Top Ten Things to Know When Hiring a Foreign Worker: Process Management

Spring has finally arrived in Toronto after a long hard winter. The crocuses are blooming (better late than never) and tax season is finishing. Many companies have also recently entered the first quarter of the fiscal year and new budgets and new projects are staring to emerge.

Further to last week’s post, the question now is how do you staff those projects with the skilled workers you need? Many companies are looking towards international recruitment to fill these needs and are either hiring foreign nationals locally or leveraging the company’s global network and transferring resources from overseas. Whichever method you use, when your work is project based and you have client contracts with KPIs and financial penalties for delays, time is always of the essence.

Delays in immigration processing can be common, unpredictable and nerve racking but there are a few things that you can do in order to manage the immigration process, minimize delays, and help manage budgets.

The following are the top ten things I recommend doing or being aware of in order to keep the immigration process running as smoothly and your project managers happy

    1. Be sure to structure your recruiting process in a way that has immigration requirements in mind if you think you may need to hire a foreign national.
    2. Even without a specific candidate identified your immigration provider can advise if you are likely to need an LMIA, or if other work permit options may be available. This will depend on the both position description and the countries in which you are focusing your recruitment efforts. There may be parts of the process you can start before identifying the potential employee so that things can move quickly once the successful candidate has been identified.
    3. You should also speak to your immigration provider when putting together project bids so that you understand potential timing and costs of the process. In this way you can structure your bid to manage client expectations and ensure you won’t be operating at a loss. I have seen many projects go extensively over budget because no one thought about the cost of relocating resources to Canada, or because missed milestones caused by unexpected immigration processing delays triggered financial compensations to clients
    4. Review ideal candidates with your immigration provider before making a final hiring decision. Once the candidate is identified your immigration provider can confirm application strategies along with timing and costs. The difference in timing between a candidate who must apply for a work permit at a visa post and one who can apply directly at the port of entry can be weeks or in some cases even months.
    5. An immigration application cannot be submitted until all required supporting documents are provided. Not to do so will create processing delays due to returned applications or requests for information. Document collection can be done very quickly, within a day or two, or can extend for weeks. It all depends on the organization and focus of both the employer and the potential employee to provide the required documentation and information. Be educated and organized about the documents you and your potential employee will need to provide. The faster the required documents can be provided the faster the application can be prepared and filed
    6. Certain countries, occupations, or a combination of both, are required by immigration to undergo additional background security checks. If you are in a business area that may be affected by this you will need to calculate this into your timing expectations.
    7. If your candidate’s profile contains any issues that may make them inadmissible to Canada, although it still may be possible for them to obtain a work permit, processing of the application will be significantly delayed. In this case it may be prudent to identify another resource for an immediate project and schedule the affected candidate for projects further in the future.
    8. Sometimes life just happens and you don’t have the time to do the required background work listed above. In these cases, it is possible to have a work permit application receive expediated processing however a strong business case must be made to support the request. The decision to expedite is a discretional one made by the reviewing immigration officer or applicable IRCC program manager. These requests should be made only when the situation is critical as companies generally end up working with the same group of immigration officers on a regular basis and chronically repeated requests, even if reasonable, will get denied.
    9. request for expedited processing cannot overcome application requirements, such as to complete a medical examination, bio-metic checks, or to undergo security checks. Although an application may be prioritized out of the general cue, these milestones must be completed before an application can be approved for a work permit.
    10. The most important thing that you can do in this process is to remember the immigration first and not last. Immigration is generally the last thing that managers think of when planning a project. The immigration process takes time, but if structured well it can be completed while the other parts of the planning and scoping phases are being completed. If the immigration considerations are left to last, they can significantly affect the successful outcome of a project.

As you can see above, it is important for the business and the immigration provider to have a dynamic dialog throughout this process. You should leverage your immigrations providers knowledge and experience in order to identify potential problems early so that they can be properly managed. They can also help create and facilitate a process that works well for your business needs.


To book a free 15 minute consultation with Sarah, click here or call us at 1 844 4CEOLAW or #CEO on your cell.

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