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Employers can hire foreign workers through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program.
The Temporary Foreign Worker Program lets employers hire foreign workers to fill temporary labour and skill shortages. Employers need to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to hire through this program. An LMIA verifies that there is a need for a foreign worker and that no Canadians can do the job. Find out more about what a foreign worker must do to come to Canada.
The International Mobility Program lets employers hire foreign workers without the need of an LMIA. Exemptions from the LMIA process are available where there are reciprocal benefits for Canadians and other competitive advantages for Canada.
Employers can hire workers abroad or already in Canada.
Qualified foreign workers already in Canada could include those who:
are about to complete a job contract with another employer, or
hold an open work permit that allows them to work for any employer in Canada.
Employers can normally hire a foreign worker for up to four years.
Processing times vary depending on where and how the person applies.
source: CIC website