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Temporary Foreign Worker Program

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) allows Canadian employers to hire foreign nationals to fill labour shortages in Canada.

The TFWP is jointly administered by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The program allows Canadian employers to respond to genuine labour shortages by allowing them to hire internationally, while ensuring that Canadian citizens and permanent residents have the first opportunity to apply for open job positions.

Labour Market Impact Assessment

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and a temporary work permit are required to be obtained before a foreign national can begin working for the Canadian employer through the TFWP. A LMIA is a document that serves as proof that there will be a positive or neutral impact to the Canadian labour market if the employer hires the foreign worker. This document replaced the Labour Market Opinion (LMO) process in June, 2014.

Employers in Canada should be aware of the requirements, wages, advertisement efforts, exceptions to the advertising requirements, and how to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment.

Learn more about an LMIA here

Exemptions to the LMIA requirement include jobs that do not fall under the auspices of the TFWP. Offers of employment made by Canadian employers to foreign workers through the International Mobility Program (IMP) do not require a LMIA to be obtained.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program & International Mobility Program

Temporary Foreign Worker Program

  • For employers to fill jobs in cases where qualified Canadians are not available

  • Unilateral and discretionary

  • Labour Market Impact Assessment must be obtained

  • Lead department ESDC

  • No reciprocity, based on labour market needs for specific occupations and regions

  • Employer-specific work permits (foreign workers are tied to one employer)

  • Uses wage instead of National Occupational Classification (NOC) to determine applicability

International Mobility Program

  • To advance Canada's broad economic and cultural national interest

  • Based largely on multilateral/bilateral agreements with other countries (e.g. NAFTA)

  • No Labour Market Impact Assessment is required

  • Lead department IRCC

  • Based largely on reciprocity

  • Work permits may be employer-specific or open, depending on the situation or agreement

  • Does not stream by wage offered

Getting the workers you need

Complete this short survey form to submit your work permit query directly to our specialists. We will respond with an evaluation of your needs. ​

Please provide complete details about the position offered to the foreign worker, whether this is an intra-company transfer or not, as well as information about the foreign worker (e.g. qualifications, nationality, etc.)

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