In most cases, there are four steps to hire a foreign worker from outside Canada.
You may not need to do every step, depending on the job offer and the foreign worker’s country of citizenship and last permanent residence.
Both you and any foreign workers you hire must provide accurate and complete information or the application process may be delayed.
- The four steps to hire a foreign worker
- Other important hiring information
The four steps to hire a foreign worker
These are the four basic steps for hiring a foreign worker.
1. Determine if you need to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
For information on LMIAs, see if you need a Labour Market Impact Assessment. You will need this information for the steps below.
2. Apply for an LMIA from Service Canada, if required.
If you get a letter from Service Canada confirming a positive LMIA, you will need to send certain documents to the foreign worker you wish to hire. The foreign worker will use these documents to apply for a work permit.
Send the following to the foreign worker you wish to hire:
- a copy of the positive LMIA confirmation letter for the job offer, including the file number and
- a detailed job offer. The job offer should include:
- a description of the job duties and responsibilities
- a list of the education, skills and experience that workers must have for the job, including a list of licences and professional credentials
- details on when the job will start and end. Work permits are issued only to foreign workers who are coming to work in Canada for a limited (temporary) time. If workers want to come to live and work permanently in Canada, they must apply for permanent residence through the skilled worker program. See Hiring a federal skilled worker.
- details of the salary you are offering, including wages and other forms of payment (for example, room and board or commission) and
- your name and address, and the address where the foreign worker will be working. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Service Canada officers will check that your business and the job offer so that CIC and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) can confirm the offer.
The foreign worker will include the confirmation letter of the positive LMIA and your written job offer in their application for a work permit. In certain cases, they also need a signed contract.
3. Have the foreign worker complete the work permit application.
You can find information about work permit applications under Working temporarily in Canada. In most cases, foreign workers must apply for a work permit at a Canadian visa office abroad.
The visa office abroad will review the work permit application to see if the worker is eligible to work in Canada.
4. If the worker is eligible, a Canada Border Services Agency officer will issue the work permit at the point of entry when the foreign worker arrives in Canada.
To learn more about this process, see After hiring.
For more detailed information, see Temporary Foreign Worker: Guide for Employers. The guide lists the steps of the application process, the information and documents required to complete the application, and contact information if you need help during the application process.
Other important hiring information
- Depending on their country of citizenship, foreign workers may need a temporary resident visa (TRV) to enter Canada. For more information, see Temporary Resident Visa - How to Apply.
- Depending on the type of work they will do and where they lived in the last year, foreign workers may have to undergo a medical examination before entering Canada. For more information, see about medical examinations.
- Some countries have requirements that citizens must meet before leaving the country. They may need an exit visa or other documents related to their Canadian employment. Workers should check with their government authorities to find out what the requirements are before they attempt to leave.
- Make sure you hire someone with a valid work permit, and follow the conditions described on work permits. See the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for more information on employers’ responsibilities.
Hiring in the province of Quebec
If you are a Quebec employer, the person you wish to hire may also need to get a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) from the Quebec government before a work permit can be issued. For information about the CAQ, see Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (the Quebec immigration department), or contact either a Canadian embassy abroad or a Canada Immigration Centre in Canada.
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