a Foreign Worker

The thought process of an immigration professional concerning the obtaining of a work permit will begin – paradoxically – by determining whether a foreigner could benefit from an exception to the obligation to hold a work permit.

Certain categories of workers are legally exempted from the obligation to hold a work permit. This will be the case, for example, for religious workers or journalists.

Subsequently, the lawyer will verify the possibility of submitting a work permit application through the International Mobility Program.

The International Mobility Program (IMP) creates an exception system for a list of work permits that will not require a labor market impact assessment. Obtaining these work permits is facilitated by authorities that consider the broader issue of “Canadian interests” inherent in certain situations and the protection of Canada’s competitive advantages internationally.

For instance, International Experience Canada programs are designed to provide cultural exchanges for youth. Permits issued for French-speaking workers outside Quebec (Mobilité francophone) seek to recognize and promote the importance of the Canadian Francophonie. Holders of the Certificat de sélection du Québec (A-75) or provincial nominees will be able to benefit from work permits under the IMP in order to continue their settlement process in Canada. Entrepreneurs, intra-company transferees or professionals covered by an international agreement will be able to participate in the economic advancement of Canadian society… The list is growing. It is essential to verify it.

Within the framework of the IMP, the employer must publish a job offer on the Employer Portal to formalize the working conditions offered to the foreign worker. The employer undertakes to respect the terms of the job offered.

If these options are not possible, the lawyer will then turn to the regular work permit system by verifying eligibility for the Global Talent Stream or the Facilitated Labour Market Impact Assessment process for Quebec employers.

The Global Talent Stream promises two-week turnaround on labour market impact assessment applications for certain occupations deemed in demand and highly skilled. The streamlined process for applications from Quebec employers exempts certain positions from the requirement to submit proof of posting.

The regular Temporary Foreign Worker Program dictates the normal process for an employer. The objective of the program is to verify that the foreign worker will not come to work in a job that might be available to the Canadian workforce.

Before applying to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), an employer begins his or her administrative journey with 4 weeks of job postings on at least 3 different media (including Canada Job Bank). This recruitment period will be followed by an application to Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada for a Labour Market Impact Assessment. If you are applying in Quebec, you will also need to apply for a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration du Québec.

These various authorities will verify, among other things, the recruitment made by the employer from the Canadian workforce, the salary offered, the nature of the position available, the qualifications required, the conditions of employment, the resume and the diplomas of the foreign employee. If they judge the impact on the job market to be favourable or neutral, they will issue the documents required for the subsequent submission of a work permit application to IRCC.

It is important to remember that, except where a candidate could apply for an open work permit, applications for work permits are initiated by employers or require the active participation of employers Care must be taken to ensure that the employer is aware of their immigration obligations.

The Immigration Act establishes a compliance regime. Delinquent employers may be subject to fines or other more severe penalties as a result of inspections.

Hiring a Foreign Worker


  • Essential verifications through consultation to develop the best strategy based on the types of permits available and the circumstances of the case.

  • Joint planning and preparation of an application under the IMP or IMT and CAQ in strict compliance with the requirements of the authorities (salary, advertising, etc.)

  • Reviewing documents and preparing application forms for an IMT, CAQ and/or work permit.

  • Written applications explaining the circumstances of your case to the authorities

  • Follow-up of your file and your representation with the authorities.