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Temporary Foreign Worker2019-01-04T23:42:50+00:00

Temporary Foreign Worker

The Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers to fill temporary jobs when qualified Canadians are not available.

This program is regulated through the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations and is administered in partnership with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), through its Service Canada processing centres, assesses applications from employers requesting permission to hire temporary foreign workers and conducts Labour Market Impact Assessments to determine the likely effect these workers would have on the Canadian labour market. The Program assesses the impact by looking at available labour market information for the region and the occupation, the employers’ recruitment and advertisement efforts, wages and working conditions, labour shortages and the transfer of skills and knowledge to Canadians. In addition, Service Canada responds to questions about the Program through Employer Contact Centres and via the Internet.

ESDC works closely with IRCC, the CBSA and the provinces and territories, through appropriate information sharing agreements, to monitor and share information that has an impact on the integrity of both the TFW Program and the International Mobility Program (IMP), which is led by IRCC. Service Canada conducts inspections for the TFW Program and, on behalf of IRCC, for the IMP. In Quebec, the TFW Program is administered in partnership with the Province.

Overview

The Government of Canada believes that foreign workers can help employers meet their labour needs when Canadians and permanent residents are not available. As part of this process the government supports higher-skilled foreign workers based on their potential to become economically established in Canada and to assist employers to meet their skilled labour shortages.

Employers who wish to hire skilled foreign workers and support their permanent resident visa application can make a job offer under Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) Express Entry system. The job offer must meet the criteria of 1 of the listed economic immigration programs. These programs include:

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

The employer must be offering a job for:

  • a higher-skilled position such as: management, professional, scientific, technical or trade occupations (National Occupational Classification (NOC), skill type 0, and skill levels A and B);
  • full-time hours (a minimum of 30 hours of work per week);
  • at least one year; and
  • a non-seasonal position.

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

The employer must be offering a job for:

  • an eligible skilled trade or technical occupation (NOC skill level B);
  • full-time hours (a minimum of 30 hours of work per week); and
  • at least one year.

Note: Under the FSTP, the employment offer can be made by up to two employers.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The employer must be offering a job for:

  • a higher-skilled position such as: management, professional, scientific, technical or trade occupations (National Occupational Classification (NOC), skill type 0, and skill levels A and B);
  • full-time hours (a minimum of 30 hours of work per week);
  • at least one year; and
  • a non-seasonal position.

Note: Under the CEC, the foreign worker must have at least 12 months of full-time (or an equivalent amount in part-time) skilled work experience in Canada within the 36 months prior to applying for permanent residence.

Employers are not eligible to make a job offer to a foreign worker under these immigration programs, if they are:

  • an embassy;
  • a high commission or consulate in Canada;
  • on the list of ineligible employers maintained by IRCC;
  • new and have not been in business for a minimum of one year; or
  • hiring workers who intend to reside in the province of Quebec.

Employers who wish to hire skilled foreign workers through one of these immigration programs may also want to hire these workers temporarily while their application for permanent residence is being processed by IRCC. As a result, employers can apply for a dual intent Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) which requires paying the processing fee. These dual intent LMIAs can be used to support the foreign nationals’ application to IRCC for a:

  • permanent resident visa; and
  • temporary work permit.
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