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Know the Basics

View TFW program terminology in ESDC’s GLOSSORY

  1. In some Provinces, employers first must register with the Province prior to starting foreign worker recruitment.

  2. Employers must obtain Federal Government approval in a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application before recruiting a foreign worker.

  3. LMIA assessments determine the position wage and profile, the need for the worker, domestic recruitment efforts, and the impact of hiring a foreign worker on the Canadian labour market.

  4. Third party representatives used for the LMIA and recruitment process must be identified on the LMIA application.

  5. Submit Named LMIA applications where candidates are known and Unnamed LMIA ones where candidates are not yet selected.

  6. Service Canada issues positive LMIA decisions in the form of an employment confirmation letter and is the required recruitment permission.

  7. Once a candidate is selected for an unnamed LMIA, Service Canada must be notified, the name added to the unnamed LMIA, and approved again by Service Canada.

  8. A positive LMIA is valid for a period of 6 months from the date of issue.

  9. An employment contract signed both by the candidate and employer along with a copy of the positive LMIA must be forwarded to the foreign candidate for use in applying for a work visa at a Canadian visa office abroad. Candidates or current workers already in Canada may apply directly to a domestic CIC Processing Centre (i.e. Vegreville, AB).

  10. Canada requires candidates from certain countries to also attain a temporary resident visa (TRV) to enter Canada.

  11. Foreign workers may require a medical examination and security clearances as part of the work visa application depending on the country of origin, the candidate, and the type of work to be done in Canada.

  12. Upon receipt of the CIC approved work visa in their home country the foreign worker is issued a work permit by the Canadian Border Services Agency officer at the first point of entry into Canada.  Work permits can still be denied at entry if the officer finds the person inadmissible for any reason, including criminal, security, medical grounds, failure to prove a valid job offer, or not being truthful during the immigration entrance process.

  13. Work permits are generally issued for the same work period duration based on the LMIA stream used, as noted on the LMIA, or other considerations such as the worker’s passport expiry date.

  14. Under no circumstance is an employer permitted to hire or the TFW permitted to work for anyone, without a valid work permit.


Basic Steps

The steps in hiring a temporary foreign worker will require following a rigorous process depends on the employer’s Province of residence or worksite, the job being recruited, the specifics of the job offer, and also the foreign worker’s source country. It is important to research all the steps and precisely follow all procedures and directives.

Employers and foreign workers must complete all the requirements and directives.  Provide accurate and complete information or the process may be delayed or the application rejected. A qualified third-party agent to assist with the process may be a preferred option.

Employers must at minimum:

  1. Register with the Province where required.

  2. Determine if an LMIA is required for the position.

  3. Complete all domestic advertising requirements.

  4. Apply for an LMIA(s) from Service Canada using the appropriate stream, directives, and forms.

  5. Provide the foreign worker candidate(s) with a valid LMIA and job offer.

  6. Where applicable, ensure the foreign worker candidate(s) apply for a work visa, through the respective CIC office in Canada or the source country.

  7. Ensure the worker is greeted upon arrival, is allocated or registered for any required services, is familiarized with the local community, and ultimately is equipped for the job.

  8. Ensure the employee experiences a successful integration into the workplace and the community.


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