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The Temporary Foreign Worker Program

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Associate Lawyers

Jagmohan Singh Nanda
Jagmohan Singh Nanda
Veena
Veena C. Gupta
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Vasim Shaikh
Vasim Shaikh

In the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, Canadian employers can hire foreign nationals from abroad to temporarily meet short-term labour shortage. This program can be utilized in those specific jobs where Canadian citizens or permanent residents are not available.

What is the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program seeks to recognize and manage labour shortages in Canada and its provinces. The program provides a fast-track method of getting work permits and closing the gap in the necessary skillset by hiring suitable foreign workers.

Applying under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)

There are specific jobs which can be applied under this program:

  • workers in the field of agriculture
  • Caregivers who live-in with the care receivers
  • Occupations requiring a low skillset
  • Occupations requiring high skillset

The application requirements under this program are very specific. The wage range, working conditions, type of job and the mode of advertising are also specified. Any failure to adhere to the requirements can render the employer inadmissible to bring in foreign workers under this program.

Process of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)

It is implemented by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

There are many requirements under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). The Canadian employer needs to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) which is issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The LMIA explicitly mentions that there is a stated labour shortage and the employer is authorized to hire a foreign worker for the job. In this case, the foreign worker needs to apply for and secure a work permit.

The LMIA is known to be a lengthy and costly process. In fact, employers actually find out if the foreign worker is qualifying under an LMIA exempt stream for a work permit. Few of the exempt streams are academics, religious workers.

If the foreign worker is unable to receive LMIA exempt work permit, the employer will need to secure an LMIA approved work permit. When the LMIA application is made, the employer needs to demonstrate:

  • Sufficient efforts were taken to recruit and train available citizens or permanent residents of Canada
  • Equivalence of wages offered by the employer to the wage rate paid to Canadians in the same or similar occupation in the region
  • Adherence to occupation-specific working conditions to the provincial labour market standards
  • Necessary actions will be taken to minimize the eventual dependence on temporary foreign workers
  • All advantages to the Canadian labour market by hiring foreign workers

After the LMIA is issued, work permit has to be applied by the foreign worker. Temporary resident visa and medical examinations are needed based on the country of citizenship of the foreign worker.

There are many reasons why a foreign worker may be refused entry into Canada. The reasons for refusal can be inadmissibility due to security, criminal or medical reasons.

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