Immigration Requirements for Foreign Nationals

Planning to accept resumes from foreign nationals? Review your responsibilities and the immigration requirements. 

Immigration Services in Shared Services provides consultative advisory services to senior leaders, faculties, administrative units, staff, and non-Canadian residents on immigration matters. Contact the Staff Service Centre if you need guidance.

Academic foreign workers

Academic foreign workers are hired for academic positions at the university and become employees in roles such as Faculty, Academic Teaching Staff (ATS), and Trust/Research Academic Staff (TRAS). Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) deems an academic position to be at least 50% teaching and/or research. 

Non-academic foreign workers
Non-academic foreign workers are hired for positions at the university with less than 50% of teaching and research as part of their job duties. They become university employees in positions such as Administrative Professional Officers, Deans and Support Staff (in other words management, financial, administrative, etc.).

Hiring academic foreign workers

Review all of the steps below before you proceed. You will need to provide a copy of all the advertisements and information including invoices to support where, when and for how long the position was advertised.

Important: Ensure that all recruitment files involving foreign nationals are retained for a minimum of six years. Advertising records for tenure-track positions must be retained permanently.

1. Secure hiring approval, draft your job post and request a job posting.
2. Advertise the position through appropriate media
View our Advertising Tip Sheet and the Advertise a Position page.

  • Plan to advertise to qualified Canadian citizens and permanent residents in at least three places: the U of A Careers website and two occupation-specific publications that are national in scope for 30 days  

  • Employment and Social Development Canada will not accept advertisements that are over one year old. 

  • Re-advertising is not required to renew a Labour Market Impact Assessment (details below) for a tenure-track position  

  • All job postings in advertisements must be identical; review our Draft a Job Posting page and use the appropriate template. 
3. Choose a candidate
Once the job posting request has been submitted, read through your responsibilities related to reviewing applications, preparing for interviews and selecting a candidate

  • If two candidates, one Canadian citizen/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 citizen/permanent resident does not qualify as per the qualifications in the advertisement, you must document these reasons to include in the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application.
4. Make an offer
5. Complete the Labour Market Impact Assessment application
Once you have a signed offer letter, complete the LMIA Application (ESDC-EMP5626) forms and >LMIA Cover Sheet and Checklist using the Guidelines for Completing LMIA for detailed instructions. The documentation you have kept throughout the recruitment process will support your application.
6. Submit your application to the Staff Service Centre
Submit the complete application, with the additional documents noted in the cover sheet, to the Staff Service Centre for review and submission.
7. Prepare your candidate for work at the university
Send a copy of the Guidelines for Immigrating to Canada to the new hire. Encourage them to visit the Life in Canada pageReview our Onboarding Resources for Supervisors

Hiring non-academic foreign workers

Important: Ensure that all recruitment files involving foreign nationals are retained for a minimum of six years.

1. Get hiring approval, draft a job posting and request a job posting. 
2. Advertise through appropriate media

Review our advertising tip sheet. Plan to advertise to qualified Canadians and permanent residents in at least three places:

  • 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. A rationale template can be found in the Guidelines for Completing LMIA.

  • 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 - 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 four consecutive weeks concurrently in the three-month period prior to applying for an LMIA.

  • At least 1 of the 3 recruitment activities must be ongoing until the date a positive or negative LMIA has been issued.

All job postings in advertisements must be identical; review our Draft a Job Posting page and use the appropriate template. 

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.

3. Select a candidate

Once the job posting request has been submitted, read through your responsibilities in the Review Applications, Prepare for Interviews and Select a Candidate pages.

  • 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.
4. Make an offer

Complete the steps on the Make an Offer, Appoint or Extend a Position page.

5. Complete the Labour Market Impact Assessment application

Once you have a signed offer letter, 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.
6. Submit your application to the Staff Service Centre

Submit the complete application, with the additional documents noted in the cover sheet, to the Staff Service Centre for review and submission.

7. Prepare your candidate for work at the university

Send a copy of the Guidelines for Immigrating to Canada to the new hire. Encourage them to visit the Life in Canada pageReview our Onboarding Resources for Supervisors.

Immigration News