Canadian employers can hire foreign workers either on a permanent or temporary basis.

There are several options to choose from, based on your needs. It all starts with a job offer.

If you, as a Canadian employer, would like to hire a foreign worker on a permanent basis, the worker will need to obtain Canadian permanent residence. There are a number of fast-track options available so that your future employee can begin work quickly.

Canada Work Permit HR Tool

The Canada Work Permit HR Tool has been designed to help employers navigate the complex process of hiring foreign workers.

Get the employees you need

Express Entry

The Express Entry immigration selection system, which came into operation in 2015, strives to make the process simpler and quicker for Canadian employers to hire skilled workers. Canadian employers looking to hire international talent for management, professional or trades positions, and who are unable to fill the position locally, are able to hire internationally. With a qualifying job offer, your future employee is issued an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence. Once he or she submits an application, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC, formerly CIC) aims to complete the immigration process within six months.

Through Express Entry, Canadian employers gain the advantage of being able to fill open positions more quickly than previously.

There are three federal economic immigration programs processed through the Express Entry system:

  • Federal Skilled Worker
    If your intended employee has work experience in a skilled occupation, as determined by the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system, and you have not been able to fill an open job position locally, you, as a Canadian employer, may be able to hire him or her through Express Entry under the Federal Skilled Worker Class.
  • Canadian Experience Class
    If you have been employing foreign workers on a temporary basis and wish to offer them full-time employment, they may qualify for Canadian immigration under the Canadian Experience Class.
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
    The Federal Skilled Trades Class is for individuals who want to become permanent residents of Canada based on being qualified in a skilled trade. If you, as a Canadian employer hiring skilled tradespersons, wish to hire internationally having been unable to do so locally, you may be able to hire employees through this program.

Provincial Nominee Programs

Most Canadian provinces and territories have created Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), specific to their needs, to recruit workers from abroad who intend to settle as permanent residents in a given province or territory. If your business is located in a province or territory that has a PNP stream that aims to attract skilled workers, this may an important fast-track option for you, your business, and your future employee(s).

Furthermore, many semi- or lower-skilled positions are well suited for provincial nomination, as provinces and territories strive to fill labour shortages in particular areas.In order to qualify, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) may require that you prove that you were unable to fill the positions with Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

Note that the province of Quebec does not have a Provincial Nominee Program, but rather the Quebec Skilled Worker category of immigration.

Temporary Work Permit

Hiring foreign workers on a Temporary Work Permit is undoubtedly the fastest option in most instances. We’re talking weeks, maybe even days, between the time you make the job offer and the time your workers can be in Canada working for you. Employers can hire internationally through either the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program.