Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Temporary Foreign Worker Program

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is jointly managed by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This program allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers to fill temporary shortages when qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents are not available.

Employers can also hire a qualified foreign worker already in Canada, such as a foreign worker who wishes to change jobs, or who is about to complete a job contract with another employer or a foreign national holding an open work permit that allows the employee to work for any employer in Canada.

TFWs may extend their stay by either becoming permanent residents or extending their temporary status, but the options for each stream can be very different. For example, in-home caregivers are allowed to apply for permanent residence after completing two years of full-time work as domestic workers along with meeting certain other criteria, but for workers in the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP) there is no dedicated stream for transition and they may be employed only for a maximum period of eight months per year, after which they must leave Canada (Government of Canada 2016; Hennebry 2014). However, SAWP workers may return to Canada each year on a new Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and work permit (IRCC 2016).

In general, the pathways available for workers to become permanent residents are reduced and mainly focused on highly skilled workers. For low-skilled workers, the primary pathway to permanent residence is through the provincial or territorial nominee programs.

To learn more about the Temporary Foreign Worker Program click here.

Source: Statistics Canada. (2018, January 29). Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series How Temporary Were Canada’s Temporary Foreign Workers?