By: Evelyn Ackah, Immigration Lawyer
If you cannot find qualified Canadians or Permanent Residents to meet the needs in your work force and opt to offer a permanent job to a foreign worker, you may do so with a valid job offer to an Express Entry candidate. This can enable the candidate to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker.
Express Entry is a system used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to manage applications for certain economic immigration programs, which include:
- The Federal Skilled Worker Program
- The Federal Skilled Trades Program
- The Canadian Experience Class; and
- a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program
Jobs Considered as Skilled Work
IRCC has made some changes to Express Entry, including the number of Comprehensive Ranking System points that a candidate will be awarded for valid job offers, as well as a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemptions for certain jobs. These changes now make it easier for businesses to find candidates through Express Entry to meet labour shortages, and for skilled workers to secure job offers.
Skilled work includes management jobs, professional jobs that require a degree from a university, or technical jobs and skilled trades that require a college diploma or training as an apprentice, listed under Skill Type 0 and Skill Level A and B in the National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Hiring an Express Entry Candidate
To hire an Express Entry candidate, employers are required to use the same recruiting and hiring practices that are currently being used to hire any foreign worker. That is, an employer will first make efforts to try and find a Canadian or Permanent Resident to fill the job and meet some requirements, including posting a job advertisement on the Government of Canada’s Job Bank, and advertising in two other places. Once this is done and the employer still cannot find a qualified Canadian or Permanent Resident, then the employer will have to:
- get a positive LMIA from Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada, in most cases; and
- offer the job to an Express Entry candidate, supported by the LMIA (or, if you have a person you want to hire who is not in the pool, the person will have to create an Express Entry profile), then, the candidate may be invited to apply for permanent residence in the next invitation round from the Express Entry pool.
It should be noted that an LMIA is not required if:
1. the candidate is already working temporarily in Canada for you or your company in an NOC 0, A or B job, and you:
- supported the candidate’s work permit application with an LMIA; and
- now wish to extend the job offer for a period of one year after the candidate has gotten his/her permanent resident visa.
2. the candidate
- is currently working temporarily in Canada
- has a valid work permit for an NOC 0, A or B job with your or your company’s name on it and was exempt from an LMIA under:
- an international agreement (such as the North America Free Trade Agreement)
- a federal-provincial agreement OR
- the Canadian interest category; and
- has one year of full-time work experience (or an equal amount of part-time work) for you or your company.
If the candidate falls under any of the above categories, the candidate can create an Express Entry profile or update an existing profile to include the:
- employer’s name and address
- start date
- LMIA number (if this applies) and
- NOC Code that is applicable to the job
While the application for permanent residence is being processed, candidates not already working in Canada are expected to submit a separate temporary work permit application and pay the required processing fee for them to legally work in Canada, but if they are already working, then they are permitted to continue working temporarily in Canada. These processes may appear easy but having an immigration lawyer to assist in the application processes, will make a huge difference. We can assist you with your application if you require any legal assistance.
Evelyn Ackah is the Founder and Managing Lawyer at Ackah Business Immigration Law. She has been practicing law since 1999 and brings her passion and knowledge for immigration law to her corporate and individual clients from all over the world.
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