Temporary workers

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

A work permit or authorization to work without a permit is required in order for a foreign national to be allowed to work in Canada under either of the following programs:

  • the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
    • Employers must obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to hire foreign workers to fill temporary labour and skill shortages. The LMIA verifies that there is a need for a temporary worker and that no Canadians or permanent residents are available to do the job.
  • the International Mobility Program (IMP)
    • The IMP lets employers hire temporary workers without an LMIA. Exemptions from the LMIA process are based on both of the following:
      • the broader economic, cultural or other competitive advantages for Canada
      • the reciprocal benefits enjoyed by Canadians and permanent residents
    • The IMP also allows for certain foreign nationals to work without a permit when authorized under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

A complete list of all instructions related to temporary residence is available.

For additional information, see the following:



Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA)

Labour Market Impact Assessment exemptions (LMIA)

Note: Below are most frequently used instructions. Please see the table of contents for temporary worker instructions for a complete list of LMIA-exempt instructions.

Special initiatives and pilot projects

Provincial and territorial


Employer compliance regime

Admission to Canada

In addition to meeting the eligibility requirements for the temporary resident category under which they have applied, applicants will require either a visa or an electronic travel authorization (if they are visa-exempt).

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