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Hiring Foreign Nationals in Canada: A Guide to the Temporary Public Policy

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Cleaners in Uniform

Are you in the process of expanding your workforce and considering hiring a foreign national who is currently residing in Canada? Look no further! The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced a temporary public policy that can significantly expedite your recruitment efforts. This policy allows foreign nationals who previously held employer-specific work permits to apply for an interim work authorization letter, enabling them to start a new job with a different employer before receiving their new work permit. In this article, we will explore the eligibility requirements, application process, and benefits of this temporary policy to help you navigate the hiring process smoothly.

Understanding the Temporary Public Policy

The temporary public policy implemented by the IRCC provides a quicker option for employers to hire foreign workers who are already residing in Canada. Without the interim work authorization letter, employers may have to wait for 160 days or more before a foreign worker can change their employment from within Canada. However, under this policy, foreign nationals with a valid job offer can apply for an interim work authorization that allows them to start working for a new employer while their new work permit is being processed.

Eligibility Requirements for Interim Work Authorization

To be eligible for the interim work authorization, foreign nationals must meet certain criteria:

Valid Temporary Resident Status: Applicants must have valid temporary resident status in Canada as either a worker or a visitor.

Previous Employer-Specific Work Permit: Applicants should have held a valid employer-specific work permit within the 12 months preceding their application.

Intention to Work for the Employer: The applicant must intend to work for the employer specified in their application and in the occupation mentioned.

Application through the appropriate web portal: The application must be submitted through the appropriate web portal designated by the IRCC.

Request for Interim Work Authorization: Applicants must explicitly request that their interim work authorization apply until a decision is made on their new work permit.

Remain in Canada during processing: The applicant must stay in Canada while their application for the interim work authorization is being processed.

Application Process for Interim Work Authorization

To apply for the interim work authorization, applicants must complete an employer-specific work permit application, which may include a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or an LMIA-exempt offer of employment, where applicable. Once the application is submitted, the IRCC will review it, and if approved, the applicant can begin working even before the new work permit is issued.

Hiring Foreign Nationals with Visitor Status

The temporary policy also provides an avenue for foreign nationals who are in Canada with visitor status but did not previously hold a work permit. These individuals can apply for a work permit if they meet the following requirements:

Valid Temporary Resident Status as a Visitor: The applicant must have valid temporary resident status in Canada as a visitor.

Application to Change Conditions: They should submit an employer-specific work permit application using the IRCC’s Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay, or Remain in Canada as a Worker.

Remaining in Canada during processing: Similar to the applicants with previous work permits, these individuals must also remain in Canada while their work permit application is being processed.

It’s important to note that foreign nationals with visitor status are not eligible for an interim work authorization letter and must wait for their work permit to be approved before they can start their employment.

Advantages of the Temporary Public Policy

The temporary public policy offers several advantages for employers looking to hire foreign talent from within Canada. Some of the key benefits include:

Faster Recruitment Process: By allowing foreign workers to start working with a new employer before their new work permit is issued, the policy significantly reduces the waiting period for employers.

Access to Skilled Workforce: Employers can tap into the pool of skilled foreign workers who are already in Canada, thus avoiding the lengthy process of international recruitment.

Flexibility in Hiring: The policy enables employers to seamlessly transition employees from one company to another, promoting a more agile workforce.

Mitigation of Recruitment Challenges: Employers facing shortages in specific skill sets can benefit from this policy by quickly filling the gaps with qualified foreign workers.

Expiry Date and Future Considerations

As with any temporary policy, there are specific timelines to keep in mind. The current temporary public policy for hiring foreign nationals in Canada is set to expire on February 28, 2025. Therefore, it is essential to submit the applications before the expiry date to take advantage of this expedited recruitment option.

It is also worth noting that immigration regulations and policies are subject to change over time. It is crucial for employers to stay updated with the latest developments and consult with legal professionals to ensure compliance with the most recent guidelines.

Hiring a foreign national who is currently in Canada can be a streamlined process thanks to the temporary public policy introduced by the IRCC. This policy offers employers the opportunity to tap into a skilled workforce already residing in the country, reducing recruitment timeframes and addressing talent shortages effectively. By understanding the eligibility requirements, application process, and advantages of the policy, employers can navigate the hiring process successfully and leverage the benefits of a diverse and talented workforce.

For more Canada immigration related articles, please visit our Immigration section

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