Articles & Media

Retaining Your Foreign Workers Permanently


By Rebecca Benic and Brian DeMong

To eliminate the costly and time-consuming process of having to repeatedly prepare applications for Labour Market Opinions (“LMOs”) and work permits for a foreign worker, an employer can retain the services of the worker on a long-term basis by sponsoring him or her for Canadian permanent residence under a Provincial Nominee Program or the Federal Skilled Worker with Arranged Employment Program. In the alternative, by employing the foreign worker in a higher-skilled position, dependent on the worker’s educational history and employment experience in Canada, he or she may be eligible to apply for permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class category without employer sponsorship.

Provincial Nominee Programs

Most provinces in Canada have implemented a program whereby a foreign worker who has an offer of permanent employment and who possesses the requisite education, skills and professional experience can be sponsored by his or her employer to apply for a provincial nomination. If the nomination is granted, the foreign worker can then apply for permanent residence. The criteria that must be met to be approved as a provincial nominee varies from province to province, but generally the requirements are less information and documentation intensive than other application categories. One substantial benefit of applying under this category is that once the foreign worker receives the nomination, his or her work permit can be extended on an LMO-exempt basis while the permanent residence application is being processed. Another benefit is that the processing time for permanent residence applications filed by provincially-nominated applicants is considerably faster than applications filed under theFederal Skilled Worker Program.

Federal Skilled Worker – Arranged Employment Program

To apply under this category, a higher-skilled foreign worker must have an offer of permanent employment in addition to being able to meet other requirements. Specifically, to be eligible to file an application under this category, the foreign worker must be able to achieve a certain number of points on a point system developed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Points are allocated for meeting a number of criteria, including education, work history, age, language proficiency, and suitability.

Canadian Experience Class

Foreign workers who are employed in a high-skilled position and who meet additional criteria, including language proficiency and Canadian employment, can submit an application under this category. The main advantage of this category is that the application processing time is generally the quickest.

McLennan Ross advises and assists their valued corporate clients on various immigration, visa and border issues and challenges. For additional information on how to best retain foreign workers permanently please do not hesitate to contact Brian DeMong, 403-543-9151, Gerhard Seifner, 780-482-9230 or Rebecca Benic, 403-303.0156.

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