How Canadian Employers Can Hire Immigrants Permanently

14.01.2022

Canadian Employers Can Hire Immigrants Permanently

With Canada continuing to face labor shortages, it’s not surprising that the Express Entry system is the most popular immigration pathway. But if you’re a Canadian employer who wants to hire immigrants for the first time, things can be really confusing – you may not know where you fit in your employee’s immigration journey.

Fortunately, that’s where we come in. In today’s post, we will discuss all you need to know before hiring immigrants to fill permanent jobs.

NOC codes and skill levels

Before thinking about whether Canadian employers can hire immigrants permanently, you need to know the National Occupation Classification (NOC) skill level and code of the position you’re hiring for. NOC skill levels are particularly important because they classify occupations based on factors like the training, work experience, and education level required to work in them. As for now, the only NOC skill levels are 0, A, B, C, and D. 

Since different immigration pathways require different NOC codes and skill levels, this information will help your immigrant employee know what options are available to them. For instance, if their occupation falls under NOC skill level C or D, they can’t use the Express Entry system – it only accepts skill levels 0, A, and B. 

There’s one thing you have to keep in mind though – NOC skill level classifications are due to change in the fall of 2022. Fortunately, this won’t affect the process of hiring immigrants. It may affect the Express Entry system though.

 

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Getting a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

If there’s one thing you should know to hire immigrants in Canada, it’s that most employers need a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to do so. In fact, this is usually the first thing you have to do to get the ball rolling. It is a way to show the federal government that there’s no Canadian available to fill the role you’re hiring for.

The LMIA process is overseen by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and requires you to advertise the position you are hiring for. To meet this requirement, you have to post the job on the Canadian government’s job bank and two other places. It’s only after this that you can apply for an LMIA. If you get a positive LMIA, this means that the ESDC agrees that there’s no Canadian available to fill the role and you need to hire an immigrant.

Interestingly though, there are some instances where you don’t need an LMIA. These include:

  • When you’d already gotten one when you originally hired the employee but now want to extend their contract for at least a year to allow them to get permanent residence
  • When the employee in question has already worked for you full-time or its equivalent in Canada for one year using a work permit under the International Mobility Program, a federal-provincial trade agreement, or international agreement like CUSMA. This also applies to work permits that are considered to be beneficial to Canadian interests

Ultimately, the above-mentioned scenarios are covered in the Canadian government’s work permit exemption codes or LMIA exemption codes. But if you’re hiring someone from a visa-exempt country and are still unsure whether your situation falls under these categories, you can check with the International Mobility Workers Unit. 

 

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How to help your immigrant employee get extra Express Entry points

If your employee is using the Express Entry system for their immigration application, there are ways you can help them get more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. For instance, if you provide them with a valid job offer, they earn an extra 50 points if their occupation falls under NOC skill levels B, A, or 0.

They can even get 200 points due to the job offer if their NOC code starts with 00. There’s something you should keep in mind though – a valid job offer is one that is full-time (30 hours per week) and goes on for at least one year after the attainment of permanent residency. Also, if you don’t have an LMIA, the only way your employee can get these extra points is if they have an LMIA-exempt employer-specific work permit.

How to support your employee as they apply for permanent residence

When your employee is filling their Express Entry profile, they will need the following data from you:

 

  • LMIA number 
  • NOC code
  • Employer name and address
  • Start date 

Beyond that, you can support them by providing information they may not know. For instance, you can tell them more about how they can work under a temporary permit while they wait for the results of their permanent residence application. Since this process can actually take up to 9 months, such information can help ease their minds significantly. 

 

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© Emigrate Canada 2022, How Canadian Employers Can Hire Immigrants Permanently

 

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