The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)
Canada welcomes over 300,000 foreign workers each year to work in Canada on Temporary Work Permits. Most of the foreign workers require temporary work permits in order to work in Canada on a temporary basis.
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) grants foreign workers Temporary Work Permits. However, initially, this process usually requires foreign workers to have an offer of employment from a Canadian employer. This process consists of several steps. Foreign workers may also need to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa in order to enter Canada. It depends on their country of citizenship.
1. Employer applies for Labour Market Impact Assessment, if necessary
Before a Temporary Work Permit can be issued, the Canadian employer who hires a temporary foreign worker will need to apply for a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) by ESDC. Accordingly, ESDC grants a positive LMIA if the Canadian employer satisfies it that there is no Canadian citizen or permanent resident is available to do the job.
In a limited number of situations Canadian immigration officials may issue Work Permits without the LMIA application requirement, as follows:
- Under international agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA);
- Due to the significant economic, social or cultural benefits the work activity will bring to Canadians;
- As part of reciprocal agreements Canada and its provinces/territories have entered into with other countries, such as youth and teacher exchange programs;
- So that international student studying in Canada can fulfil academic requirements, known as co-op placements;
- To allow the spouses/common-law partners of Work Permit and certain Study Permit holders in Canada to work in Canada;
- Because the nature of the work is charitable or religious;
- In recognition that certain persons in Canada for reasons other than the above-mentioned, such as the making of a refugee claim, need to support themselves.
2. Employer extends Temporary Job Offer
After obtaining LMIA, the Canadian employer can provide a temporary job offer to the foreign worker. The employer must send a copy of the positive LMIA along with a detailed job offer letter to the foreign worker.
3. Foreign Worker applies for Work Permit
With these documents, the foreign worker can apply to ESDC for a Canada Temporary Work Permit. If the Canadian employer that is hiring is in the province of Quebec, the foreign worker may also need to obtain a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) in order to work temporarily in Quebec. There are a number of professions in Quebec that are ‘facilitated’ and eligible for streamlined processing. Employers do not need to perform local requirement efforts as part of their applications to hire temporary foreign workers for these positions in Quebec.
4. Foreign worker gets a Work Permit
A Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer will issue the Canada Temporary Work Permit at the point of entry when the foreign worker arrives in Canada.
Are you a Canadian Employer who needs to obtain Work Permits for new employees?
CANADAPT takes care of the entire Work Permit process for both Canadian employers and foreign workers. Please be informed that Canada Temporary Work Permit is for those foreign workers who plan on working in Canada for a finite period of time. Temporary Work Permit is a stepping stone to Canadian permanent residency. In order to be able to work and live in Canada on a permanent basis, foreign workers must undertake the Canadian immigration process. Once in Canada on a Temporary Work Permit, a foreign worker may qualify for Canadian immigration (permanent Residence) under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), through a Skilled Worker category, or through one of the Provincial Nominee Programs.
Do you have a Canadian job offer and need a Work Permit?
In most of the cases, individuals with a valid job offer from a Canadian employer must secure a Temporary Work Permit to perform work in Canada. A Temporary Work Permit may be issued for a period of time ranging from a few days to a few years. In almost all cases, the process of applying for a Work Permit is twofold. First, the Canadian employer must receive government permission to hire outside of Canada. After this permission has been granted, the designated employee must apply for and receive his or her Work Permit.
The granted Work Permit for the specific job in Canada will be tied to that job only. However, if an employee finds a different employment and does not yet have permanent resident status, he or she must apply for a Work Permit before performing another job in Canada.
There are a several different ways of securing a Work Permit in Canada. Depending on one’s nationality, occupation, and intended work in Canada, there may be possibilities for expediting the process.