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I am an Alberta employer and I need to hire a skilled foreign worker, but the position is now one of the 29 High-Wage occupations listed on ESDC’s Refusal to Process List - what can I do?

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Permanent Residence, Provincial Nominee Programs and Temporary Foreign Worker Program

I am an Alberta employer and I need to hire a skilled foreign worker, but the position is now one of the 29 High-Wage occupations listed on ESDC’s Refusal to Process List - what can I do?

Alberta employers who want to hire skilled foreign workers through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program may need to spend more time on their hiring strategy in order to meet their ongoing business obligations.

Alberta Labour and Service Canada (ESDC) has recently announced a “refusal to process” policy for certain high-wage occupations that fall within 29 job categories if the worker requested will be employed in the Province of Alberta. Please review the complete list of occupations on Service Canada’s website here and see our April 21, 2017 blog post for more details.

Unfortunately, the outright ban on hiring in these 29 occupation groups is a broad strokes measure that has left many employers in a difficult position and wondering what they can do to hire or maintain foreign staff in key positions where they have been unable to find a Canadian Citizen or permanent resident to do the job.

As a first step, employers and HR professionals should identify foreign workers currently employed in these occupations and determine what steps will need to be taken to ensure that key positions do not go unfilled.

The Government of Alberta has announced measures to support employers with hiring and recruiting locally. In situations where this is not feasible however, employers should consider:

  • Assisting the foreign worker to obtain permanent resident status as quickly as possible;
  • Promoting the foreign worker to a more senior, managerial role within the organization (other than NOC 0112: Human Resources Managers, 0211 - Engineering Managers); and
  • Transferring the foreign worker to an office outside of Alberta.

Ackah Business Immigration Law can assist you to develop a plan that will allow you to meet your ongoing business needs while ensuring full compliance with the latest regulatory and policy directives.


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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