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Foreign Worker

Eligible foreign workers are allowed to work in Canada for an authorized period of time if they have a valid work permit or an authorization to work without a permit.


Generally, a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is required

LMIAs Processing during COVID-19 Pandemic: Service Canada continues to process Labour Market Impact Assessment applications (LMIAs).

Government of Canada has taken measures to improve flexibility and reduce the administrative burden for employers, including but not limited to the following:

  • employers are not required to submit minor administrative changes to the LMIA that would not change the terms and conditions,
  • LMIAs for occupations considered essential during the COVID-19 pandemic are prioritized for processing,
  • minimum recruitment requirements for LMIAs in certain occupations are waived until December 31, 2020 (For positions located in the Province of Quebec, please see Hiring in the Province of Quebec.),
  • the maximum duration of employment under LMIAs is increased from 1 to 2 years for employers of workers in the low-wage stream as part of a three-year pilot,
  • approved LMIAs are valid up to a maximum of nine months (or until December 15, 2021 under SAWP), and
  • name addition and change requests have been expedited if they are for reasons related to COVID-19 or for eligible TFWs already in Canada.

For the 2021 SAWP season: work permits for SAWP will indicate a 9-month work duration instead of the usual 8-month duration to accommodate the quarantine period (noting that work terms cannot exceed December 15, 2021).

Temporary Foreign Workers: Despite COVID-19 pandemic, Temporary Foreign Workers are being allowed to continue travelling to Canada. All travellers including foreign workers must meet the new testing and quarantine requirements when coming to Canada. They must:

  • take the test within 72 hours of your scheduled flight departure time for your flight that lands in Canada
  • provide one of the accepted types of tests, not an antigen test
  • keep proof of your test results for the 14-day period that begins on the day you enter Canada

All travellers entering Canada will be required to take a test before leaving the airport, stay at a hotel designated by the government for 3 days while waiting for the test result. Even if the test is negative, an additional 11-day quarantine is required.

Employers need to assure its foreign workers are following any order made under the Quarantine Act and Emergencies Act and complying with any provincial law or orders related to COVID-19. Employer must also pay the foreign workers for any period that they’re in mandatory isolation or quarantine upon entering Canada under the Quarantine Act, even if the worker is unable to perform any work duties.

June 21, 2021: As of July 5th, at 11:59 p.m. EDT, fully vaccinated travellers might be exempt from quarantine, hotel stopover and day-8 testing requirements if they meet specific conditions:

  • are eligible to enter Canada
  • are asymptomatic
  • meet the Government of Canada requirements of fully vaccinated travellers
  • meet all other entry requirements, including entering their information in ArriveCAN app before arrival

To be considered fully vaccinated, the traveller must:

  • be eligible to enter Canada
  • have received the full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine or a combination of accepted vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Janssen)
  • have received the last dose at least 14 days prior to entering Canada
  • upload proof of vaccination in ArriveCAN app

If travellers received their vaccines outside Canada, it’s still accepted but proof of vaccination must be uploaded digitally in ArriveCAN app and must only be in French or English, or certified translation into French or English.
Additional information is available at the Government of Canada website.

Eligible foreign workers are allowed to work in Canada for an authorized period of time if they have a valid work permit or an authorization to work without a permit.

Canadian employers can hire temporary foreign worker either through:

  • The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP): Under the TFWP, employers must obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to hire foreign workers to fill temporary labour and skill shortages. The LMIA verifies that there is a need for a temporary worker and that no Canadians or permanent residents are available to do the job.
  • The International Mobility Program (IMP): under the IMP, employers are allowed to hire temporary workers without an LMIA under the following categories:
    • Agreements (such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and other international free trade agreements, Canada-international non-trade agreements, and provincial nominees)
    • Canadian interests (such as airline personal, entrepreneurs, intra-companies transferees, francophone workers, spouses of skilled workers, spouses of students etc.)
    • Applicants with no other means of support (refugees)
    • Permanent residence applicants in Canada (such as live-in-caregiver class and spouse or common-law partner in Canada class)
    • Vulnerable workers
    • Humanitarian reasons
    • Unique work situations

Young professionals can also work in Canada under the International Experience Canada (IEC) Program if they are from a participating country. In some situations, a job offer will be required to apply for this program.

Recent graduates in Canada who have applied/obtained a Post-Graduation Work Permit are allowed to work full-time for any employer in any occupation (except restrictions defined on the work permit).

International students who meet the eligibility criteria can work part-time while taking classes and full-time during summer brakes.