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Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)

temporary foreign worker program canada

Do you want to move to Canada, even if just temporarily, but don’t know where to start? The easiest way to achieve your dream is to make use of your professional skills and get a job with a Canadian employer. Canada needs workers in many different domains, from farm workers to academics, so almost anybody can find a job and move here. All you need is to look into the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to match your qualifications to the right stream.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)
The Temporary Foreign Worker Program is designed to help Canadian employers fill vacant positions with foreigners if they are unable to find Canadian citizens or permanent residents for those jobs.

As a foreign citizen, you need to get in touch with a Canadian employer eligible for the TFWP, who will then sponsor your work permit application.

TFWP is divided into various streams, which you can use to your advantage.

Low Wage Worker Stream
This stream  is used to recruit workers who will be paid less than the median hourly-wage in Canada. To be able to use this stream, the Canadian employer must obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The employer needs to provide proof that the safety and the rights of the temporary workers will be fully protected, which  is very important for you.

High Wage Worker Stream
Under this stream, the Canadian employer will pay non-resident workers wages equal to or above the average salary for a specific position.  Once again, the employer must first obtain a positive LMIA and then send the relevant documents to the foreign worker, to you, that is. It is only at this point that you can apply for a work permit.

Agriculture Worker Stream
There is huge demand for agricultural workers on the Canadian job market and not enough residents willing to take up such jobs. This is good news for foreign farm workers as there are plenty of jobs available and not many skills required. The Agriculture Worker Stream is available to Canadian employers looking for long-term non-resident employees.

Seasonal Agricultural Worker Stream
Just as the name says, this stream is intended for Canadian employers that only need agricultural workers during peak season. If you go through this stream, you can obtain a work permit that is valid for up to 8 months. This program is based on Canada’s bilateral agreements with several countries. In order to use this stream, you must be a citizen of the following countries: Mexico, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis. St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago.

In-Home Caregivers
This program is reserved for families looking to employ foreign In-Home Caregivers. These families need to go through a simplified LMIA and show they were unable to find permanent residents willing to care for their disabled relatives. The same program is available to those looking for a nanny, au-pair or baby-sitter.

Global Talent Stream (GTS)
If you have high skills and a Canadian employer could use your services, they can apply for an LMIA. The Global Talent Stream is a fast track program as employers don’t need to prove they were unable to find permanent residents to fill the position.

Academic Stream
Just like the Global Talent Stream, the Academic program allows Canadian higher-education institutions to bring in foreign teachers with a good reputation in their field.

Requirements to Apply for a Canadian Work Permit under the TFWP

  • Job offer letter, plus copy of positive LMIA or LMIA number
  • Proof of qualifications
  • Proof of valid English/French test
  • Medical examination / Police clearance (if required by the employer)
  • Proof of funds to support yourself or accompanying dependents
  • Valid passport


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