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For foreign workers, an offer of employment from a Canadian employer is usually required before the worker may be granted a Temporary Work Permit by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). There are several steps to this process. Depending upon the foreign worker’s country of citizenship, a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) may also need to be obtained in order to enter Canada.

  • Step 1: Employer applies for Labour Market Impact Assessment, if necessary.
  • Step 2: Employer extends Temporary Job Offer.
  • Step 3: Foreign Worker applies for Work Permit.
  • Step 4: Work Permit is issued.

A work permit or authorization to work without a permit is required in order for a foreign national to be allowed to work in Canada under either of the following programs:


Temporary Foreign Worker Program

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 are available to do the job.

International Mobility Program (IMP)

  • The IMP lets employers hire temporary workers without an LMIA. Exemptions from the LMIA process are based on both of the following:
  • the broader economic, cultural or other competitive advantages for Canada
  • the reciprocal benefits enjoyed by Canadians and permanent residents