The Temporary Foreign Worker Program lets employers hire foreign workers to fill temporary labour and skill shortages.
Employers can hire workers abroad or already in Canada.
Qualified foreign workers already in Canada could include those who
- are about to complete a job contract with another employer, or
- hold an open work permit that allows them to work for any employer in Canada.
The program can be used to hire foreign workers for up to four years.
Processing times vary depending on where and how the person applies.
The foreign worker must apply for themselves. To support them, the employer may need to get approval from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) through a labour market opinion (LMO).
An LMO verifies that there is a need for a foreign worker and that there is no Canadian who can do the job. Find out more about what a foreign worker must do to come to Canada.
Some temporary foreign workers can go on to become permanent residents through:
Hire in four steps
- In most cases, there are four steps to hire a TFW from outside Canada. Learn about them in the guide How to Hire a Temporary Foreign Worker.
- This is a guide for employers in small to medium-sized businesses who want to hire foreign workers.