Canadian Immigration Services



Canadian employers, or foreign entities looking to set up business in Canada, rely on foreign workers for key professional positions. Finding the right talent is challenging, supporting that person’s entry to Canada should not be a roadblock to business growth.

At Babel Immigration Law, we work with employers to set strong immigration policies that support the short- and long-term goals of the organization and the needs of the workforce. This requires a keen eye for immigration compliance matters to keep employers audit-ready and ahead of the curve.

We work with employers to set up and maintain the Employer Portal with Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and represent employers with respect to all types of temporary work permits, including:

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A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) that allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers for temporary job positions. The LMIA is essentially a confirmation that hiring a foreign worker will not negatively impact the Canadian labor market. Employers in Canada typically need an LMIA to hire foreign workers for most types of jobs, although there are some exemptions and specific programs that do not require an LMIA.

The LMIA process involves several steps:

  1. Job Offer: The Canadian employer must make a formal job offer to a foreign worker and ensure that the offer meets certain requirements, including offering competitive wages and providing appropriate working conditions.
  2. Application: The employer applies for an LMIA to Service Canada, which is a part of ESDC. The application includes details about the job, the efforts made to recruit Canadian citizens or permanent residents, and the rationale for hiring a foreign worker.
  3. Assessment: ESDC reviews the application and assesses whether hiring a foreign worker is justified based on the impact on the local labor market. They consider factors such as the availability of Canadian workers and the need for the position.
  4. Decision: After reviewing the application, ESDC will either issue a positive or negative LMIA. A positive LMIA allows the employer to hire a foreign worker for the specified position, while a negative LMIA means that the employer cannot hire a foreign worker for that job.
  5. Temporary Work Permit: If the LMIA is positive, the foreign worker can use the positive LMIA to apply for a temporary work permit to work in Canada.

The Global Talent Stream (GTS) is a specialized stream within Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program, designed to help Canadian employers quickly access highly skilled and specialized foreign workers. It is managed by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

The GTS was created to address labor shortages in certain industries and to promote the growth of the Canadian economy by attracting top talent from around the world. It provides a faster and more streamlined process for employers to obtain a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which is a key requirement for hiring foreign workers in Canada.

The Global Talent Stream includes two categories:

  1. Category A: This category is for high-growth Canadian companies that are referred to the GTS by a designated referral partner, such as the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service. To qualify, companies must meet specific criteria related to their growth and innovation potential.
  2. Category B: This category is for Canadian employers in occupations on the Global Talent Occupations List. These are specific high-demand, highly-skilled occupations that have been identified as eligible for the GTS.

The GTS aims to expedite the LMIA process, allowing employers to hire foreign workers with specialized skills more quickly, often within a few weeks rather than several months. This helps Canadian businesses access the global talent they need to remain competitive in the international market.

the International Mobility Program (IMP) is a Canadian immigration initiative managed by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The IMP is designed to facilitate the entry of foreign workers into Canada, often without the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which is typically required for most work permits.

The International Mobility Program includes various categories and work permit streams, such as:

  1. Open Work Permits: These permits allow foreign workers to work in Canada without a specific job offer, or with certain employers, without an LMIA.
  2. Intra-Company Transfers: For employees of a multinational company who are being transferred to a Canadian branch, subsidiary, or affiliate.
  3. Reciprocal Employment: For foreign workers coming to Canada under a reciprocal agreement, often as part of youth exchange programs.
  4. Spousal/Common-Law Partner Work Permits: These permits allow the spouses or common-law partners of certain foreign workers or students to work in Canada.
  5. Post-Graduate Work Permits: For international students who have completed a program of study in Canada and want to gain Canadian work experience.
  6. Research and Academia: For researchers, professors, and other academic personnel.

An intra-company transfer work permit in Canada is a type of work permit that allows a foreign national who is currently employed by a multinational company to be transferred to a Canadian branch, subsidiary, affiliate, or parent company of the same multinational organization. This type of work permit is designed to facilitate the transfer of key personnel, managers, and specialized knowledge workers within the company to Canada for temporary assignments.

Key features of the intra-company transfer work permit in Canada include:

  1. Eligibility: To qualify for this type of work permit, the foreign national must have been employed by the multinational company for a specified period, typically in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge role. The exact eligibility criteria may vary depending on the specific work permit category.
  2. Duration: The work permit is usually granted for a specific duration, which can vary depending on the specific category and the job role. It is typically a temporary work permit.
  3. No Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA): One of the advantages of the intra-company transfer work permit is that it does not require the employer to obtain a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which is a document that demonstrates a need for a foreign worker when hiring from outside of Canada.
  4. Corporate Relationship: The Canadian entity to which the employee is being transferred and the foreign employer must have a qualifying corporate relationship, such as being parent companies, subsidiaries, or affiliates.
  5. Job Categories: Intra-company transfer work permits are usually categorized into different streams, such as the Intra-Company Transfer – Executive, Intra-Company Transfer – Manager, and Intra-Company Transfer – Specialized Knowledge. The specific job category will determine the eligibility requirements.
  6. Transition to Permanent Residence: In some cases, individuals who enter Canada on an intra-company transfer work permit may be eligible to apply for permanent residence under specific immigration pathways, such as the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) or the Express Entry system.

A business visitor to Canada is an individual who travels to Canada for the purpose of conducting temporary business activities, such as meetings, conferences, negotiations, or exploring business opportunities. Business visitors are not the same as individuals seeking employment in Canada or establishing a permanent business in the country. Instead, they engage in short-term, non-remunerative activities related to their business interests.

Key points about business visitors to Canada:

  1. Temporary Stay: Business visitors come to Canada for a short period, usually for a few days or weeks. The stay should be temporary, and the visitor must have a residence and ties to their home country to ensure they return after their business activities are complete.
  2. Business Activities: Business visitors can engage in various activities, including attending meetings, conferences, trade shows, negotiations, and exploring business opportunities. They are not permitted to work in the Canadian labor market or enter the Canadian job market.
  3. No Direct Remuneration: Business visitors should not receive direct remuneration from a Canadian source for their activities in Canada. Their primary source of income should be outside of Canada.
  4. Visitor Visa or eTA: Depending on their country of residence, business visitors may require a visitor visa (also known as a Temporary Resident Visa) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter Canada. Citizens of visa-exempt countries generally need an eTA, while those from non-exempt countries require a visitor visa.
  5. Temporary Resident Status: Business visitors typically enter Canada as tourists (temporary residents) and conduct their business activities during their stay. They must inform the Canadian immigration authorities of their purpose for visiting when asked.
  6. Business Visitor versus Work Permit: It’s crucial to distinguish between business visitors and individuals who require work permits. Work permits are needed if someone intends to work in Canada, receive remuneration from a Canadian employer, or engage in activities that are not considered business visitor activities.
  7. Compliance with Canadian Laws: Business visitors must adhere to Canadian immigration laws and regulations. Failure to do so can result in removal from the country and future immigration issues.

Employer compliance with the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) regulations is crucial when hiring foreign workers in Canada. Ensuring compliance is essential to avoid legal issues and to support the country’s immigration and labor policies. Here are some key aspects of employer compliance with IRCC regulations in Canada:

  1. Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA): In most cases, employers must obtain an LMIA before hiring foreign workers. An LMIA is a document that demonstrates the need for a foreign worker and ensures that the employment of a foreign worker will not negatively affect the Canadian labor market. Employers must comply with the LMIA conditions outlined in the approval.
  2. Compliance with Job Offer: Employers must adhere to the terms and conditions of the job offer made to the foreign worker. This includes salary, working conditions, and other benefits as specified in the offer of employment.
  3. Worker’s Rights and Protections: Employers must provide foreign workers with the same rights and protections as Canadian workers. This includes workplace safety, employment standards, and labor rights. Discrimination and exploitation of foreign workers are not tolerated.
  4. Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and International Mobility Program (IMP): Employers hiring through these programs must ensure they meet program-specific requirements. TFWP and IMP have different streams and rules, so employers should be aware of the one that applies to their situation.
  5. Compliance Inspections: IRCC, as well as Service Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency, may conduct inspections to ensure employers are following the rules and conditions related to hiring foreign workers. Non-compliance can result in penalties, fines, or a loss of the ability to hire foreign workers in the future.
  6. Reporting and Record-Keeping: Employers are required to keep records and provide information as requested by IRCC. This includes maintaining accurate records of hours worked, wages paid, and adherence to LMIA conditions.
  7. Notification of Changes: Employers must notify IRCC of any significant changes in the foreign worker’s employment status, such as changes in job duties, location, or termination of employment.
  8. Employer Compliance Fee: Some employers may be required to pay an employer compliance fee when hiring foreign workers. The fee amount varies depending on the number of foreign workers and the specific program under which they are hired.

CUSMA, which stands for the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (formerly known as NAFTA), allows for the temporary entry of certain professionals to work in Canada. This agreement facilitates the movement of professionals between these three countries for specific types of work. To work in Canada under CUSMA, you will need to meet certain requirements and go through a specific application process.

Here are the key steps to obtain a CUSMA professional work permit in Canada:

  1. Determine your eligibility: Ensure that your occupation is on the list of eligible professions under CUSMA. The list includes various professions such as accountants, engineers, management consultants, and more.
  2. Obtain a job offer: You must have a job offer from a Canadian employer in an eligible profession.
  3. Verify your qualifications: You should have the necessary qualifications, education, or certification required for your profession in Canada. This might involve obtaining an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) to demonstrate the equivalency of your foreign education to Canadian standards.
  4. Prepare necessary documentation: Gather all required documents, including your job offer letter, qualifications, passport, and other supporting documents.
  5. Apply for a work permit: Visa exempt nationals (US and Mexican citizens) can apply for the work permit on entry to Canada. Accompanying dependents who need a visa will need to apply online for a TRV before accompanying the principal applicant to Canada.