Hire a skilled worker to support their permanent residency: Overview

Please read our latest notices:

Note:

For applications received on or after April 1, 2021, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) will no longer apply policy variations for “owner/operator” applications. These applications will be assessed using the normal process.

These changes are part of regular policy reviews to ensure that the TFWP

  • continues to work within its intended purpose, and
  • is only used by employers to fill a position when qualified Canadians or Permanent Residents are not available

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 Government of Canada believes that foreign workers can help employers meet their labour needs when Canadians and permanent residents are not available. As part of this process the government supports higher-skilled foreign workers based on their potential to become economically established in Canada and to assist employers to meet their skilled labour shortages.

Employers who wish to hire skilled foreign workers and support their permanent resident visa application can make a job offer under Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Express Entry system. The job offer must meet the criteria of 1 of the listed economic immigration programs. These programs include:

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

The employer must be offering a job for:

  • positions in TEER 0/1/2/3 (Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities) of the NOC, such as management, professional, scientific, technical or trade occupations
  • full-time hours (a minimum of 30 hours of work per week)
  • at least 1 year, and
  • a non-seasonal position

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

The employer must be offering a job for:

Note: Under the FSTP, the employment offer can be made by up to 2 employers.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The employer must be offering a job for:

  • a NOC TEER 0/1/2/3 position such as: management, professional, scientific, technical or trade occupations
  • full-time hours (a minimum of 30 hours of work per week)
  • at least one year, and
  • a non-seasonal position

Note: Under the CEC, the foreign worker must have at least 12 months of full-time (or an equivalent amount in part-time) skilled work experience in Canada within the 36 months prior to applying for permanent residence. Visit IRCC's website, for more information on the requirements for the CEC.

Employers are not eligible to make a job offer to a foreign worker under these immigration programs, if they are:

  • an embassy,
  • a high commission or consulate in Canada
  • on the list of ineligible employers maintained by IRCC
  • new and have not been in business for a minimum of 1 year, or
  • hiring workers who intend to reside in the province of Quebec

For information on the Quebec Skilled Worker Program, consult the ministère de l’Immigration, Francisation et Intégration Québec (MIFI) (available in French only).

Employers who wish to hire skilled foreign workers through 1 of these immigration programs may also want to hire these workers temporarily while their application for permanent residence is being processed by IRCC. As a result, employers can apply for a dual intent Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) which requires paying the processing fee. These dual intent LMIAs can be used to support the foreign national's application to IRCC for a:

  • permanent resident visa, and
  • temporary work permit

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.

Note: Applications for low-wage positions will receive an employment duration of up to 2 years based on the employer’s reasonable employment needs.

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