Immigration Requirements for Hiring Foreign Nationals

Immigration Services provides consultative advisory services to senior leaders, faculties/administrative units, staff, and non-Canadian residents on immigration matters.

Before inviting a foreign national to campus, please seek advice from a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in Human Resources, Health, Safety and Environment.

Foreign Workers Exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

To invite a foreign national to work for a temporary period, submit a Foreign Visitor Category Assessment (FVCA).

For details on how to use the Immigration Management System, see the Foreign Visitor Category Assessment User Guide and Tips Sheet.

Immigration Services will submit the forms and payment to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), if required, and contact the department with further instructions.

Please note that FVCA's for postdoctoral fellows are directed to an employment advisor for approval before being routed to Immigration Services. Check the status of your submission on the FVCA to determine if there are any outstanding requirements noted by an employment advisor.

To support an award/scholarship application for a foreign national use the Research Award Recipient Letter of Support. Once the foreign visitor provides confirmation of the award, complete and submit the FVCA and attach the award confirmation.

Correcting or Canceling an Offer of Employment

If you need to cancel or make changes to the conditions (such as duration of stay, wages, errors in name, passport, etc.), email Immigration Services with the following information:

  • In the subject heading state: WITHDRAWAL OF OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT AND REQUEST REFUND.
  • Provide the foreign national's full name, the host department, offer of employment number and indicate if you are requesting a re-assessment to be done or canceling.
  • Provide your contact information.

Immigration Services will:

  1. Request a withdrawal of the OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT and request a refund from Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on your behalf.
  2. Change the status of your Foreign Visitor Category Assessment (FVCA) in the Immigration Management System to "incomplete"(if you are requesting a re-assessment).
Once you see this change of status in the Immigration Management System, please review the existing information, make any necessary changes, save and re-submit the request by clicking "submit to HRS". Immigration Services will then re-submit the offer of employment on-line through IRCC's Employer Portal and provide you with the necessary immigration documents.
Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Exempt Short-term Visitors

If your foreign national is entering Canada for a short period of time, see the descriptions below and download the applicable invitation letter.

Foreign workers under these categories, as well as Global Skills Strategy (GSS 30, 60, 120) and Self-Funded Researchers, are required to complete the Liability Waiver upon arrival and submit it to their host department/faculty.

Interviewee
Will visit campus to attend an interview(s) for employment. May also visit campus facilities and meet University staff members.

Guest Speaker/Seminar Leader/Workshop Facilitator
Will visit campus to deliver speeches, workshops or seminars not exceeding 5 days of speaking engagements.

Conference/Workshop/Seminar Participant
Will attend as a participant only.

Participant and Speaker
Will attend as a participant and deliver a paper or make speeches (not exceeding 5 days of speaking engagements).

Academic Evaluator/Examiner
Will either visit campus to review a student's thesis or work done by a student under visitor's tutelage OR will evaluate university programs or research proposals.

Foreign Workers Requiring a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) - Academic Positions

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) deems an academic position to be at least 50% teaching and/or research. For all other positions, refer to the tab, Foreign Workers Requiring an LMIA - Non-Academic Positions.

Steps for hiring academics:

  1. Advertise through appropriate media. ESDC will not accept advertisements that are over one year old.
  2. Maintain records of your recruitment campaign.
    • Provide a copy of the advertisement and information to support where, when and for how long the position was advertised
    • If two candidates, one Canadian/permanent resident and one foreign national, are equally qualified based on the advertised criteria, the Canadian/permanent resident must be offered the position first.
    • If a Canadian/permanent resident does not qualify as per the qualifications in the advertisement, you must document these reasons to include in the application.
  3. Complete the LMIA Application (ESDC-EMP5626) forms and LMIA Coversheet and Checklist using the Guidelines for Completing LMIA for detailed instructions.
  4. Email the complete application, with the additional documents noted in the cover sheet, to immigration.services@ualberta.ca for review and submission.
  5. Send a copy of the Guidelines for Immigrating to Canada to the new hire.
For non-academic positions please contact Immigration Services for more details.
Foreign Workers Requiring a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) - Non-Academic Positions

Positions where the majority of the job duties are less than 50% teaching and research is considered non-academic by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). This includes positions such as APO, FSO, Deans, and Support Staff (in other words management, financial, administrative, etc.).

Steps for hiring non-academics

  1. Before applying for an LMIA, you must conduct at least 3 different recruitment activities - see details below on what must be included in your ads:
    • You must advertise on the Government of Canada’s Job Bank. If you choose not to advertise on the Canada Job Bank, you must provide a written rationale with your LMIA application
    • 2 of the 3 must be consistent with the occupation (targets an audience that has the appropriate education, professional experience or skill level required for the occupation)
    • 2 of the 3 must be national in scope - To be national in scope, Canadians and permanent residents must have the capacity to search advertisements for work locations across Canada in a single site, as opposed to referring to individual or regional sub-sites.
    • All three ads must be posted for 4 consecutive weeks concurrently in the 3 month period prior to applying for an LMIA
    • At least 1 of the 3 recruitment activities to seek qualified Canadians and permanent residents must be ongoing until the date a positive or negative LMIA has been issued.
  2. Maintain records of your recruitment campaign. You must demonstrate that you have made efforts to recruit qualified Canadians and permanent residents.
    • Provide a copy of the advertisement and information to support where, when and for how long the position was advertised
    • If two candidates, one Canadian/permanent resident and one foreign national, are equally qualified based on the advertised criteria, the Canadian/permanent resident must be offered the position first.
    • If a Canadian/permanent resident does not qualify as per the qualifications in the advertisement, you must document these reasons to include in the application.
  3. Complete the LMIA Application (ESDC-EMP5626) forms and LMIA Cover sheet and Checklist using the Guidelines for Completing LMIA for detailed instructions.
    • A Transition Plan, valid for the duration of the employment of the temporary foreign worker, is a mandatory requirement to hire temporary foreign workers in high-wage positions. It describes the activities you are agreeing to undertake to recruit, retain and train Canadians and permanent residents and to reduce your reliance on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
    • If you are applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment and have previously submitted a Transition plan for the same position and work location, you must report on the results of the commitments you have made in your previous Transition plan (will be used to determine if the described activities had been undertaken).
    • Immigration Services will work with you to complete your Transition Plan for your LMIA application.
  4. Email the complete application, with the additional documents noted in the cover sheet, to immigration.services@ualberta.ca for review and submission.
  5. Send a copy of the Guidelines for Immigrating to Canada to the new hire
Job Advertisement Information

All advertisements need to be identical and must include:

  • company operating name
  • business address
  • title of the position
  • job duties (for each position, if advertising is for more than one vacancy)
  • terms of employment (for example, project based, permanent position)
  • language of work
  • wage (must include any incremental raises, performance pay or bonuses):
    • a wage range can be used for the purposes of complying with the advertisements; however the minimum wage in the range must meet prevailing wage
  • benefits package offered (if applicable)
  • location(s) of work (local area, city or town)
  • contact information, including telephone number, cell phone number, email address, fax number, or mailing address
  • skills requirements (includes education and work experience)
  • The following statements should be included:
    • All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.
    • Advertisements must ask applicants whether they have a SIN number and if so, to indicate only the first digit of their SIN number on the application for LMIA-reporting purposes.

Visit Information for Foreign Nationals to learn how foreign nationals can obtain immigration documents to travel to and work in Canada and apply for permanent residence.


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The information provided on this website is for reference only and is subject to change. Before you invite a foreign national to campus, it is recommended that you seek advice from Immigration Services, Human Resources, Health, Safety and Environment.