The Canadian Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) has been growing more popular each year. It relies on the cooperation of three key departments, generally for the following activities:
- ESDC, for conducting employer compliance reviews and determining labour market impact assessments.
- IRCC, for processing applications.
- the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), for conducting port-of-entry examinations and admitting foreign nationals.
The TEMPORARY FOREIGN WORKERS PROGRAM is administered based on wage instead of the NOC. Employers need to know whether they are paying a high or low wage, and the requirements for hiring foreign workers in one of the following occupation streams under the TEMPORARY FOREIGN WORKERS PROGRAM:
High-wage positions: positions in which the wage offered is at or above the provincial/territorial median wage. Examples of high-wage positions include management, professional, scientific, technical, or skilled trade occupations. Generally, these occupations are also considered high-skilled and can be found throughout many sectors of the economy, and as a result often have very diverse recruitment practices and regulatory requirements.
Low-wage positions: positions in which the wage offered is below the provincial/territorial median wage. The general goal of the low-wage positions stream is to correct labour market imbalances when there is a shortage of Canadians and permanent residents, so generally there is a 10 percent cap on the number of temporary foreign workers that employers may hire. 10 Examples of low-wage positions include general labourers, food counter attendants, and sales and service, cleaners, cashiers, and drivers. Generally, these jobs require at most a high school diploma or a maximum of two years of job-specific training, and low wages are paid. It is with respect to these types of occupations that the government has received much criticism over its inability to identify whether the need to fill labour shortages is a short-term phenomenon or the result of longer-term changes in the economy.
In-Home Caregiver Program: a program for foreign caregivers who are hired to provide care on a full-time basis, in a private residence on a live-in or live out basis, to children, seniors, or persons with certified medical needs. Employers can hire temporary foreign caregivers to work in their home on either a live-in or a live-out basis in one of two streams:–
- Caregivers for children under 18 years of age (for example, lower-skilled occupations that fall under NOC code 4411—home child care providers such as a babysitter, child care live-in caregiver, child care provider private home, nanny, and parent’s helper); and
- Caregivers for people with high medical needs , such as elderly persons 65 years of age or over, or people with disabilities, including a chronic or terminal illness (for example, higher-skilled occupations that fall under NOC code 3012—registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses; NOC code 3233—licensed practical nurses; and NOC code 3413—nurses’ aides, orderlies, and patient service associates). Home support workers, housekeepers, and related occupations found under NOC code 4412 do not qualify. Check the ministerial instructions (MIs) and ESDC websites for updates. See below for further discussion about this program.
Foreign agricultural stream: positions associated with occupations and activities related to primary agriculture where work is performed on a farm, nursery, or greenhouse and involves the operation of agricultural machinery, or the boarding, care, breeding, sanitation, or other handling of animals, other than fish, for the purpose of obtaining raw animal products for market, or the collection, handling, and assessment of those raw products, or the planting, care, harvesting, or preparation of crops, trees, sod, or other plants for market.