Canada Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)

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The Canada Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is an immigration pathway that makes it possible for the employers in a country to employ foreign nationals to work for them. Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) Canada is a program that was created by the Government of Canada. Through this program, Canada employers are able to recruit foreigners for a limited time with the aim of improving their labour force and productivity. Canada temporary foreign worker program brings about foreigners who are temporary foreign workers in Canada.

History of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program

Temporary Worker Programs history can be traced back to 1973 when the program was founded by the Government of Canada. During this period, highly-skilled workers like medical practitioners were mostly involved in this program. In 2002, low-skilled workers were included in the program.

The temporary foreign worker programs gained expansion in 2006 as fast-tracking was introduced for some locations. Around July 2013, the Government of Canada brought some significant changes to temporary foreign worker program so as to offer advantage to Canada citizens, as well as to improve the hiring rates of Canadians. The changes were also made to facilitate Canada’s economic growth.

Additionally, the operations of temporary foreign worker program are being supported by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Temporary foreign worker program benefits both the employer and the foreign national.

Temporary Foreign Worker Programs in Canada

TFWP requires Canadian employers to hire foreigners as their workers via any of the streams stated below;

  • Global talent stream
  • Low-wage workers
  • High-wage workers
  • In-home caregivers
  • Foreign agricultural workers

Hence, there were some major temporary foreign worker program changes in 2016. Canadian employers were more concerned with the changes. Some temporary foreign worker program news platform expressed the changes as follows;

  1. A faster Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application process
  2. Lessened LMIA processing times for reliable employers
  3. Exclusions of some workers from undergoing the LMIA process
  4. Exempting the submission of Transition Plans for high-skilled foreign workers
  5. The ability to review contracts with temporary foreign workers if the employee and employer offer their approval
  6. To limit the percentage of low-wage temporary foreign workers that a Canadian employer is permitted to hire at a specific time to 20%
  7. Some Canadian employers that were initially exempted from hiring low-wage workers were allowed to hire them

How to hire a temporary worker through the temporary foreign workers program:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian employers who hold the intention to hire employee through the CIC temporary foreign worker program are required to comply with some processes. As a Canadian employer, it’s crucial that you apply for Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to confirm whether you are allowed to hire a temporary foreign worker. Thus, Canadian employers need to pass through 3 major steps to complete a temporary foreign worker program application.

The steps include; 

1. Obtaining a LMIA or submitting an employment offer:

The Labour Market Impact Assessment serves as a proof that you really need to hire such employee in your organization since no Canadian employee is competent enough to do the job. If your job doesn’t demand a LMIA, you will need to submit an offer of employment and make payments for the employer compliance fee via the Employer Portal of IRRC. Also, it is important for you to provide the foreigner with the offer of employment number or LMIA number in order to assist the employee in completing their application. However, some employers are exempted from paying the employer compliance fee and also from submitting an offer of employment.

2. Request the foreign national to apply for a work permit:

After the worker has received a copy of the job offer, the offer of employment number or LMIA number, they’ll then make use of them to apply for their Canadian work permit. Hence, if you did not go through the employer compliance process, the worker can make use of the employment contract to support their application.

3. Explain the procedures to the foreign nationals and what outcomes to anticipate:

This requires you to inform the worker to await a letter of introduction following the approval of their work permit. If the foreign national is already residing in Canada, CIC will send the work permit to their mail. As a holder of Canada temporary foreign worker program, there is no specified validity period for the work permit. Instead, the validity period of Canada’s temporary foreign worker program depends on your job offer or contract.

If your employer made use of LMIA during the hiring process, the duration will be indicated on your LMIA. A temporary foreign worker’s program statistics demonstrated that more than half a million foreign nationals were employed by Canadian employers to work as their temporary staff from year 2006 to 2014. Technical workers, creative and performing artists, self-employed engineers, etc., are examples of Canada temporary foreign employees that are exempted from Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Quebec Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)

This program is ideal to foreign nationals who are seeking for temporary employments in Quebec. The first step of applying for Quebec TFWP is usually initiated by the employer. Your LMIA application must be submitted to Service Canada and the Ministère de l’Immigration,  de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) at the same time. If you’re presently residing in Quebec, it is mandated that you submit your LMIA application in French. You don’t need this submission if you are applying for an in-home caregiver job.

British Columbia TFWP

British Columbia’s Foreign Workers Program is recommended to employers in British Columbia who intends to hire well-versed and skilled foreign nationals to grow their business. Applying for this kind of TFWP requires the intervention of WorkBC. Their duty involves rendering aid to all British Columbians so as to carefully direct BC’s labour market.

Alberta TFWP

This type of TFWP allows Alberta employers to take new workers when there are limited number of Canada citizens and permanent residents who are competent for a particular job. Under the temporary foreign worker program Alberta, employers often hire foreign nationals to fill various positions or occupations such as carpenter, welder, ironworker, etc.

Manitoba TFWP

This program is made available by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to foreign nationals that want to get hired by an employer in Manitoba. Temporary foreign worker program Manitoba requires your employer to register with Manitoba Labour – Employment Standards. On several occasions, application should be made for foreign worker recruitment from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

Here are the official sources to some necessary forms that you need for your application of temporary foreign worker program.

  1. You can download overhauling the temporary foreign worker programs’ pdf file.
  2. You can check the pdf file of TFWP annex 2, which consists of the employment contract.
  3. Schedule H temporary foreign worker program form is essential for foreign nationals with mental disability, chronic, or terminal illnesses.
  4. If you and your employer are entering an in-home caregiver employer/employee contract, downloading tfwp form is required in applying for a TFWP.

Roles of foreign workers when there is an ongoing strike situation at their workplace

Temporary foreign workers are also allowed to join legally-authorized strike. Such temporary foreign worker program strike will not make the foreign worker to lose their work permit. You have the decision to make whether to participate or not to involve yourself in the strike.

In this situation, you might need to;

  • Wait for the strike to be lifted
  • Apply for a new job. If you decide to seek new employment, your new employer will assist you in applying for LMIA if the job demands it
  • Return to your home country till the end of the strike. Inasmuch as your work permit hasn’t expired, your temporary foreign worker program policy still supports you. It offers you the freedom to enter Canada without needing a new visa

Changes to temporary foreign workers’ pathway in 2015

On 30th April, 2015, some changes were effected to Canada’s TFWP so as to help employers who are finding it difficult to get adept workers within Canada to occupy a job post.

Changes were also made to the median-hourly wages pertaining to each occupation and region chart. This relies on the type of job to be classified as low-wage or high-wage. Also, the changes had impacts on the wage-stream of incoming Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications, and also on the threshold used for ascertaining eligibility of a 10-day expedited processing. Existing streams were substituted with low-wage and high-wage streams.

Some Questions about Canada TFWPs

  1. When did Canada TFWP start?
    • TFWP started in 1973
  1. Which province started the temporary worker program in Canada?
    • The Government of Canada started Temporary Workers’ Program (TFWP)
  1. How to apply temporary foreign worker program?
    • Procure a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or submit an offer of employment
    • The foreigner will then apply for a work permit
    • The foreigner needs to be enlightened on the application process.