. Advertisements need to be active for 28 consecutive days.

For more information, please contact us.

Premier Visa and Immigration Services assists Canadian businesses in selecting and recruiting excellent Temporary Foreign Workers. We use various Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) pathways and LMIA exempt applications following the unique business needs of our clients.

We work with companies in multiple fields: hospitality, transportation, IT, farming, cleaning, retail, and more. With more than 50 years of combined professional experience in this field, our team is in a unique position to assist you!

We have 2 Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants in our team and we are fully licenced to recruit Temporary Foreign Workers in the Provence of British Columbia (IS-0009115). In addition our company is an authorized national and international Employment Agency operating under License #35422 issued under authority of the Government of Alberta.

As an employer, you will need to prove that your business is legal and is offering goods and services in Canada. In addition, the business needs to be in good financial standing and maintain all employment obligations for the entirety of the period of employment. There are some documents that Service Canada wants to see once you start using the Temporary Foreign Worker program (TFW) such as T2 Schedule 100 & 125, Business Licence, PD7A, and T4 Summary. We will also ask you to fill in a brief questionnaire.

Job Bank is Canada’s national employment service and website where you need to register in order to post your advertisement. We will send you full instructions on what is necessary to create your profile and how to add us as a third party so we can post on your behalf. We will save you time by posting advertisements in accordance with your direction, performing job matching and re-posting on our platforms.

The minimum length is 28 days. In addition, a minimum of 1 platform needs to be active at the time of LMIA processing. Our goal is to have all 4 platforms we use in the process, active and up to date.

The processing time is from 1 – 2 months depending on the stream. Always start the recruitment process well in advance so you don’t have to struggle with your staffing. The official and the current processing time is here: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/foreign-workers/labour-market-impact-assessment-processing-times.html

Your employee can apply for the work permit application. If we are processing an employee that retained our services, we would start the process well in advance- we don’t waist any time. Our goal is to start preparing applicants for this step during the LMIA process. Once LMIA gets approved, we usually file a work permit the same week. After this step, there is a wait time from 2-6 months depending on the country of residency. Visa-free applicants can apply at the port of entry on the same day. Current processing times are here:

Temporary Foreign workers have the same rights and responsibilities as Canadians and PRs. You need to provide the same working conditions such as holiday pay, overtime, etc to all employees equally. During the process, you will sign an employment contract stating the most important obligations but almost all of them are as per your provincial labor standards. For all TFWs under the Low-wage LMIA stream, you will need to pay the transportation cost. You will need to purchase private health insurance for all TFWs until provincial insurance becomes available.

2. LMIA exempt applications: International Mobility Program (IMP)

The International Mobility Program lets Canadian employers hire temporary workers without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Multiple available streams serve Canada’s broader economic and cultural interests. Positions exempt from requiring an LMIA are those which:

  1. Provide certain broad economic, cultural, or other competitive advantages for Canada, and
  2. Provide reciprocal benefits for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
3. Intra- Company Transfer Program (ICT) 

As part of IMP, this option permits multinational companies with a branch, subsidiary, or affiliate in Canada to transfer workers under certain conditions. The primary purpose of this application is to improve the management effectiveness and competitiveness of Canadian companies in the global market. 

Canadian and foreign companies should have a qualifying relationship: the Canadian company should be a sister company, a branch, an affiliate, or a foreign company subsidiary. An employee should satisfy several criteria to qualify for this program, starting from professional experience, occupation, knowledge, and skills. 

The Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) work permit application provides an excellent pathway for foreign workers to enter the Canadian labour market and gain Canadian work experience. An Intra-Company transferee can be of any nationality. To qualify as an Intra-company transferee:

  • A Canadian company needs to have a qualifying relationship with the foreign company
  • A foreign multinational company must currently employ a person seeking employment in a Canadian parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate company.
  • A person must have been employed by the same company that wants to transfer him to Canada in a similar full-time position for at least one year in the last three years.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

This is an excellent pathway for both employers and employees because they do not require LMIA for this purpose because Intra-company transferees add significant benefits to the Canadian interests [IRPR 205(a)]

This pathway can lead to obtaining LMIA exempt work permit. Even though this is a temporary pathway, it can be a  stepping-stone to get a Permanent Residency in Canada. Your one year of experience gained in Canada will make you eligible for express entry programs if you obtain CLB 5 for NOC B positions and CLB 7 for NOC O and A. The Provincial Nomination Programs are also available to these workers.

To add more to it, you can bring your dependents along with you. Your spouse can also work here in Canada by obtaining an open work permit.

Who is eligible?

A person can get LMIA exempt work permit under the pathways if their position falls in the following capacity:

  1. Executives direct the company’s management, establish the organization’s goals and policies, and receive direction from a higher level only.
  2. Senior Managers manage the organization, department, or subdivision, supervise and control other managers or supervisors, employees or an essential function within a company etc.
  3. Persons with specialized knowledge possess advanced expertise and proprietary knowledge of the company’s product, service, research, equipment, techniques, or management.                                                                                                                                                                           

The initial validity of the work permit:

If an Intra-Company Transferee is coming to Canada to open an office or get employed in a new office, the initial work permit will be issued for up to 1 year. Otherwise, an initial work permit can be issued for up to 3 years.

Renewals of the work permit:

Applicants can extend this worm permit for a period of 2 years with a total duration of 7 years in the case of executives or senior managers and a total of 5 years in the case of a person who is applying under the capacity of having specialized knowledge.

After an Intra-company transferee has reached the maximum duration of the work permit, they must work full-time for one year outside Canada if they wish to reapply.

Multi-national companies that are registered and incorporated at least in one foreign country and Canada. These companies can transfer employees to work in a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate of that company in Canada.

qualifying relationship term means that Canadian and foreign entity or entities must have a relationship in a form of parent, subsidiary, affiliated, or branch companies. These entities must continue meeting the requirements for the duration of the work permit. Otherwise, any foreign intra-company transferee currently working for the Canadian entity would not qualify to continue working for the new entity.

Initial work permit should be issued for one year. For extensions, further evidence should be provided that:

  • the Canadian and a foreign companies still have a qualifying relationship.
  • the new office has engaged in the continuous provision of goods or services for the past year.
  • the new office has been staffed.

All positions in an executive, senior managerial, or specialized knowledge capacity; In addition, transferees must have been employed continuously (via payroll or by contract directly with the company), by the company that plans to transfer them outside Canada in a similar full-time position (not accumulated part-time) for at least one year in the three-year period immediately preceding the date of initial application.

Extensions may be granted for up to five years for specialized knowledge workers and seven years for executives and senior managers. After that, workers must complete one year of full-time employment in the company outside Canada if they wish to re-apply as an intra-company transferee.

  • Employment confirmation that the foreign national is currently employed by a multi-national company outside Canada, full time, for a minimum of 1 year in the past 3 years.
  • Employment offers for a Canadian company, clearly stating the foreign workers’ position in an executive or managerial capacity or one involving specialized knowledge along with the job description and remuneration offered.
  • Justification of why the transfer of this employee is necessary and the benefits to the Canadian company and the labour market of such transfer.
  • Tangible evidence of the relationship between the enterprise in Canada and the enterprise in the foreign country.

Even though this program is designed as temporary and limited in duration, you can claim points under the Express Entry system for the job offer after 1 year of full-time work. All employer-specific work permit holders that are LMIA exempt can claim points for the job offer after that period and potentially apply for PR, if they fullfil other requitements.

4. Free-Trade Agreements

Agreements such as USMCA, CETA, and FTAs signed with Korea, Chile, Peru, Columbia, and more enable LMIA exempt transfer of employees between Canada and specific countries. These programs are created for more effortless mobility of business visitors, professionals, intra-company transferees, traders, and investors. 

In most cases, new applicants can request a work permit at the port of entry, such as when arriving at an airport or crossing the land border into Canada. 

5. Owner-Operator LMIA applications

The Owner-Operator LMIA is a variation of Labour Market Impact Assessment the most suitable for business owners. You would need to demonstrate majority ownership in the company to be successful. From April 1st, 2021, these applications are not exempt from advertisements requirements. With this type of LMIA, you can get a work permit to work in Canada and further develop your company. Your spouse may be eligible for an Open-Work Permit. The type of person who would be ideal for an owner-operator LMIA may have the following characteristics:

  • Owns min of 51% of a Canadian business
  • Has relevant business experience in the field, either a previous owner-operator or senior management experience working for another company 
  • The company has created at least one job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident or more.
  • The business has to be active, with signed contracts, invoices and business licenses in place. 
  • There is no minimum investment amount other than as determined by the business plan. 
  • Owner-operators can start their own new company or purchase an existing one
6. International Experience Canada (IEC)

This program has three different categories and it’s based in International Reciprocal youth exchange agreements. Canada has agreements with over thirty countries to make it easier for Canadian youth to work and travel abroad.

Premier Immigration Newsletter

Signup for our Newsletter

Latest in Canadian immigration: Subscribe for latest resources, news, and tips for employers, aspiring immigrants, and job seekers worldwide. 

*We value your privacy. Rest assured, your email remains secure with us, and our inbox is a no-spam zone.