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Temporary Foreign Worker

Temporary Foreign Worker

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) allows an employer to hire foreign workers to fill temporary labour and skill shortages. If you are someone who is about to head to Canada in order to work - whether temporarily or on a long-term project - you need to understand what is necessary in terms of required documentation. Work Permits are usually required for almost any traveler heading to Canada to work. Essentially, you can assume that you will require a Work Permit if you become part of the Canadian labour market for a length of time. Contact us today at (403) 452-9515 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email us directly.

What is an LMIA?

In addition to the Work Permit, however, you may also be in need of a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This is something that all employers who intend to hire foreign national workers must obtain. It is issued by Employment and Social Development Canada Service (ESDC) and when it is completed, it must be "positive" or the employer cannot hire a foreign national for the specific position. A positive LMIA tells IRCC that the entry of a temporary foreign worker in the position named will create either a positive or neutral effect on the Canadian labour market.

Do You Need an LMIA to Obtain a Work Permit? Sometimes.

A Work Permit alone may not be enough for someone to work legally in Canada. In some circumstances, an LMIA may be required. This is a document that indicates that there is a demonstrated need for a foreign worker to fill the job and that no Canadian worker is available to do it.

How Do I Get an LMIA?

If you are someone who is about to head to Canada in order to work - whether temporarily or on a long-term project - you need to understand what is necessary in terms of required documentation. Work Permits are usually required for almost any traveler heading to Canada to work. Essentially, you can assume that you will require a Work Permit if you become part of the Canadian labour market for a length of time.

In addition to the Work Permit, however, you may also be in need of an LMIA. This is something that all employers who intend to hire foreign national workers must obtain. It is issued by Employment and Social Development Canada Service (ESDC) and when it is completed, it must be "positive" or the employer cannot hire a foreign national for the specific position. A positive LMIA tells IRCC/CIC that the entry of a temporary foreign worker in the position named will create either a positive or neutral effect on the Canadian labour market.

LMIA-Exempt Work Permits

Some jobs require an LMIA in order for a permit to be issued, however, some jobs are entirely LMIA exempt from the need for the Labour Market Impact Assessment.

According to IRCC, employers who hire qualifying foreign workers through the "International Mobility Programs" will not require an LMIA. Many of those programs are the different "trade agreements" that Canada has created with other countries. The list of workers exempt from LMIA is limited and all of the workers will require a work permit before entering the Canadian labour market.

  • Workers who qualify under international agreements (i.e. NAFTA, GATS, etc.)
  • Those who are taking part in exchange programs (i.e. International Experience Canada exchange programs, academic exchanges, etc.)
  • The spouses of some foreign students, some skilled foreign workers, and those in Canada legally applying for permanent citizen status
  • Workers who are eligible through federal-provincial or territorial agreements
  • Those workers nominated by a territory or province for Permanent Residence
  • Those already at work in Canada who are applying for Permanent Residence as skilled workers, tradesmen, or the Canadian Experience Class
  • People working as repair personnel in commercial or industrial equipment
  • Academics
  • Co-op students
  • Religious workers
  • Those who must support themselves while staying in Canada, i.e. refugee claimants
  • Those who are working in intra-company transfers
  • Those who qualify under reciprocal benefits
  • Entertainment and arts workers may be exempt
  • Post-graduate Work Permits
  • Some off-campus Work Permits for students

This is a complex matter and not one to make any assumptions about. The LMIA can take time and greatly lengthen your Work Permit application time. It is fully recommended that you speak with an expert if you are unclear about your situation.

The LMIA is a vital part of the Work Permit and temporary workers situation, but it can be confusing. Be sure you understand your requirements as you begin to put together your work permit application.

IEC: International Experience Canada

Young adults who want to work and travel in Canada may apply for International Experience Canada IEC, an international agreement with Canada and 33 other countries for young adults aged 18 to 30 or 35 (depending on the country) to work and travel abroad.

To talk to an experienced immigration professional about your eligibility to move to Canada as a temporary foreign worker, contact Ackah Law today at (403) 452-9515 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email us directly.

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Evelyn and her team are amazing resources. Evelyn has been fantastic to work with and has supported me on various projects I’ve worked on and has been a great support to the people I work with. Ackah Business Immigration Law is my number 1 choice when it comes to immigration support.

– Sean Alley, Human Resources Generalist

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