Canada welcomes thousands of Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) every year to fulfil the shortage of skills in various employment sectors, and at the same time, Canada offers several opportunities to TFWs to earn higher wages and support their families. Many TFWs also become permanent residents of Canada in due course.

A. Types of Work Permit

(I)        Open Work Permit: Subject to few terms and conditions, open Work Permit generally authorizes a person to work for any employer, any occupation and at any place.

(II)       Employer Specific Work Permit: Employer Specific Work Permit allows a person to work for a specific employer, at a specific place, and in specific occupation.

B. Open work permits are generally available to:

    • Spouses of Skilled Workers
    • Spouses of International Students
    • TFWs having applications for permanent residence in the process with the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada under Economic Class of Immigration and Refugees Protection Regulations.
    • International Students who have complete their program of studies
    • Destitute students-Students who are no longer able to meet the costs of studies
    • TFWs having employer specific work permits and are being abused or are at risk of being abused by their employers
    • Refugee Claimants or protected persons
    • Foreign Nationals subject to unenforceable removal order
    • Temporary Resident Permit holders
    • Foreign Nationals participation in special programs launched from time to time by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

C. Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
To hire TFWs, employers in Canada are required to seek an opinion from the Department of  Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) confirming that there is a shortage of Canadians or Permanent Residents to perform the job offer by the employer, there is a need for a foreign worker, and the employer has made reasonable efforts to find a suitable Canadian or a permanent resident for the position offered.

ESDC also conducts audit of employers from time to time to ensure if they have complied with the terms and conditions of the LMIA.

If you are an employer and need to secure LMIA from the ESDC, or if you are subject to any investigation by the ESDC, you can contact our office for assistance.