Little known Facts about Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Temporary Foreign Worker Program or TFWP lets a non-Canadian to work in Canada legally in various profession from care-giver, Agriculture to Information Technology. According to figures release in 2013, total number of Foreign Workers in Canada’s Workforce were

  1. 137,533 (Labour Market Impact Assessment(Formerly LMO) Exempt)
  2. 221,273 (Labour Market Impact Assessment (Formerly LMO) Required)

Main source of Workers to date are US, UK, France, Australia, Germany and Ireland. It might change with the current overhauling that is being done in 2015-2016. Temporary Foreign Worker Program is undergoing changes and Caps and targets have been set for next year.

Here are some very less known facts about it.

  1. It is a misguided concept that the temporary worker program is suitable for low-skilled employees only, willing to work at below Canadian wage rate. This concept might have come from the people who have abused this system for ages. Bringing low-pay employees only for their own profits from developing countries. This is wrong and Canadian Government is vowing to stop that abuse. Contrary to the myth, the typical temporary foreign worker is a young Australian on a year visa working at a ski resort as part of the Youth Mobility Program.

    The TFWP will now be administered based on wage instead of the National Occupational Classification (NOC).

    Wage is a more objective and accurate reflection of skill level and labour need in a given area. Temporary
    foreign workers being paid under the provincial/territorial median wage will be considered low-wage, while
    those being paid at or above will be considered high-wage.

  2. The actual number of temporary overseas workers in the Canadian economy is around 2%, while people usually exaggerate it to 12%. Also, many believe those coming on a temporary work permits are only low-skilled people, while they present only 0.12% of overall workforce in Canada. High Skill workers make 0.14%. Chart below taken from report issued by Canadian Government show the number.


  3. TFWP doesn’t allow Canadian Employers to pay less wages than they have to pay to a Canadian Employee. Also employers have to “prove” that the job was not fulfilled from Canadian Market even though they advertised before they can bring in a foreign Employee.
  4. Effective April 2013, employers are prohibited from hiring overseas workers below the prevailing wage level set by government even previously a Canadian was getting paid for the same job.
  5. Government plans to put a 10 per cent cap on the number of low-wage temporary workers per work site by 2016.

    The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) was created as a last and limited resort to allow employers
    to bring foreign workers to Canada on a temporary basis to fill jobs for which qualified Canadians are not
    available. However, since there was no specific limit on the number of temporary foreign workers that a
    company could hire, over time many employers built their business model on the program.
    For example, of the 12,162 employers who used the TFWP in 2013, 2,578 employers have a workforce of over
    30 percent temporary foreign workers. Perhaps most striking, 1,123 employers have a workforce composed of
    50 percent or more temporary foreign workers.

  6. Work permits are bound to employers. A foreign employee can’t switch job easily. You need to reapply for work permit. Only open work permit holders can change employers without reapplying. Among the applicants who can qualify for an open work permit are the spouses/common law partners of certain work permit holders and spouses/ common law partners of overseas students in Canada.
  7. Temporary Work permit is the easiest way to permanent skilled Worker/Provisional visa. You are allowed even enter in the Express Entry and because you have a valid job, you get more CRS points.


Stop Mass Deportations – Foreign Workers speaking about the work permit laws and how government handles the cases of foreign workers

(All Charts Source: Employment and Social Development Canada)

(Featured Image Source: FreeDigitalPhotos.net/pakorn)

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