How do I hire a temporary foreign worker?
There are 3 basic steps to hire a temporary foreign worker:
- Get an LMIA or submit an offer of employment
- Have the worker apply for a work permit
- Tell the worker what to expect from their application
Get an LMIA or submit an offer of employment
First, find out if you need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This assessment verifies that there is a need for the job you are offering and that there is no Canadian worker available to do it. Read about the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to find out more about LMIAs and where to apply.
If you don’t need an LMIA, submit an offer of employment and pay the employer compliance fee using the Employer Portal. Provide the offer of employment number you receive to the worker you want to hire so they can apply for their work permit.
Some employers don’t need to submit an offer of employment in the Employer Portal or pay the employer compliance fee. Find out if you are exempt.
Have the worker apply for a work permit
Once you have an LMIA number or offer of employment number, send those details to the worker with the job offer. They need to use this information to apply for a work permit.
If you are exempt from the employer compliance process, send the worker the employment contract. They can use it to apply.
Tell the worker what to expect from their application
Tell the worker that they will receive a letter of introduction when their work permit has been approved. The actual work permit is issued by a border services officer at the port of entry when the worker arrives in Canada. If the worker is already in Canada and eligible to apply, we will mail the work permit to them.
Find out more about hiring temporary workers.
As an employer, what are my obligations to temporary foreign workers?
Your responsibilities as an employer include to:
- make sure that the temporary workers have their work permit;
- make sure that the temporary workers follow the conditions and time limits outlined on their work permit;
- meet your commitments to the temporary workers regarding wages, working conditions and the occupation that was listed in the offer of employment or Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA);
- comply with provincial, territorial or federal employment laws;
- ensure that your business remains active during the period of the work permit validity;
- make reasonable efforts to provide a workplace free of abuse; and
- help the temporary workers obtain the correct identification and documents (for example, social insurance number and medical documents).
Find out what to do after hiring a temporary worker.
Can I fire an incompetent foreign worker?
Yes. If an employee does not carry out the duties agreed to in the contract, you can give the employee the required notice or pay in lieu of notice. For more information, contact your provincial or territorial labour standards board.
What if a foreign worker becomes sick, has an accident, is hospitalized or needs home recovery?
Your employee is entitled to sick leave, as set out in provincial or territorial legislation. Do not force your employee to work if they are ill. The required health or workers' compensation plan in your province or territory should cover the employee.
Your responsibility depends on the coverage provided under these plans. Your employee may also be able to collect Employment Insurance sickness benefits. For more information, contact your provincial or territorial labour standards board.
How do I find out if I need a Labour Market Impact Assessment to hire a temporary worker?
There are two ways to find out if you need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA):
- you can review the list of LMIA exemption codes yourself, or
- you can contact an International Mobility Worker Unit (IMWU) for help.
You can request an opinion from an IMWU if you think a temporary worker does not need an LMIA or a work permit, as long as the temporary worker is:
- from a visa-exempt country, and
- currently outside of Canada.
Find out how to review the LMIA exemption codes or how to contact an IMWU.
If my company merges with, or is taken over by, another company, what happens to employees who have temporary work permits?
The new company will take responsibility for any temporary workers at business locations that were included in the merger if:
- it becomes the successor in interest by taking over your company’s assets and liabilities
- it takes over the portion of your business that employs your temporary workers
The new employer doesn’t need to submit a new offer of employment and the worker doesn’t need a new work permit if both of the following apply:
- both companies (the original employer and the new employer) run the same type of business
- none of the work permit conditions change, including the following:
- job duties
- work location
If the type of business, the wages, the job duties or the work location changes, affected workers will need to get new work permits. In this case, the new employer will need to either submit a new offer of employment for each worker or get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) (if the job is not LMIA-exempt). These workers can’t keep working until they get their new work permits.
In all cases, both companies should keep all documents about the merger or takeover in case we do a compliance inspection.
The new employer will need to submit a new offer to us if they want to extend the worker’s permit when it expires.
What do I need to do if my company name changes?
You need to confirm the name change in writing to your affected temporary workers. This way, they can show proof that links the new company name to the one listed on their work permit. The letter should be signed and include the following:
- temporary worker’s information
- name and address
- Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada client ID number
- occupation and work location
- date work permit was issued and date it will expire
- company’s information before the name change
- name and address
- phone number
- Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business number
- company’s new information
- name and address
- phone number
- CRA business number
- date new employer name takes effect
- work location
- name and contact details for employer representative
- reason for the name change
Do I need to submit a new offer of employment if something in the offer has changed?
If the temporary worker needs to get a new work permit (because of changes to the employer, the occupation or the work location), a new offer of employment is also usually needed.
For example, you will need a new offer of employment in these situations:
- Your business name has changed and your worker applies for a new permit with the new business name listed on it.
- The job or duties have changed and they fall under a different National Occupational Classification code.
- The job location has changed and one of the following applies:
- The worker was only allowed to work at a specific location (it’s a condition of their work permit).
- The job location is part of the reason you were exempt from requiring a Labour Market Impact Assessment (for example, the worker is a provincial nominee and can only work in a specific province or territory).
- The new job location is less favourable to the worker (including accommodations and working conditions). For example, the worker agreed to work in a rural town and must now move to the city, or agreed to work in an office and must now work in a warehouse.
Make sure you keep all documents about any changes you make. You may need to give them to an officer if we inspect your business.
If you’re worried that you may have been non-compliant because of any of these changes, you can let us know about it. You can also choose to submit a new offer of employment when you make a change to the original offer.
What is the employer compliance fee? How do I pay it?
The employer compliance fee is a fee that employers must pay to hire a temporary worker through the International Mobility Program (IMP).
You don’t need to pay the employer compliance fee if you hire a worker:
To pay, create an account in the Employer Portal and submit an offer of employment.
Employer compliance exemptions
Some employers don’t need to pay the employer compliance fee when they are LMIA-exempt. Find out if you are exempt.
I paid the employer compliance fee, but the temporary worker’s application for a work permit was refused. Can I get a refund?
Yes. You will get a refund automatically. You do not have to apply for it. If you do not receive a notice about your refund within 8 weeks, follow the instructions to obtain a refund.
I paid the employer compliance fee, but the worker is not coming to Canada. Can I get a refund?
Yes, you can get a refund. However, you must withdraw your offer of employment first. Once the offer of employment has been withdrawn, a refund will be issued automatically to the same payment method you used to pay. Refunds can take up to a year to be processed.
Read the Employer Portal User Guide to find out how to withdraw your offer.
I want to submit an offer of employment. Where can I find the IMM 5802 form?
The IMM 5802 form is no longer accepted. All offers of employment must be submitted online through the Employer Portal. Find out how to enrol in the portal and submit an offer of employment.
After I submit an offer of employment, do I have to wait for it to be approved before the temporary worker can apply for a work permit?
No, you do not have to wait. When you successfully submit the offer of employment through the Employer Portal, you will be given an offer of employment number. You will find this number in the employment queue in your portal account. You need to give this number to the temporary worker. The worker must include the offer of employment number in their work permit application.
The worker can apply for a work permit as soon as they receive the offer of employment number from you.
Can an authorized representative submit an offer of employment on behalf of an employer?
Yes. The employer must
- access their account in the Employer Portal;
- create a secondary user account; and
- assign this secondary account to the authorized representative.
Read the Employer Portal enrolment guide to find out how to create and assign a secondary user account.
Employers no longer need to submit the IMM 5476, Use of Representative form.
- Authorized representatives must have a separate GCKey for each employer they represent.
- Authorized representatives who submit offers of employment on behalf of an employer must use the Employer Portal to submit these offers. They will not be able to submit offers of employment through the Authorized Paid Representative Portal.
I don’t have a Canada Revenue Agency number. How do I submit an offer of employment?
All Canadian organizations with employees must have a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business number. If you want to hire temporary workers, you will need to get a CRA number.
There is an exception if the foreign worker is both the employer and the temporary worker. This applies if you are a foreign worker who is:
- self-employed or an entrepreneur and
- starting a business in Canada
In this case, you must email us with the following information:
- your name
- your date of birth
- your citizenship and country of birth
- your gender
We will use this information to link your offer of employment (as the employer) to your work permit application (as the temporary worker).
How do I change an offer of employment, or fix a mistake I made in one?
If we’ve already approved the temporary worker’s work permit, you must submit a new offer of employment in the Employer Portal. You’ll need to pay the employer compliance fee again and the worker will have to apply for a new work permit.
If we haven’t approved the work permit yet, you can withdraw your offer of employment in the Employer Portal. Then, submit a new offer with the new information.
If the temporary worker has already submitted a work permit application to us, they’ll also need to withdraw their work permit application. They can send us a request to withdraw their application by using our Web form. They must include the reason for the withdrawal request. They’ll then have to apply for a new work permit with the new offer of employment number.
Do I submit an offer of employment even if a foreign company will pay my company’s temporary worker?
Yes, if your Canadian company has contracted the services of a foreign company, you must submit the offer of employment in the Employer Portal. This is required under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations. Even though the foreign company will pay the temporary worker’s salary, you have hired them to work in Canada.
Use the Alternate compensation scheme field in the offer of employment to explain that the foreign company will pay the temporary worker.
Who submits the offer of employment if a temporary worker will work for two or more Canadian companies?
It depends on the relationship between you and the other employer(s).
If the job offers are separate, you and the other Canadian employers each have to submit an offer of employment in the Employer Portal. The temporary worker will need a work permit for each job in this case.
If you are hiring a temporary worker to provide services to another company, then you must submit the offer of employment. You must also meet the conditions of the International Mobility Program. Include details about the job arrangement in the offer of employment in one of these fields:
- Explanation of how the job meets the requirements of the exemption being requested
- Main duties of the job
Under the International Mobility Program, can I reuse an offer of employment number if the matched work permit application was refused?
When you submit an offer of employment in the Employer Portal, an offer of employment number is generated. We match this number to the worker’s work permit application.
Once an officer makes a decision on the work permit application, that offer of employment number can’t be reused for any other work permit application. If a new work permit application needs to be submitted, you must submit a new offer of employment (along with the fee).
Will I get a receipt for an offer of employment I submit through the Employer Portal?
Issues with fee payment receipts in the Employer Portal
The fee payment receipt isn’t showing up in your account messages. This problem is temporary and will be resolved as soon as possible. For now, you should print the payment confirmation on the Moneris page.
Yes. You can get your receipt in 2 ways:
- You can print the transaction receipt after you pay the employer compliance fee. This receipt will show up on your screen after you submit your payment.
- You can retrieve your receipt at any time in your Employer Portal account. Look in the “Account messages” section of the Welcome page.
The “Order ID number” on the transaction receipt is the receipt number.
Can I change or fix a mistake in my business information in the Employer Portal?
Yes, you can change the following:
- business legal name
- business operating name
- Canada Revenue Agency business number
- primary user
If you haven’t submitted any offers using the Employer Portal
You need to create a new GCKey and enrol in the Employer Portal again with the correct business information.
If you have already submitted at least one offer using the Employer Portal
Send us an email. Write “Business information change” in the subject line and include these details:
- the information currently in the field
- the updated information
- your organization’s primary user contact name and email address
It can take 8 weeks or more to update your business information if you have submitted an offer.
What is my Personal Identification Number (PIN) for the Employer Portal and where do I find it?
A PIN is a number that some users need to enrol in the Employer Portal. This number links accounts under the same organization together. You need a PIN if:
- you are a secondary or branch user, or
- you lost your GCKey or password and need to access your account.
You will need a secondary or branch account if your organization has already enrolled in the Employer Portal, but you are:
- a branch of the organization, or
- another employee who submits offers of employment for the organization or branch.
If you need to create a secondary or branch account, you must contact your organization’s or branch’s primary user. The primary user will give you your PIN. When you enrol in the portal, choose Yes when you are asked if you received a PIN.
You don’t need a PIN if you are the first person to enrol your organization in the Employer Portal. When you enrol in the portal, choose No when you are asked if you received a PIN.
If you lost your GCKey or password, you will need a PIN to access your account. Find out how to get a PIN if you lost your secure credentials.
I can't create an account in the Employer Portal because the information I entered already exists. What do I do?
If the business number or legal name you enter when you enrol is already being used in the Employer Portal, you won’t be able to create an account.
If you lost your GCKey or password and tried to create a new account to start over, you won’t be able to use the portal. Find out how to access your account.
If you don’t know why your request to enrol was refused, email the Employer Portal.
I can log into my account in the Employer Portal, but I can't submit an offer of employment. What is the problem?
It could be one of several issues.
You didn’t enrol in the Employer Portal.
Make sure you enrolled in the Employer Portal and not in one of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s other portals. If your enrolment request lists “Designated Learning institution”, “Authorized Paid Representative” or anything other than “Employer Portal”, you did not choose the right portal.
When you enrol, make sure you only click Yes when you are asked about enrolling in the Employer Portal.
An error happened when you enrolled.
If you received an email that says your account is active, but your enrolment status is still “in progress”, you need to email the Employer Portal. Write “PIN reset” in the subject line and include your first and last name in the body of the email.
Another user has started the first offer of employment.
If there are multiple people using your organization’s Employer Portal account, only one of you will be able to submit the account’s first offer of employment. Once the “Submit an offer of employment” button is selected for the first time under the account, it will no longer be available to anyone else.
If another user has started the first offer, they must complete and submit it or delete it. Once they submit or delete the offer, everyone else will be able to select the “Submit an offer of employment” button.
The account you are logging into is not active.
If you tried to enrol in the portal and were refused, or you tried to revoke your GCKey, you won’t be able to select the “Submit an offer of employment” button. Follow the steps to make your account active:
- Email the Employer Portal to receive a Personal Identification Number (PIN).
- Write “PIN Reset” in the subject line and include your first and last name. You will receive a PIN and instructions to create a new GCKey.
- Enrol in the Employer Portal again, using your new GCKey and PIN.
- Select Yes when you are asked if you received a PIN. This will be the first question.
- Enter your information and create your new security questions.
You should now be able to submit an offer of employment. The PIN you received will link your new GCKey to your active account.
I've completed all the offer of employment forms in the Employer Portal, but I still can’t submit it. What should I do?
If you used special characters, like ampersands or slashes, in the forms, you won’t be able to submit the offer. You can only use hyphens, brackets and apostrophes in the portal. If you use anything else in your answers, the field will not validate correctly and you won’t be able to submit the offer.
Also, if you copy and paste information from a Word document, the formatting may not transfer properly. Make sure you type the information directly into the field.
If you still can’t submit the offer of employment, email the Employer Portal.
Can I withdraw an offer of employment?
Yes. In the Employer Portal, select the “Withdraw application” option next to your employment offer. This will also trigger a refund.
If you don’t see the “Withdraw application” option, use the Employer Portal User Guide to find out how to proceed.
Can a human resource placement agency submit offers of employment on behalf of my company?
No. The temporary worker will be working directly for your company, not the placement agency. This means that the offer of employment must come from your company. Only the primary employer or its secondary users (including authorized representatives) and branches can submit offers.
Can I attach documents to the offers of employment I submit in the Employer Portal?
No. You need to provide all the necessary details about your offer of employment in the available form fields. You also need to type everything into the forms fields directly. You can’t copy and paste from an outside document.
Can I attach documents about the offer of employment to a foreign worker’s work permit application?
No. You must submit the offer of employment electronically through the Employer Portal and fill out the forms provided in the portal completely before submitting the offer.
We won’t consider any references to attached documents as part of your offer. If we see references in your offer like “see attached”, you may have to resubmit it before we can issue a work permit. If you don’t resubmit a complete offer, we may refuse the work permit application.
Read the Employer Portal User Guide to find out how to fill out each offer of employment form.
- Date modified: