Temporary Foreign Workers Program: a comprehensive guide

Canada is full of a wide range of opportunities for both work and visiting purposes. The Canadian government has introduced different work and visiting visas to meet the need of the Canadian labor market.  

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program is a kind of work visa specially developed for people who seek only temporary work in Canada. TFWP is a program that provides opportunities to Canadian employers seeking to hire workers from abroad and foreign workers who seek Canadian work experience for a brief period only.   

You can gain Canadian work experience only for six months, with chances of extending the work visa.  

Even though TFWP lets people work temporarily in Canada, it provides all the perks and benefits to foreign workers. They are allowed to experience the country’s privileges and rights of safety and protection.  

Also, they must abide by Canadian laws during their short stay in the country. They are permitted to only work under a single Canadian employer and their location is restricted to their job location. Temporary Foreign Workers can extend their work permits as and when their work permits are nearing their expiry date. Not being able to extend the work permit will lead to an individual’s exit from the country.  

Eligibility conditions to be met by Temporary Foreign Workers 

It is essential to complete all the eligibility requirements to become a Temporary Foreign Worker, but the needs are complex and tedious. Acquiring a Temporary Foreign Worker’s visa isn’t easy because the Canadian government works in favor of Canadian citizens, and it ensures that no potential employee in the country is left out before recruiting any workers from outside Canada. The government wants to ensure that they are not preventing any likely Canadian citizens and permanent residents from losing out on possible job opportunities. It also wants to be satisfied by checking whether the Canadian employer and the country are really in need of a foreign employer.  

These requirements are primarily responsible for the more extensive provision of an LMIA procedure demanded from the Canadian employer.   

The LMIA is the Canadian employer’s responsibility and not the foreign worker they hire. An employer in Canada must obtain the LMIA that is a positive one and which also demonstrates that there is no Canadian citizen or permanent resident left who is fit for the job, is available but has not been hired. It shows that the Canadian employer has thoroughly researched and hasn’t been able to find any appropriate candidature from Canada and so has no other option but to seek to hire foreign workers. 

On the contrary, if the Canadian employer receives a negative LMIA, it implies that he must further hire a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to do the job as there is scope to find such employees in the country itself. 

It is better to start with the LMIA procedure early itself, as this is a lengthy one and consumes too much time. 

A few general TFWP eligibility requirements have been outlined below: 

  • Make sure you hold a Canadian job offer. 
  • It would be best if you displayed your intention of leaving the country post your work permit expiry. 
  • You must present settlement fund proof and also demonstrate your ability to financially assist yourself and your family members as well. 
  • You must not be involved in any criminal activities and have no existing criminal record. 
  • You must in no way pose any danger or threat to the security of Canada and its citizens. 
  • You must display good health conditions.  
  • You must be away from Canadian employers who offer you to serve for other services such as dance, erotic massage, striptease, or escorting people.  

To ensure you get a TFWP, you must match all the eligibility requirements. 

Temporary Foreign Worker Program- applying procedure 

Not being a Canadian citizen means that you can’t legally work in Canada except that for getting a work permit. LMIA is another essential factor for any employer to employ a foreign worker.  

You can apply for the TFWP through the following steps: 

1. Acquistion of a Candian job offer 

If you are seriously seeking a Canadian work visa, you must first ensure you possess a job offer in Canada. If you genuinely wish to start working in the country, you must start your job search and apply to get employed through online jobs, several job portals, and even the Canadian government’s Job Bank. Doing the same will enhance your chances of getting an employment offer.   

2. Acquiring an LMIA  

Your employer must obtain LMIA from ESDC (Employment and Social Development Canada). The LMIA will determine whether the Canadian employer needs to hire a foreign worker or not. He will assess the requirement through the Canadian labor markets. You must proceed with the next step once your employer completes the LMIA. Still, if he fails to receive a positive LMIA, you must either consider changing your employer or persuade your existing one to re-apply for the LMIA process.   

3. Start with your work permit or work visa application 

You must submit your application for the work visa or work permit to the Canadian Consulate via the website or physically visit their office for the same. You must do so only if you have the LMIA. 

You must ensure that the following supporting documents are incorporated in your TFWP application: 

  • Your Canadian date of entry must be well-aligned with your passport’s validity of six months.  
  • You must have the photocopied pages of your complete passport. 
  • You will need to provide only two photographs. 
  • You must possess an employment letter or offer from your employer. 
  • You must present your latest and current immigration proof. This applies to you if the country of citizenship differs from the one you are residing in). 
  • Your updated CV with all the accurate information about you. 
  • Certificates concerning police records. 
  • All your educational qualification degrees and diplomas. 
  • Marriage certificate copy along with your child’s birth certificate. 
  • In case you need to work in Quebec province, you will require a CSQ (Quebec Selection Certificate). 
  • All the documents as required by the Consulate of Canada. 

4. Getting the medical examination done 

It is mandatory to get yourself tested by any licensed doctor to demonstrate your good health. You will also have to get them to sign your document. Failing to do so would prohibit you from working in primary professions including the childcare sector, teaching professions at primary and secondary levels, agricultural fields, and other healthcare services. It is suggested that you essentially undertake the medical examination to avoid restricting the various job options available to you. 

5. Attend the interview by the Canadian Consulate 

The Canadian Consulates might want to investigate your intentions of visiting Canada. He will need the reassurance of the fact that you will be returning to your native country once you are done with the expiry of your work permit or work visa. He might even try to verify your application’s authenticity. Once you have given your interview, you will be asked to provide your Biometric impression.  

6. Waiting time for your application to be processed 

Once you have submitted all supporting documents with your application, you will need to patiently wait for the application to be processed. Also, you will need to understand that the processing time will vary from country to country. It might take you anywhere between 3 to 27 weeks to learn about your application status. The consulate might accept your application or reject it as well. In either case, you will receive a proper response. If your application gets approved, you will learn about the process ahead with further instructions while you might even receive the reasons behind the refusal of your application. These reasons will help you enhance your application the next time you apply for the same. 

7. Final step of moving to Canada 

Your final step is obviously to move to Canada, and for that, you must make the necessary arrangements in advance because you will undergo verification by the officers at the port of entry in Canada. The officials will verify all your documents and interrogate you on your purpose of visit to the country and the stay duration for which you have come here. Make sure you present all the documents before them, satisfy all their queries concerning your visit, and don’t give them a chance to feel that you have any hidden intentions. 

What is the validity of the Temporary Work Permit? 

When you initially receive your Temporary Work Permit, its validity is up to six months only, but the Canadian government permits you to apply for the work permit extension. If you would like to apply for the extension, you must ensure you do it from Canada and submit your documents again. The Canadian government will finally determine your stay duration in the country; however, you will get a maximum period of 4 years to prolong your stay in the country. Once you complete the extended period, you will have to leave Canada. 

Is it possible for dependents to accompany you while you are in Canada through TFWP? 

According to the regulations of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, you can get your dependents to stay with you in Canada. The dependents could be your children under minority, spouse, or common-law partner.   

You must submit the documents of your family members while applying for the TFWP for the very first time so that the Canadian Consulate can verify them at once. Doing so will speed up the process for you, and you won’t have to apply separately for the same. As per the rules, dependents are permitted to accompany you in the country; still, you must get all the details from the Canadian Consulate as it completely relies on the government to permit your spouse or common-law partner to receive a work permit or employment in Canada. 


The Temporary Foreign Workers Program has made it convenient for employers to hire foreign talent. On the other hand, foreign national workers also get access to job opportunities in Canada. The above points will certainly help you apply for the TFWP program with accuracy.  

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