Disconnect between Canadian immigration policy and employer needs


Disconnect between Canadian immigration policy and employer needs

Jamaica To Canada

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

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Dear Mr Brown,

I understand that studying is the best way to migrate, and that your programme entails assisting with that process. However, I want to know why working in Canada is not easier since Canada needs workers.

— SW

Dear SW:

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) recently stated that more than three quarters of small business owners in Canada have struggled to fill positions due to a skill and labour shortage, as you alluded to in your query.

Labour Market Impact Assessment

In order to work in Canada, as a general rule, an approved job offer would have to be extended for a foreign worker to be able to apply for a work permit. An approved job offer refers to a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which is based on an assessment of:

• The proposed wages and working conditions; and

• The availability of Canadians or permanent residents to do the work in question, the skills and knowledge transfer, and the job creation for the benefit of Canadians or permanent residents.

In other words, the LMIA states whether the issuance of a work permit to a foreign worker will have a neutral or positive effect on Canada's economy, that is, offering a job to a foreigner does not take a job away from a Canadian.

The employer must show recruitment efforts and results for recruiting locally in Canada, and explain how he or she would benefit from offering you the job.

Disconnect between policy and needs of employers

The process for hiring a foreign worker is considered expensive, complicated, and lengthy in terms of the wait time. However, the disconnect between the immigration policy of the Government and the needs of small business owners is that the government policy prioritises immigrants who are university graduates, whereas the labour shortages are for lower skilled workers.

Three-fifths of immigrants have a university degree, but less than one in ten jobs that require a degree experience labour shortage. Moreover, it may be difficult to retain foreign workers with lower skill levels as there are limited pathways to permanent residency.

According to the CFIB, most business owners seek people with college diplomas or apprenticeships (46 per cent) and a high school diploma or on-the-job training (31 per cent). The CFIB would like immigration policies to be simplified to ensure that immigrants with in-demand skills have a pathway to permanent residency.


Seneca College is one of the top schools in Canada that offers many marketable programmes. The general public is invited to the free Seneca College seminar that I will be hosting, which will include the dissemination of general information and facilitate on-the-spot applications at Knutsford Court Hotel on February 25 at 7:00 pm. I will also discuss general matters pertaining to study permits, work permits, and permanent residence as it relates to attending Seneca College.

Please visit jamaica2canada.com for additional information on Canadian Permanent Residence programmes, including Express Entry, The Study & Work programme, Visas or Appeals, etc.

Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel and an accredited Canadian education agent of JAMAICA2CANADA.COM — a Canadian immigration and education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to jamaica2canada@gmail.com.

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