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Employer Portal Seeks to Streamline Foreign Workers’ Hiring

Citizenship and Immigration (CIC) Canada has launched a new online system, the Employer Portal, to oversee the processing of employment offers Canadian employers make to foreign workers through the International Mobility Program (IMB).

The IMB distinction is critical. Employers who extend employment offers to individuals via IMB are exempt from having to secure proof — in the form of a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) — that the offer will visit a positive or neutral impact on the Canadian labour market. (Jobs that require an LMIA are filed under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, another stream that doesn’t intersect with the IMP.)

workers5Once an employer has established electronic login credentials with the portal and launched the submission of an offer of employment, the site will walk him through a stream of questions to determine various details of the transaction. It will inquire about the company’s size, type, age and principal activities. And it will ask questions about the job on offer, including the duties expected of the foreign national in question, the minimum experiential and educational requirements of the role, and the wage and benefits on the table.

Once the employer has completed these sections and paid a compliance fee ($230), it awaits the CIC’s confirmation of the application’s receipt. This can range in duration from instantaneous to several days. At this point, the business is assigned a file number that the foreign worker then references in his application for a temporary work permit. (The application through the Employer Portal must be submitted prior to submitting the work permit application.)

The introduction of the Employer Portal is one component of a large-scale movement to shift Canada’s immigration application processes into the digital world. Critics argue that, while the intention is sound and the data-collection efforts will no doubt improve as a result, the development actually introduces fresh complications for employers looking to hire foreign nationals on a temporary basis in Canada. The portal was unveiled with minimal guidance and therefore throws wide the possibility of procedural and technical snafus as newbies work to navigate the site.

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