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Constructive Recruitment Solutions / Informative  / The Temporary Foreign Worker Program in Canada: An Introduction

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program in Canada: An Introduction

According to the Government of Canada, the Canadian born workforce is on a steady decline.  Employers across the country are experiencing skilled labour shortages, and Stats Canada foresees that before the middle of the next decade, almost all labour force growth will come from immigration (Government of Canada, 2014).

Enter the utilization of foreign recruitment to fill this gap – but how does the foreign recruitment process work in Canada?

 Perhaps it’s best to start off with a quick background. To begin with, only Canadian citizens and permanent residents have the right to work in Canada. Anyone who is not a Canadian permanent resident must obtain authorization from Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) to work in Canada, and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). These two departments admin the Temporary Foreign Worker (or TFW) program.

The Temporary Foreign Worker program provides an opportunity for: foreign workers to work in Canada temporarily, and Canadian employers to address short-term labour challenges by temporarily hiring foreign workers. For the majority of the time, non-Canadian citizens require work permits from CIC before becoming employed. Citizens from certain countries must also obtain a work permit before being allowed to work in Canada. A list of these countries can be found at this link: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/apply-who.asp

It is important however, to realize that the responsibility is also on the employer who has a pivotal role in the application process for a temporary foreign worker. An employer must obtain a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) from the Federal Government. This is an approval to hire a foreign worker that an employer must send along with an offer of employment to the prospect so that they can apply for a work permit at the designated Canadian visa office.

(Some foreign workers however, can be admitted to work without an employer first obtaining an LMO depending on the occupation. Learn more about which jobs circumvent this: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/apply-who-permit.asp)

Lastly, a TFW may remain in Canada as long as their work permit is valid or extension is granted. A extension of work permit may be applied for via the Case Processing Centre (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/offices/canada/vegreville.asp). It is recommended that this be done at least one month prior to the expiry of a temporary foreign worker’s work permit.

Information can be found in this video on the temporary foreign worker program and the perceived benefits:

( Additional information can be read at the following links listed below, which also provided information for this article:)





Government of Canada


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