Temporary Foreign Workers

A temporary foreign worker is a temporary resident who is authorized to work in Canada by a work permit (WP) or authorized to work without a permit. It is considered “work” even if no wages are paid or commission is earned as long as the temporary resident is in direct competition with Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the Canadian labour market. If a foreign national arrives at a port of entry without a work permit approval or application and intends to work in Canada, he/she is subject to an exclusion order that prohibits him/her from entering Canada for a year without a return authorization. If a temporary resident engages in unauthorized work, he/she may also be subject to an exclusion order.

When issuing a work permit to a foreign national, an immigration officer will consider if the job is genuine and if the employment of the foreign national is likely to have a neutral or positive effect on the Canadian labour market based on a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) issued by Service Canada to the employer.

There are situations where a temporary resident is not required to have a work permit to work in Canada, for example:

  • Business visitors.
  • Full-time post-secondary school student with a study permit.
  • Performing artist of foreign production company or a guest artist in a Canadian production company with no employment relationship with a Canadian production company, performing a time-limited engagement and not performing in a bar, restaurant or similar establishment (Note: actors, directors and technicians of foreign film, TV or radio companies who come to work in Canada even for the foreign company will need LMIA’s and WP’s (LMIA-exempt if they have co-production agreements with Canadian companies) while producers of foreign film, TV or radio companies are treated as WP-exempt business visitors).
  • Athletes and coaches in a foreign team or Canadian amateur team (while foreign athletes and coaches to work in a Canadian professional team need LMIA-exempt WP’s); Referees at an amateur sports competition (while professional referees require LMIA’s and WP’s except that they are LMIA-exempt if they have reciprocal arrangements for Canadian referees).
  • Guest speakers working no longer than 5 days.
  • Convention organizers.
  • Clergy who preach doctrines or minister to a congregation (while those who carry out duties for a Canadian religious organizations need LMIA-exempt WP’s).
  • Crew members of a foreign-owned means of transportation (trucks, buses, planes and ships) engaged in international transportation (not between two places in Canada).

A work permit is occupation specific, employer specific and location specific.

Under some circumstances, a foreign national may be issued a work permit without an LMIA:

  • Workers covered under international agreements. This group can include:
    • Professionals;
    • Traders;
    • Investors.
  • People taking part in exchange programs.
    1. Youth exchange programs,
    2. Teacher exchange programs and,
    3. Other joint programs.
  • Spouses. This group can include:
    1. Spouses and common-law partners of certain foreign students who study full time,
    2. Spouses and common-law partners of certain skilled foreign workers and
    3. Spouses and common-law partners who are in Canada and have been sponsored through the Family Class by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and have applied for permanent residence.
  • Workers who are eligible for a work permit through a federal-provincial/territorial agreement
    1. Agreements between the Government of Canada and provincial/territorial governments can include specific exemptions from the LMIA process. Find out if you are eligible to come to Canada through a federal-provincial/territorial agreement.
  • Workers nominated by a province or territory for permanent residence
    1. The worker must have a job offer from an employer based in that province/territory.
  • People already working in Canada who have applied for permanent residence through the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program or Canadian Experience Class.
    1. The worker must have received a positive eligibility assessment on their permanent residence application and have a work permit that will expire within the next four months to be eligible.
  • Repair personnel for industrial or commercial equipment
    1. The worker must be entering Canada to make emergency repairs to industrial equipment or repairs to out-of-warranty equipment. Failure to complete these repairs could result in a disruption of employment.
  • Workers transferred within a company
    1. Workers who have been transferred to their company’s Canadian operations.
  • Academics
    1. Researchers, guest lecturers, visiting professors and others.
  • Co-op students
    1. International students studying in Canada and doing co-op work placements or internships as part of their study program.
  • Religious workers
    1. People doing charitable or religious work.
  • Workers who are essential to a television or film production, if:
    1. The production will create and maintain significant economic benefits for Canadians and permanent residents, and
    2. The job is high wage and unionized.
  • Performers or workers in a related job in dance (such as ballet and contemporary), opera, orchestral music or live theatre whose employer:
    1. Is a Canadian non-profit performing arts company or organization, receives federal funding, and
    2. Can show that reciprocal opportunities exist for Canadians and permanent residents abroad in the same discipline.
  • Others
    1. people who need to support themselves while they are in Canada, such as those waiting on a refugee claim.

Avoid the refusal of your application due to filling of the forms without knowledge of the law. Once an application is refused, a permanent record is created. Seek professional help from an experienced, ICCRC certified consultant. Get help by contacting our service hotline at (647)797-2318 or email to info@viausimmigration.com to book a consultation today!