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Canada welcomes immigrants, but it also put policies in place to ensure that Canadian citizens and permanent residents are prioritize when new job opportunities are created. The main way to do that is to require employers to provide a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) when they hire foreign nationals. This process can be cumbersome and act as a roadblock as employers may not be willing to consider any extra step. This can be frustrating for foreign nationals that hope to be considered for job opportunities in Canada.
Fortunately, Canada also recognizes that it needs to attract the best talent in the world in order to thrive. To do so, it is willing to lift the LMIA in some situations. While there are other ways to go around this requirement, here are 3 examples to consider
French-speaking or bilingual workers outside Quebec
Since June 2016, employers that hire foreign nationals that are French speakers are no longer required to get a LMIA for jobs located outside of the province of Quebec. The employer is responsible for a $230 employer compliance fee to be able to submit an offer of employment. Once accepted, the foreign national will receive a temporary work permit and can work with a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant to gain a permanent immigration status in Canada.
Working holiday visa
Although this sounds more like a tourist visa than a work visa, this scheme allows foreign nationals of 32 different countries to come to work in Canada for up to two years on an open work permit. That means that the work permit is not tied to a specific employer, location, or province. Individuals that obtain an open work permit are hence free to live and work anywhere in Canada and employers do not need to get a LMIA. In fact, they don't have to do anything related to immigration. To them, there is virtually no difference between hiring someone on a working holiday visa or a Canadian citizen. They may not even know that you are a foreigner if you don't tell them. One limiting criterion is that there is an age bracket for participants, usually 18-30 or 18-35.
Once you are legally working in Canada, there are ways to apply for permanent residency and settle in Canada. That is something a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant can assist with.
Postgraduate work permit
One of the most common ways to circumvent the LMIA process is to study in Canada and obtain a three year postgraduate open work permit upon completion of the program. This is a popular option, because it allows foreigners to gain Canadian credentials, start to build a network in Canada, use college or university resources and services such as a career centre. Most importantly, many international students qualify for an open work permit when they graduate, which allows them compete on the same level as everyone for jobs.
Labour market impact assessments aim to protect the Canadian job market and ensure a healthy workforce. However, there are cases when Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada recognizes that it can be beneficial for the Canadian society and workforce to waive that requirement. This post presents three of the most typical routes used by immigrants to gain employment in Canada without going through the LMIA process. If you would have been having difficulty finding a job in Canada, you may want to neet with a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant to discuss various options.