The TFWP is jointly managed by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
Employers often require a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) from HRSDC to hire a foreign worker. A positive LMO means that the employer has tried but has been unable to find a Canadian or permanent resident for the job, that the job offer is genuine, and that the employer has met job offer commitments to temporary foreign workers they have hired in the past.
Some jobs do not require HRSDC authorization in order to hire a foreign worker and therefore do not require a Labour Market Opinion. Certain categories of workers may be exempt from the LMO requirement due to an international trade agreement, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), or an agreement between the federal government and a provincial or territorial government.
The Temporary Foreign Worker Unit will provide advice on whether an LMO is required and offer additional information about the program. Temporary Foreign Worker units may also advise employers on any active pilot projects in effect in their province that may help attract workers in particular occupations or with particular skills.
After obtaining an LMO, or if an LMO is not required, the worker needs to apply to CIC for a work permit. If an LMO is required, the employer must provide a copy of the positive LMO from HRSDC for inclusion with the worker’s application. Processing times for work permits vary depending on where and how the application is made.
The employer is responsible for arranging the employee’s Worker’s Compensation benefits and medical coverage, verifying that the employee has a Social Insurance Number, and ensuring that the conditions and time limits on the work permit are met.
As the Temporary Foreign Worker Program is designed to help employers fill short-term gaps in Canada’s labour market, most temporary foreign workers are limited to working in Canada for four years before having to return to their home country. Most TFWs have the opportunity to apply for permanent residence with such programs as the Canadian Experience Class application.
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