Hire a foreign academic: Overview

National Occupational Classification (NOC) Migration

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) has switched to the 2021 version of the NOC. Learn more about the NOC 2021 transition.

1. Overview

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program is intended to be used when you are facing short-term skills and labour shortages, and only when no Canadians and permanent residents are available.

Employing foreign academics can help degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in Canada meet their staffing and teaching needs and attract new knowledge and expertise to Canadian campuses.

Special hiring criteria have been developed by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in cooperation with universities, degree-granting colleges, and unions representing Canadian academics. These criteria are designed to take into account the career development and employment of Canadian academics.

An academic is an individual with at least one postgraduate degree (following a Bachelor's degree) who earns the majority of their income from teaching or conducting research as employees at universities and university colleges in Canada. If your institution is interested in hiring a foreign worker for an occupation where the majority of the job duties are other than teaching or research (in other words management, financial or administrative, etc.) the regular ESDC process for hiring foreign workers applies.

Also, please note that the regular ESDC process for hiring foreign workers applies to community colleges unless they are affiliated with a university and their students can obtain degrees, and to the Collèges d'enseignement général et professionnel (Cégep) in Quebec.

As of April 4, 2022, employers submitting an LMIA application for a high-wage position may request an employment duration of up to 3 years. The employment duration must align with the employer’s reasonable employment needs. (High-wage positions include the Global Talent Stream, High-wage Stream including caregiver positions, Agricultural Stream and Express Entry). The duration may be issued for longer in exceptional circumstances whereby the employer provides an adequate rationale.

Employers awaiting a decision who wish to modify the duration in their LMIA applications may contact the Employer Contact Centre or the applicable Service Canada processing centre. The option to increase the duration does not apply to already issued positive LMIA decisions.

Please refer to the High-wage Stream for program requirements unless otherwise indicated on the Academics pages.

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