Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Most foreign nationals apply to work in Alberta through the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program. The TFW Program is operated by the Government of Canada.

Recent changes have been introduced to LMIA criteria where applications for certain high-wage occupations in Alberta will not be processed. Visit Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to see how this may affect you.

Who can apply?

Almost anyone can apply. The program covers all occupations and skill levels. It is used whenever a qualified Canadian citizen or permanent resident is not available or suitable for the job. Once issued, a work permit includes certain conditions, such as

  • where you can work
  • who you can work for
  • what type of work you can do
  • how long you can work in Canada

Use the Come to Canada Tool to find out if you qualify for this program.

How do I apply to the TFW program?

  1. Find out if you need a work permit to work in Canada. Once you have applied you can check the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for your application status.
  2. You also need to have a job offer from an employer. Learn how to find work in Alberta. Some jobs in Alberta are regulated and require specific education, licences or memberships.
  3. Find out if you need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). In most cases, an employer must apply for an LMIA before you can apply for a work permit. If you need an LMIA, get a copy from your employer.

Visit the IRCC Help Centre for more information.

What if I don’t need an LMIA?

Most TFWs will need an LMIA, but if you do not, you can apply for an open work permit through the International Mobility Program.