Work In Canada: A Complete Guide to Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Explore the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) in Canada, designed for those seeking short-term work engagements. Uncover the eligibility criteria, step-by-step application process, and essential details to embark on your journey towards temporary employment in Canada.

The Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers to fill temporary jobs when qualified Canadians are not available. The program was created by the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) to help employers find the workers they need when they need them.

We recently wrote an article about the launch of the Canada Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and received a lot of questions from our readers. They wanted to know more about how the program works, who can apply, and what the benefits are.

In this guide, we will answer all of your questions about the TFWP. We will explain the program in simple terms so that you can understand how it can be a great opportunity for both employers and workers.

Whether you are an employer who wants to hire foreign workers or a worker who wants to come to Canada to work, this guide is for you. We will walk you through the entire process, from start to finish.


Here are some of the key points that we will cover in the guide:

  • Who can apply to the TFWP?
  • What are the eligibility requirements?
  • How do you apply for the TFWP?
  • What are the benefits of participating in the TFWP?
  • What are the costs of participating in the TFWP?

Canada Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Canada Work Permit

Canada, renowned for its allure as a top destination and an attractive workplace, continuously draws a substantial influx of both visitors and job seekers. To cater to the diverse needs of this inflow, the Canadian Government has established an array of visitor and work visas, each tailored to specific circumstances.

Among these visas, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) stands out as a pivotal mechanism designed to facilitate short-term work engagements within the country.

Unveiling the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

At its core, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program emerges as a transient work visa initiative crafted by the Canadian Government to provide opportunities for foreign workers seeking temporary employment within Canada.


The TFWP enables individuals to engage in employment within the nation for a duration of up to 6 months, with the potential for extensions.

Under this program, foreign workers are authorized to work solely for a single employer, and in return, they are granted a corresponding work permit and visa. This authorization mandates adherence to Canadian legal stipulations.

As the expiration of the work permit and visa draws near, workers have the option to apply for a permit extension or to depart from Canada and return to their home country.

Who can apply to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program?

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is open to both foreign workers and Canadian employers who meet certain criteria.


Foreign workers who wish to apply must have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer and meet other requirements, while employers must show that they have tried to hire Canadian citizens or permanent residents first.

Eligibility for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Navigating the path toward becoming a temporary foreign worker within Canada involves meeting a series of rigorous criteria.

This stringent selection process serves to safeguard the interests of Canadian citizens and permanent residents by ensuring that foreign workers are truly essential assets to Canadian enterprises. Chief among the prerequisites is the acquisition of a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

The LMIA serves as a pivotal document, obtained by the Canadian employer, certifying that exhaustive efforts have been undertaken to secure a domestic candidate for the position in question.


Failing to find a suitable Canadian applicant, the employer is then granted permission to employ a foreign worker. The process of obtaining an LMIA is time-intensive and should be initiated well in advance.

Additional prerequisites for eligibility under the TFWP include:

  • Secured Employment: A valid job offer from a Canadian employer is a fundamental requirement for all work visas.
  • Intention to Depart: Demonstrating plans to leave Canada upon the expiration of the work permit.
  • Financial Capability: Providing evidence of financial resources to support both one’s stay in Canada and the return journey to their home country.
  • Clean Background: Furnishing proof of a clean criminal record.
  • National Security and Health: Demonstrating non-threatening status to Canada’s national security and maintaining good health.
  • Ethical Employment: Committing not to engage in work related to striptease, erotic dance, erotic massage, or escort services.

Satisfying these prerequisites is essential for successful TFWP application and consideration.

Applying for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Embarking on the journey to secure a position within the Temporary Foreign Worker Program necessitates a methodical approach. The following steps outline the comprehensive application process:


1. Obtaining a Job Offer: Initiate your pursuit by securing a job offer from a Canadian employer. Job searches can be conducted via online job portals or the Canadian government’s Job Bank. The job offer letter should be genuine and endorsed by a Canadian employer.

2. Securing an LMIA: The employer must initiate the application for an LMIA through Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Approval of the LMIA underscores the employer’s need to hire a foreign worker.

3. Application for Visa and Permit: Post LMIA approval, the foreign worker can proceed with the application for a work visa and permit. This involves submitting specified forms to the Canadian Consulate, either online or in person.

4. Medical Examination: Undergo a medical examination to establish good health. This step is pivotal, as certain occupations require a clean bill of health to engage in specific job roles.


5. Visa Interview and Biometrics: Attend a visa interview with officials from the Canadian Consulate. You may also be required to provide biometric information after the interview.

6. Await Processing: Following document submission, anticipate a processing period, varying based on your location. The Consulate will either accept or reject your application.

7. Travel to Canada: If your application is approved, you can make travel arrangements to enter Canada. Upon arrival, undergo scrutiny by Port of Entry (PoE) officers, who assess your documentation and the purpose of the visit.

What are the benefits of participating in the TFWP?

Participating in the TFWP can offer several benefits. For foreign workers, it provides a chance to gain valuable work experience in Canada, earn income, and potentially transition to permanent residency.


Employers can address labour shortages, access specialized skills, and contribute to the Canadian economy.

Fees, Validity, and Dependent Accompaniment

Fees: The application fee for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program is CAD$155, payable upon submission. Additionally, a CAD$85 fee may apply for biometric information submission.

Validity: The initial work permit is valid for up to 6 months, with potential extensions. Maximum stay through the TFWP is generally capped at 4 years.

Dependents: The program allows workers to bring immediate family members, including spouses and minor children. However, eligibility for accompanying dependents’ employment rests upon the Canadian Government’s decision, which varies based on individual cases and countries of origin.


Final Words

In conclusion, Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program serves as a pivotal conduit for short-term employment opportunities within the country’s diverse and vibrant economy. Navigating the rigorous application process and fulfilling essential prerequisites can lead to the realization of one’s aspirations for a temporary work engagement in Canada.

As this process unfolds, aspiring foreign workers should remain diligent, mindful of deadlines, and equipped with a comprehensive understanding of the program’s intricacies.

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of, he's passionate about writing.

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