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How To Expedite Hiring High Wage Employees

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Canada Work Permits, Global Talent Stream, Temporary Foreign Worker Program and Temporary Foreign Workers

How To Expedite Hiring High Wage Employees

How can we hire a highly specialized and senior new employee we want as quickly as possible?

To hire a highly paid or highly skilled temporary foreign worker, in most cases you will need to demonstrate there is no Canadian worker able and available to fill that job by completing an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment). LMIAs must be approved by the Canadian government before you can legally extend an offer of employment, and then your future employee can get a work permit.

In May 2019 Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) issued a notice that IRCC (Immigration Refugees and Citizens Canada) is experiencing LMIA application processing delays.

What can Canadian employers do to speed up the hiring process for Temporary Foreign Workers?

10 Day Expedited High Wage Priority Application Processing

Many Canadian employers can't wait 4-6 months to hire a foreign worker for a vital high wage position. Canada's government wants to be responsive to employers that are creating jobs and strengthening the economy. Jobs that don't qualify under NAFTA, GATS or CETA job criteria and require the skills of high wage foreign temporary worker can receive expedited processing. IRCC introduced high wage job expedited Temporary Foreign Worker Program application processing to help employers fill critical positions and to reduce the red tape in the hiring process.

Expedited processing is for positions the Canadian government considers essential for economic growth. ESDC expedited processing criteria include:

  • the job occupation is high paid and is in the top 10% of wages earned by Canadians where the job is located
  • the employer and potential employee must meet all other Temporary Foreign Worker Program qualifications including
    • LMIA, if required, which includes a transition plan for the employer to reduce their reliance on foreign workers
    • the employer is not ineligible
    • processing fees are fully paid
    • is not for unqualified occupations in Albert or Quebec

2 Streams for Expedited Hiring of High Wage Employees

1. Temporary Foreign Worker Stream LMIA for High Wage Positions
A job that requires an LMIA in a high wage occupation for a position that pays in the top 10% of local Canadian wages can qualify for expedited priority processing in 10 days or less. These jobs are typically highly skilled, professional jobs; such as top-level managerial jobs, senior executives, or physicians.

The High Wage LMIA stream is based on the median wage where the job will be located, as determined by Statistics Canada.

2. Global Talent Tech Stream for High Wage Positions
Canadian companies are recruiting foreign tech workers with unique and specialized skills for highly paid positions to build the economy. Processed through the Global Talent Stream, applications that qualify for expedited service have a service commitment of 10-business days that IRCC commits to meeting at minimum 80% of the time. The 10-day service commitment date starts on the business day after the application has been received.

Expedited service is not a guarantee that your high wage Temporary Foreign Worker Program application will receive priority treatment or approval. Applications that are incomplete, confusing or in any way questionable will not be expedited, and in fact, may be delayed. ESDC takes non-compliance and misleading information on requests for priority processing of high wage positions very seriously.

An experienced immigration lawyer can assist employers by

  • verifying that the job meets the qualifications for expedited processing
  • managing the employer's LMIA and Global Talent Stream applications
  • monitoring and troubleshooting the employer's ESDC request for priority processing of their application

At Ackah Law, our record in processing requests for expedited service and diligent oversight in managing high-wage employee TFW applications can prevent unnecessary and costly delays and errors.


Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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