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Who is a Temporary Worker in Canada?

If you thought that temporary work in Canada covers only farm work in the summertime, then you are mistaken. Under the Temporary Foreign Worker, Canadian employers also hire high-wage specialists, academics as well as babysitters.

Canadian employer can hire you not just for a certain period, but can also make a job offer to apply for a PR through one of the federal immigration programs in the Express Entry system. For that, you’ll have to work at least one year under a work permit.

The program breaks up into several streams:

 Stream for agricultural workers


Under this stream, employers can hire foreign workers for up to two years if they cannot fill a position with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

A temporary foreign worker can come from any country and manufactured production must be included on the National Commodity List. Job duties should be related to on-farm primary agriculture that should be performed on a farm, nursery or greenhouse and must involve one of the following duties:

  • Operation of agriculture machinery;
  • Boarding care, breeding, sanitation and other handling of animals, other than fish, for the purpose of obtaining raw animal products for market;
  • Collection, handling, and assessment of those raw products, or the planting, care, harvesting or preparation of crops, trees, sod or other plants for market.

Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP, offered to Mexico and certain Caribbean countries) and Agricultural Stream assumes positions on high or low skills occupations. To get employed, a candidate needs to find an employer, get LMIA and the work permit. Education, work experience and language (English or French) requirements depend on a particular occupation.

 Caregiver Stream


Candidates under this stream give care for children and the elderly (over 65) and people with high medical needs. Caregivers must work on a full-time basis, at least 30 hours per week in the private household and meet the requirements set by Employment and Social Development Canada and Service Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

A low skilled positions include home child care providers, babysitters, and parent helpers while caregivers for disabled people include both high and low skilled positions, such as registered nurse or registered psychiatric nurse, licensed practical nurse, home support worker.

To get employed, a candidate will need to have at least one year of work experience as a babysitter or caregiver, secondary education and a basic knowledge of English or French. These positions require a job offer with LMIA from the employer.

Babysitters and caregivers are usually hired for 2 years and on the mediate, their hourly pay is $12. After two years of work, babysitters and caregivers can apply for permanent residence.

 Stream for Academics


Post-secondary institutions in Canada sometimes hire foreign academics to assist staff and teaching needs and attract new knowledge to Canadian campuses. Candidates must have at least one post-graduate degree and most of their work experience should be in teaching and conducting research field as employees in universities of Canada.

Some positions need LMIA, such as management, financial or administrative occupations. Academic consultants, examiners and self-funded researchers don’t need work permit at all. Depending on the occupation, others don’t need a job offer, but they need the LMIA.

 Global Talent Stream


This is a two-year pilot launched on June 12, 2017, designed for innovative firms in Canada which need unique foreign skilled workers whose professions aren’t included in NOC. The pilot is also meant for Canadian firms, which need to fill an in-demand highly skilled positions on the Global Talent Occupation List: engineering managers, architecture and science managers, computer and information systems managers, computer engineers, mathematicians and statisticians, information systems analysts and consultants, database analysts and data administrators, software engineers and designers, computer programmers and interactive media developers, web designers and developers, information systems testing technicians. Among them are also producer, technical, creative and artistic director and project manager and, digital media designers.

Foreign workers with at least one year of work experience can apply for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) run by the Express Entry system. Candidates receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence based on their Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS). Those who are not eligible under the Express Entry or have difficulties to obtain a minimum CRS score can apply through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Others who have close relatives in Canada may try one of the Family Sponsorship programs.


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