As a very popular place to both visit and work, Canada attracts a large number of visitors and workers. To accommodate the needs, the Canadian Government has created different types of visitor visas and work visas.
One of the work visas is the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), which is designed to help those who want to work in Canada for a short period of time. This article will go through what the TFWP is and how to apply for it.
What is the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
The Temporary Foreign Worker Program is a temporary Canada work visa that was created by the Canadian Government to provide opportunities for foreign workers who want to get employment in Canada for a short period of time. The TFWP allows people to work in the country for only 6 months, with possibilities of extensions.
During this time, the foreign worker is allowed to only work for one employer and they get a work permit and visa. They can live in the place in Canada where their job is and must abide by Canadian laws. When the work permit and visa are close to expiration, the worker can apply for an extension of the work permit or they must leave Canada and return to their home country.
What are the requirements for the temporary foreign worker?
The requirements to become a temporary foreign worker in Canada are quite extensive. The Canadian Government wants to protect the jobs of their citizens and permanent residents therefore it requires proof that the foreign worker is absolutely necessary to a Canadian company. Because of this, the most important requirements to become a temporary foreign worker is to have a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
The LMIA is a document which the Canadian employer must get from the government. It certifies that the employer has tried to find an employee in Canada who is a citizen or permanent resident, but there was no one who was willing, available, or qualified to work that job. Because no person within Canada was found for that job, the employer needs a foreign worker. The LMIA takes a few months to get, therefore, the procedure must start as early as possible.
Other requirements to qualify for the TFWP are:
- You must have a job in Canada
- You must prove that you will leave Canada after your work permit expires;
- You must prove that you can finance your stay and your family’s stay in Canada and that you have enough funds to go back to your home country;
- You must prove that you have a clean criminal record;
- You must prove that you are not a threat to the national security of Canada;
- You must be in good health;
- You must prove that you will not work for an employer that offers striptease, erotic dance, erotic massage, or escort services;
You must meet these requirements in order to have an application accepted and to be considered for the TFW program.
How to apply for the TFW program?
In order to apply for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, you must follow a series of steps as outlined below.
Get a job offer in Canada
All Canadian work visas require the applicant to first have a job offer from a Canadian company before applying for a work permit. Therefore, if you have decided that you want to work there, you must start your search as soon as possible. You can search online or you can get a Visitors Visa and search in person. At the end of this step, you must have a valid job offer letter sent to you from a Canadian employer.
Get the LMIA
Your employer must apply to get the LMIA through the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), where they will assess the effect of hiring a foreign worker to the Canadian labor market. If your employer is approved for the LMIA, then you can move to the next step, but if the LMIA is denied, then the employer should either try again or you must find another job.
Apply for the work visa and permit
After you get the LMIA, you can then properly apply for the work visa and permit. You must apply to the Canadian Consulate, either online through their website, or in person to the Consulate office in your country.
Your application must include these forms:
- IMM 1295 – Application for Work Permit Made Outside of Canada;
- Schedule 1 – Application for Temporary Resident Visa;
- IMM 5645 – Family Information Form;
- IMM 5409 – Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union (if applicable);
- IMM 5476 – Use of Representative Form (if applicable);
- IMM 5475 – Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual (if applicable);
The supporting documents to apply for a TFWP may include:
- Your passport which must be valid for more than 6 months after your planned date of entry into Canada;
- A photocopy of your passport and all its pages;
- Two photos as per the Photo Requirements;
- Valid job offer from your employer;
- Proof of current immigration status (if your country of residence is different from your country of citizenship);
- Police record certificates;
- Your resume or CV;
- Your education diplomas and certificates;
- Copy of your marriage certificate (if applicable);
- Copy of children’s birth certificates (if applicable);
- If you will be working in Quebec, you need a Certificate d’acceptation du Quebec (CAQ);
- Any other documents that the Consulate of Canada requires;
Complete the medical examination
It is best if you go through the medical exam to prove that you are in good health. You can do so at any licensed doctor which can sign the documents for you after you go through the necessary tests. If you do not have a medical exam, you will not be allowed to work in child care, primary or secondary school teaching, health service occupations, or agricultural occupations. In order not to limit your choices of jobs, it is recommended to complete the medical exams.
Attend the visa interview
The officials of the Canadian Consulate might want to interview you to determine that you will return to your home country once your work permit expires and that you have been truthful in your application. You must attend the interview at the appointed time and answer any questions that they ask you. They might also ask for you to give your biometric information after the interview, which you must do.
Wait for processing
After submitting all the necessary documents, you will wait for the Consulate to process the application. The average processing time depends on the country, but it can take from 3 to 27 weeks for you to get an answer about your status. The Consulate will either accept or deny your application. If they accept, they will send you additional instructions, while if they deny your application, they will send you the reasons why. You can then take them into account and improve your application when you apply the next time.
Travel to Canada
The final step is for you to travel to Canada. You can make travel and accommodation arrangements and when you land in Canada, the Port of Entry (PoE) officers will stop you for checking. They will check your documents and ask questions about your purpose of visit and how long you will be in Canada. Give them all your documents and answer all the questions since they have the authority to not let you into the country if they suspect you are not being truthful.
What are the fees for the Temporary Work Permit of Canada?
To apply for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, you will have to pay an initial application fee of CAD$155. This fee will be necessary for the Consulate to process your application and you will have to pay for it every time you apply, even if you are applying for extensions. In addition, if you are asked to give your biometrics information, you will also have to pay a fee of CAD$85.
How long is the Temporary Work Permit valid?
The initial temporary work permit is valid for 6 months or less; however, the Government of Canada has allowed holders to file for extensions. To file for an extension, you must collect the documents again and apply from inside Canada. The length of the extension will be up to the Canadian Government, but in general, the maximum time that you will be allowed to stay in Canada through the TFW program is 4 years. After that, you will have to return to your home country.
Can I bring my dependents to Canada while on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program Canada?
The rules of the TFWP in Canada allow for the holder of the work permit to bring their close family and dependents with them to Canada. This includes your spouse or common law partner and minor children. When you first apply for the TFWP, you should include your family’s documents too so that the Consulate can process them all together.
However, even though the dependents are allowed to accompany you, it is up to the Canadian Government whether to allow your spouse or common-law partner to get a work permit and find a job in Canada. Their decisions are case and country specific so you should contact the Consulate to ask for more details.