In order to visit Canada through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, you actually need a Canadian work permit. This is because only Canadian permanent residents and citizens can legally work in Canada without a work permit.
Notwithstanding, if you’re already in Canada, then you could easily apply for a work permit from inside Canada. But there are certain requirements you must meet; like either having a valid study permit, or your spouse, common-law partner, or parents have a valid work or study permit; have a temporary resident permit valid for 6-months or more, etc.
Temporary Foreign Worker Program
For those asking “what is a Temporary Foreign Worker Program? It’s a program that allows Canadian employers to temporarily employ foreign nationalities so as to fill the shortages in the Canadian labor force.
This gives employers in Canada the opportunity to employ both low-skilled and high-skilled workers like nurses, doctors, engineers, drivers, home caregivers, and more.
- Low Skilled Workers (labor):
These are workers who don’t have the skills or proper formal education or training necessary to carry out or occupy technical positions or jobs. E.g construction laborers, messengers, fast food workers, cleaners or janitors, Some farm-workers (vegetable harvester/picker), etc.
- High-Skilled Workers (labor):
These are workers with advanced academic, technical, and interpersonal skills needed to carry out a particular job or occupy a sensitive position. E.g Doctors, Nurses, electricians, computer operators, law enforcement officers, financial technicians, etc.
Temporary Foreign Worker Program Requirements
Below are the temporary foreign worker eligibility requirements for both Canadian employers and immigrants who desire to temporarily work in Canada.
1. Canada Work Permit: As an immigrant who is not a permanent resident, student, or citizen of Canada, you will be required to have a work permit before you can be allowed to work in Canada. You can still work in Canada without a permit if you’re a family member of a foreign representative, health care student, etc. See the complete list of work permit exemptions.
2. Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA): This acts as permission for a Canadian employer to employ foreign workers provided they can prove that no Canadian resident or citizen was willing, capable, or ready to take up the job. In order for a Canadian employer to be able to employ foreign workers, they need the LMIA.
List of Canada Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Canadian employers can hire temporary foreign workers via the following streams:
1. High-Wage Workers:
High-wage workers are temporary foreign workers that are paid at or above the median hourly wage of their territory or province based on certain observable characteristics like education, labor force experience, region, etc. Canadian employers usually require LMIA in order to employ this category of foreign employers.
Once the employer receives a positive LMIA, then they can inform their foreign employees so they can start applying for authorization to work in Canada either through a permanent residency application or with just a work permit, it all depends on their eligibility.
2. Low-Wage Workers:
Low-wage workers in this context are temporal foreign workers that are paid less than the median hourly wage received in their territory or province. Most of the individuals who fall under this category are Low skilled workers.
Canadian employers who desire to employ Low-wage workers must do that through the TFWP stream. Just like the high-wage workers, must do that through LMIA.
Also, as soon as the employer receives a positive LMIA, then they can inform their foreign employees so they can start applying for authorization to work in Canada either through a permanent residency application or with just a work permit, it all depends on their eligibility.
3. Foreign Agricultural Workers
Canadian employers can also hire workers in the agricultural sector through the TFWP stream. Canada offers two (2) streams arranged to facilitate the hiring of foreign temporal workers in the agriculture field. Below are the general requirements Canadian employers must meet in order to qualify for any of the program streams:
- production must be within a specific commodity sector on Canada’s national commodity list;
- Activities in the sector must be in relation with on-farm primary agriculture in one (1) of the following NOC (National Occupation Classification) Codes: 0821, 0822, 8252, 8255, 8431, 8432, and 8611
If the Canadian employer can meet the above requirements, then they’re worthy to hire a temporary foreign worker through the normal Agricultural Stream or the SAWP (Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program).
Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP):
This program allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers to fill temporary positions in agricultural production for at most 8 months at a time. You will also meet the basic requirements for hiring foreign workers in the agricultural sector. Also, foreign workers must either be citizens of Mexico or any of the Caribbean countries that take part in the bilateral agreement facilitating the SAWP.
The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) enables employers to hire temporary foreign workers to fill temporary positions in agricultural production for a maximum of 8 months at a time.
All positions must meet the general requirements for hiring foreign agricultural workers. As well, foreign workers must be citizens of Mexico or one of the Caribbean countries participating in the bilateral agreement facilitating the SAWP.
Employers that meet the SAWP requirements can apply for an LMIA showing the SAWP specifications. Employers will also agree to meet other requirements concerning the worker’s transportation from their country of residence, provision of safety and healthy workplace, and provide them with housing during the work period.
Countries that are part of the SAWP include Mexico, Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Jamaica, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The government of Canada intends to startup two (2) new immigration pilot programs (Home Support Worker pilot and Home Child Care Provider pilot) specifically for caregivers. The program is designed to replace the ongoing caregiver program – more updates will be published as soon as the information is released by the Canadian government.
The In-home caregivers’ program allows families to employ temporary foreign workers to provide care to seniors, children, in a private residence, or individuals with medical needs provided they meet any (even just one) of the following requirements:
1. Caregivers for persons with high medical needs: Individuals providing care to elders or persons with disabilities who require care. The job position should meet the requirements for any of NOC 3012, 3233, or 4412.
Families hiring must follow the same application procedure just like employers hiring through the low-wage and high-wage streams. In addition, the families employing in-home caregivers will have to provide proof that:
- They have enough finance to pay the in-home caregiver his wages; and
- They have a dependent family member who needs in-home care.
2. Caregivers for children: Caregivers giving care to under 18 (years) children. The job position should meet the criteria for NOC (National Occupation Classification) Code 4411.
Families who are employing in-home caregivers for elderly people and people living with disabilities are free from the $1000 CAD application fee required for an LMIA.
Also, families hiring in-home caregivers for children under 18(years) will be free from the $1000 CAD LMIA application fee if their gross annual income is below $150,000 CAD.
Global Talent Stream
The Global Talent Stream also known as GTS for short is a two (2) years pilot program started in June 2017 through a partnership between Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
The GTS helps some employers in Canada to hire highly skilled global talent to empower them to compete on an international scale. Successful employers who refer to this program will be able to speed up the process for hiring foreign nationals via the Global Skills Strategy.
The ESDC and IRCC figured out that hiring foreign academics in tertiary institutions will increase the quality of education in Canada, this is the reason both bodies have created a number of procedures to quicken the hiring of foreign academics in Canada.
There are so many cases where foreign nationals employed in the research positions in tertiary institutions can be exempted from using a work permit, an LMIA, or even both. Nevertheless, academics who don’t qualify to be included as an LMIA exemption or work permit exemption must ensure they follow the regular procedures through the TFWP.
How To Apply for Temporary Foreign Worker Program
- The foreign worker must first receive a job offer from an employer in Canada before he/she can apply for a work permit.
- The employer will then file an application for LMIA from ESDC (Employment and Social Development Canada).
- If ESDC grants permission to the employer to employ a foreigner, then the foreigner can start working in Canada.
NOTE: If you stay outside of Canada, then you will need to apply for a visa.
International Mobility Program
This program which is also known as IMP for short allows employers in Canada to employ foreign workers without the use of an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment). These LMIA exemptions are based on the following conditions:
- broader cultural, economic, or other competitive advantages for Canada;
- and reciprocal benefits enjoyed by permanent residents and Canadians.
Employers in Canada are to follow the three steps below if they desire to employ foreign workers through the IMP:
- Confirm the worker in question qualifies for an LMIA-exemption;
- Pay the employer compliance fee which is $230 CAD;
- Submit the official offer of employment through the IMP’s Employer Portal.
The foreign national will only be eligible to apply for a Work Permit when his or her Canadian employer must have completed the three (3) steps above.
Foreign workers who are LMIA-exempt can qualify for expedited work permit processing via the Global Skills Strategy only if their position falls between NOC Skill Level A or 0 and they must be applying from outside of Canada.
Benefits of Temporary Foreign Worker Program
1). Canadian employers can easily hire non-Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
2). Employers can easily access skilled and talented workers to carry out a specific job.
3). Foreign workers can easily become permanent residents through the TFWP. They can achieve that through the following programs: