Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), which is operated by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), allows employers to hire temporary foreign workers to fill temporary labour and skill shortages. The permit process is subject to approval through a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The LMIA verifies that there is a need for a temporary worker and that qualified Canadians are not available.
- There is a $1,000 CAD non-refundable processing fee for each application.
- Applications may be submitted up to six months in advance. Applications submitted more than six months in advance may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- It is possible to change the name of the TFW after the fact, once the LMIA is approved.
International Mobility Program (IMP)
Canada’s International Mobility Program (IMP), which is operated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), allows employers to hire temporary foreign workers without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)—that is, without verifying that there is a need for a temporary worker and that qualified Canadians are not available.
Exemption for film and television
Foreign workers in the film and television industry may be eligible for an LMIA exemption (which is processed through the IMP under LMIA exemption code C14). Foreign workers who do not qualify for an exemption under the IMP may still apply for a work permit under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
- Employers are required to register, enter information on the offer of employment, and pay a compliance fee of $230 on the online Employer Portal. (The fee may be reimbursed if the application is subsequently refused, or if the employer withdraws the offer of employment before the work permit is issued.)
- Once the employer and offer is properly registered, the portal will generate a proof of payment and an ID number.
- In order to apply for a work permit, the applicant will need the proof of payment, offer of employment ID number, letter of support from the production, and a letter of no objection from the applicable union.
- Applications for work permits are filed online in the Employer Portal, but processed at the border by the Canada Border Services Agency.
Exemption for treaty co-productions
Under LMIA exemption code T11, foreign workers entering under the terms of a treaty co-production agreement between Canada and any foreign country may be eligible for an LMIA exemption. The fees and application process are similar to those described above.