Posted on - Aug 28, 2017

By Faisal Al-Alamy

Faisal Al-Alamy

Employers have long been required to demonstrate that they are unable to recruit qualified Canadian permanent residents or citizens (“Canadian Applicants”) to fill positions before hiring foreign workers. The current incarnation of this process is called the Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”) application process which employers generally need to make before hiring foreign workers in Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker program (“TFW”).

As of August 28, 2017, employers in all provinces and territories seeking to hire foreign workers (other than those exempted from LMIA’s) will be required not only to advertise job postings but also register with the Service Canada’s Job Match service which employers will be able to view on their Job Bank profile. Prior to this, employers could opt to advertise on the provincial equivalent job match database such as Work BC. Now, the Federal Government will require Canadian employers who plan to hire either High or Low Wage workers through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to register in the Federal Job Bank under the new Job Match platform, an employment matching service in which employers advertise their job postings for a minimum of 30 days (along with at least two other advertising sources) before applying for an LMIA.

This matching capability requirement is intended to bring employers and potential employees closer together through a system that pairs job seekers from around the world registered on the Job Match service. Employers must give priority to permanent residents and Canadian citizens who are paired with the job posting (pending a successful job interview and/or company hiring policies). It also provides an opportunity to help clear the way for hiring of foreign workers when an employer can clearly demonstrate that there are no Canadian citizens or permanent residents available with the necessary qualification for the particular position. In those cases, the new requirement may result in a greater chance of approval of an LMIA application for a foreign worker.

The Job Match service will rank potential job seekers on a five-point basis – one to five stars. The more stars a potential applicant receives with respect to a particular position, the greater the chance that the applicant fits the position. Employers advertising for High Wage positions will be required to invite Canadian applicants who receive a rating of four to five stars before recruiting foreign workers. Employers advertising for Low Wage positions will be required to invite Canadian applicants who receive a rating of two stars or more before recruiting foreign workers. Employers will need to demonstrate due diligence in assessing Canadian applicants before offering positions to foreign workers. However, the matching process will also connect employers with foreign applicants who register with the Job Match enabling employers to find foreign workers where there are no suitable Canadian applicants.

Employers are well advised to consult an immigration professional when considering hiring foreign workers. An immigration professional can guide employers with appropriate strategies and advice to maximize their success at receiving a positive LMIA as well as provide more information on the new Job Match requirement.

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