300,000 Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada with TFWP visas

The latest figures from the Canadian government show that there are now over 300,000 workers in Canada with work permits allowing them to work for one or two years under the Canadian Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). The number of work permits has grown rapidly in recent years. In order to work in Canada under the TFWP, workers must first apply for a TFWP work permit and then a Canadian entry visa.

The number of TFWP workers in Canada trebled between 2002 and 2011. Over 192,000 Temporary Foreign Workers entered Canada in 2011 alone.

TFWP work permits are granted to foreign workers to allow them to work in a variety of different sectors. The sectors for which the most permits were granted last year are as follows:

  • Sales and service – 70,520
  • Primary industries – 42,595
  • Trades, transport, equipment operators – 36,680
  • Art, culture, recreation, sport – 16,300
  • Natural and applied sciences – 14,125
  • Processing, manufacturing and utilities 9,110
  • Management – 3,875
  • Business , finance and administration - 2,885
  • Health - 2,540
  • Social Science, Government, Religion – 2,455

TFWP permits usually last for one year

TFWP work permits usually last for one year though semi-skilled workers are currently able to get 24 month visas.

Before Canadian employers can employ temporary foreign workers, they are often required to obtain a 'Labour Market Opinion' (LMO). A positive LMO will satisfy the relevant government department Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, that there is a need to employ the foreign worker. The foreign worker will then send a copy of the LMO when applying for his work permit.

Not all temporary foreign workers require LMOs to get a Temporary Foreign Worker work permit. In 2012, about 72,000 required LMOs and 120,000 did not.

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