How do I come to Canada as a temporary foreign worker?

To come to Canada as a temporary foreign worker, you must get a work permit. There are different kinds of work permits.

If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you need a work permit to work legally in Canada.

In general, you need to apply for a work permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or a Canadian visa office before you come to Canada. For these work permits:

  • You need to get a job offer from a Canadian employer before you apply.
  • The employer must apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
  • ESDC will decide whether the employer can hire a foreign worker to fill the job.

There are special work permits for some kinds of workers. For example, there are special work permit programs for live-in caregivers, business people and agricultural workers.

For more information, go to Working Temporarily in Canada on the IRCC website.

If You Are in Canada

If you are already in Canada, you may be eligible to apply for a special type of work permit.

For more information, go to Eligibility to Apply from Inside Canada.

Work Permits are Temporary

You cannot use a work permit to immigrate to Canada. If you want to come to Canada as a permanent resident based on your work skills and experience, see if you qualify to apply as a skilled worker.

Find more information about Immigrating to Ontario.

Can I become a permanent resident?

Temporary foreign workers can apply for permanent residence under these programs:

You must meet eligibility requirements to apply for these programs.

You can also apply as a skilled worker, but there is no special category within the skilled worker class for temporary foreign workers.

For More Information

Last updated: July 12, 2016 4001086