To work in Canada, you must have a valid work permit. However, certain duties may be exercised without a work permit. Other duties are exercised with a work permit only and others require a Labor Market Impact Assessment, a Certificate of Acceptance of Quebec if the job is in Quebec, and a permit to work.
Obligations of the employer
An employer who hires a foreign national who does not have the required authorizations is guilty of an offense under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. To exculpate the charge, the employer must establish that he or she has taken all the necessary measures to know the foreigner’s situation under the law.
The employer is liable to a fine of up to $50,000 or imprisonment for up to two (2) years, or both.
Labour market impact assessment (LMIA)
An employer may use temporary foreign labor if it does not find candidates to fill a particular position. Unless exempted from the requirements of the law, foreigners must obtain a work permit before taking a job and employers must validate the job offered.
Conditions of the validation of employment
Thus, the hiring of the foreign worker must not interfere with a labor dispute in the workplace or allow the maintenance or creation of jobs. The chosen candidate must meet the conditions of employment set out in the National Occupational Classification.
For semi-skilled workers, the foreign worker must have completed eleven (11) years of education, have minimum experience or special professional training of at least six (6) months, credentials recognized by the province or the territory, as the case may be, know English or French, have an employment contract with the employer establishing the minimum working and residence conditions, the conditions of access to language courses, as the case may be, and transportation costs between the workplace and the residence abroad.
The offer of employment must be confirmed by the provincial and federal authorities, which will result in joint correspondence for the work permit application.
The job evaluation process assumes that the employer has made reasonable efforts to train or hire residents of Quebec for the offered position, including by posting notices on websites, specialized journals or publications related to the position offered, the improvement of working conditions in order to attract Quebec residents, including recruitment efforts among new graduates or ethnic or non-traditional clienteles.
Certificate of acceptance of Quebec
Once Quebec has finalized the assessment of the position, it will issue a Certificate of acceptance Quebec (CAQ) necessary for who wants to work in Quebec. Once issued, this document may be valid for a period of not more than thirty-six (36) months. Outside Quebec, a work permit will be issued after the job assessment. The duration of the permit varies and is renewable.
Occupations in demand
For now, there is a strong demand for temporary workers in different fields. These jobs benefit from simplified processing and are exempted from mandatory publication rules that increase processing time. The list of jobs identified as in demand and benefiting from this process provides a good indication of the areas of employment in short supply.
Validation of a temporary job may, under certain conditions, allow permanent residence in Canada, according to Quebec criteria.
Similarly, in the case of an application elsewhere in Canada as a skilled worker, a validated job, a job that is being validated or a job that has been exempted from validation may allow points to be scored on the federal selection grid.
EXEMPTION FROM THE PROCESS OF THE LABOUR MARKET IMPACT ASSESSMENT
NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT (NAFTA)
The North American Free Trade Agreement provides numerous job evaluation exemptions to allow the citizens of the three signatory countries (Canada, Mexico and the United States) to facilitate temporary admission to each other’s territory on a reciprocal basis to business people, subject to obtaining a work permit.
Each country, under this agreement, authorizes the temporary entry of four categories of business people in one of the following categories: visiting business people, traders, intracompany transferees and certain categories of professionals identified in the Agreement.
FREE TRADE AGREEMENT CANADA EUROPEAN UNION (ALECUE)
ANADA CHILE (CCFTA)
CANADA COSTA RICA (CERF) AND OTHERS
Exemptions almost identical to those contained in NAFTA are provided for in other agreements signed by Canada. Thus, similar exemptions are possible under the reciprocity rules of the signatory countries of the agreements as well as for the member countries of the World Trade Organization. In addition, there are exemptions for the validation of employment for spouses of highly skilled foreign workers.
Should you require further information on the above issue or to obtain an in-depth analysis of your case, please contact us.