As of August 28, there will be an additional step for Canadian employers wishing to hire through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). A new rating system will match workers registered in the Canada Job Bank with advertised positions, and employers will be required to invite candidates who have a certain number of stars in relation to the position.
The government of Canada calls this new feature its Job Match service, and the change affects both high-wage and low-wage Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications. Employers hiring through the TFWP must first obtain a positive LMIA before a foreign worker may be hired for the position. The issuance of a LMIA serves as proof that no Canadian citizen or permanent resident was ready, willing and able to perform the job.
The Job Match services will allow employers to see anonymous profiles of registered job seekers. These profiles correspond to the skills and job requirements stated in an employer’s job posting. Each match will be rated under a system of one to five stars. The more stars received by the job seeker for the position, the greater his or her compatibility with the position.
Not all foreign workers require a LMIA. LMIA-exempt hiring situations are managed under the International Mobility Program (IMP), a broad category that includes initiatives such as the Intra-Company transfer program and recruitment through NAFTA, among others.
LMIA advertising requirements
Unless there is a way for an employer to hire a foreign worker under the IMP, and unless otherwise exempt from advertising in the preliminary process of obtaining a LMIA, employers are required to adhere to certain advertising requirements before applying for a LMIA.
As of August 28, employers, irrespective of province or territory, will be required to advertise on Job Bank and conduct at least two additional methods of recruitment that are consistent with the occupation. Employers from a province or territory with a provincial or territorial job board must use Job Bank, but may also use the provincial or territorial job board as one of the additional recruitment methods.
High-wage and low-wage positions
The LMIA process is different depending on whether the position is classified as “high-wage” or “low-wage”. Jobs in which the employee is to be paid less than the provincial/territorial median wage for the occupation are considered low-wage, while those to be paid at or above the median are considered high-wage.
Effective August 28, employers hiring in a high-wage scenario will be required to invite all job seekers matched within the first 30 days of the job advertisement on Job Bank to apply for the position if they are rated four stars or more.
Employers hiring in a low-wage scenario will be required to invite all job seekers matched within the first 30 days of the job advertisement on Job Bank to apply for the position if they are rated two stars or more.
At this time, Service Canada (the government department overseeing the LMIA process) has not stated whether employers will be required to interview job candidates who apply for the position having been invited to do so by the employer under the new system.
It should be noted that employers in certain sectors and in certain parts of the country may be exempt from the LMIA advertising requirements entirely. For example, the recently-launched Global Talent Stream allows employers in the IT/tech sector to bypass the advertising requirements and bring in workers within a matter of weeks. In addition, the province of Quebec has a facilitated list of occupations that do not require employers to advertise.
Further, some workers may obtain a work permit if their employment in Canada is deemed to bring “significant social or cultural benefit” to the country.
Other positions may not necessarily be exempt, but may have variations to the LMIA advertising requirements.
Some of these options, in addition to options under the IMP, may be reviewed by employers before they embark on the process of securing a LMIA.