Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the Labour Market Opinion

An employer who wishes to hire a foreign worker (a non-Canadian or permanent resident) must first obtain a positive Labour Market Opinion from Service Canada. Certain exemptions apply, but in most cases a Labour Market Opinion is required.

When applying for a Labour Market Opinion, the employer must demonstrate the following:

  • The employer made reasonable efforts to hire Canadian citizens or permanent residents;
  • The employer offers wages and working conditions in line with the current provincial standards; and
  • The benefits of hiring the foreign worker. For example, the foreign worker might help create or retain Canadian jobs and might transfer new skills and knowledge to Canadians.

In short, the employer must demonstrate that there is no Canadian or permanent resident who can fill the position, which necessitates bringing in a worker from outside of Canada.

Once a positive Labour Market Opinion is received, the employer will provide a copy to the foreign worker they wish to hire. The foreign worker will include this with her Work Permit application.

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