How Can Foreigners Be Recruited to Work in Canada?


How Can Foreigners Be Recruited to Work in Canada?

One of the main issues the great country of Canada has is its inefficiency to withhold talent, especially qualified and unqualified workers to be able to compete with other countries when it comes to human resources. It has the right infrastructure and capital to become a powerhouse, but often lacks employees to fulfill that potential and the issue lies in better recruitment.

In fact, despite a huge wage improvement recently, Canada still faces labour shortages, especially in small businesses. More than half of Canada’s small business is unable to find workers to continue their operations or to meet new goals.

This became increasingly worse after the pandemic died out at the beginning of September 2021, when demand increased but businesses saw themselves unable to hire enough workers to fill the gaps.

In fact, according to a study done by the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB), 55% of small businesses don’t have the required number of employees to run the business and 16% that have, will see a significant loss in terms of production, or face additional costs if they want to meet demand.

This issue became more evident after some industries stopped for a long time, for example, the hospitality industry, and when they returned many of their employees had upskilled or chose to work in other sectors where they could work from home or earn more. Also according to the study conducted by the CFIB, the shortage continued even after many employers had raised the wage.

Apart from the food industry, also healthcare and retail industries suffered from the pandemic, mainly because workers try to avoid public settings due to the fear of contracting the virus. Since the economy reopened in the summer of 2021, the job vacancies have risen 22%, that’s over 800,000 job vacancies.

One of the solutions for this issue is to hire foreigners and visitors, for both full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal jobs. This way, employers are able to fill the gaps in certain job positions and help Canada progress.


How to recruit foreign workers in Canada?

There are recruitment agencies that help foreigners and visitors to get work while they are in Canada. They facilitate the search for employers through a system that enables skilful workers to be connected with employers and jobs in an easy and very efficient way.

In order to recruit foreign workers and visitors, most businesses will need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before hiring a foreign worker. However, not all employers will need one to be able to hire. Here’s what you need:

  • There is a need for temporary foreign workers
  • There are no Canadians or any other permanent residents available to do the job

In case the foreign worker might be exempt from needing a work permit, the employer will have to check one of the following:

  • Check the LMIA exemption codes and other work exemptions
  • If there is an exemption that can apply to the foreign worker, the employer will have to add it to the employment offer

Alternatively, if the foreign worker is outside Canada and is from a country where the nationals are visa-exempt, the employer can contact the International Mobility Workers Unit (IMWU).


How to apply for an LMIA?

Employers will need their LMIA from the Department of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Depending on the type of program the employer is hiring through, the LMIA application process might be slightly different.

Here are the differences:

  • For high-wage workers: After following the first steps above, if the employer wants to recruit a high-wage worker, they’ll need to read about the program requirements for high-wage positions and apply through the high-wage workers’ stream. This can be done through the LMIA Online portal or using an application form.
  • Low-wage workers: To apply for low-wage workers, the employer will need to go through the initial steps and apply through the stream for low-wage workers
  • Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program: The employer will still need to apply for an LMIA and choose the right stream through the website, or using the current application.
  • Agricultural Workers: If the employer is looking for non-seasonal agricultural workers, they will have to apply through a different stream than the seasonal agricultural workers. The way to apply doesn’t differ much from any other applications, but the employer needs to select the right stream when applying.

Once the employer receives their LMIA, a copy of the confirmation letter should be given to any foreign worker, so they can then apply for a work permit.


How to hire foreign workers if you don’t need an LMIA?

Through the International Mobility Program, employers can hire without the need to apply for an LMIA. There are many exemptions that can be searched on the Canadian government website. For example, many airline personnel can be granted an exemption. However, there are a few differences for the employer if they want to go through this method.

  • The employer will have to pay an employer compliance fee
  • They will have to submit an offer of employment through the Employer Portal

When applying for LMIA, the employer will have to do this before the worker applies for a work permit.

There is another way to apply for hiring foreign workers through a program called Francophone Mobility. This allows temporary workers outside of Quebec to be hired. For that, the workers need to be bilingual or Francophone.

Through this program, employers can hire workers that are able to speak English and French and are able to offer services in the two most prominent languages in Canada.

The employer will need to offer employment through the Employers Portal. In order to do this, the businesses need to contact the Canadian Visa office located in Paris. In the application, the employer will need to include the job title of the future worker, the duties, the start and end dates of employment, as well as its salaries and other benefits.

Businesses can benefit from this exemption and hire people from countries such as France, Tunisia, Morocco, Belgium, Algeria and more.

Employers will not be charged to apply for this program.


If your business is established in the province of Quebec.

If the employer is located in Quebec and wants to hire temporary foreign workers, first, the worker will need a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) from the Immigration Ministry of Quebec before they can apply for a work permit.


Who are we?

We are a company where our employees have vast experience in hiring and connecting people to jobs. As a Canadian company, our aim is to help Canada grow and for that, we aim to give peace of mind to employers across Canada so they can perform their duties and activities accordingly and help Canada grow. Leaving the country in great shape for future generations to come.



  1. How to hire a temporary foreign worker?

There are three steps to hiring a temporary foreign worker. First the employer or business has to submit an offer of employment or fill a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), this is to find out if the business needs that vacancy to be filled out and there’s no Canadian worker to do it.

Then, the business has to have the employee apply for a work permit. And lastly, tell the worker what they should be expecting from the job they are going to receive a letter of introduction so the worker can apply for an actual permit to work.

  1. How much is a Canadian LMIA?

For an employer to apply for an LMIA the current fee is $1000 per worker.

  1. How can I apply with an application form?

To apply with an application form the employer needs to fill the application form EMP5593, a job offer signed by both the employer and the worker, and proof of a legitimate business.

  1. Who pays for the LMIA?

Employers do. They need to pay this fee to Employment and Social Development Canada but won’t need to pay an employer compliance fee.

  1. For how long is an LMIA valid?

The LMIA application is valid for a period of six months. Both the foreign worker and the employer will have that time to apply for a proper work permit. If the worker fails to apply for one, the employer will have to apply for another LMIA.

  1. What happens after an LMIA is issued?

After the application for an LMIA is processed, employers will receive either a positive LMIA allowing the employer to hire a foreign worker or a negative LMIA which doesn’t allow the employer to hire foreign workers.



Foreign workers are essential for the Canadian industry, now more than ever. Many businesses, in particular small businesses, are facing shortages of labour that can be fixed by allowing foreign workers to come into the country and fill those job positions.

This will not only improve the Canadian economy but will also give the opportunity to many skilled workers to work in Canada where they can earn more and be better compensated than in their own countries.

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