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Introduction to Temporary Work Permits for Foreign Workers in Canada

Every year more than 90,000 foreign temporary workers enter Canada to work in a wide range of occupations and industries across the country. Foreign temporary workers need a job offer from a Canadian employer and in most cases a temporary work permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada to be allowed to enter Canada to work.

A temporary work permit is written authorization to work in Canada from Citizenship and Immigration Canada for a person who is not a Canadian citizen or a Canadian permanent resident. It is usually valid for a specific job and a specific length of time.

In addition, some foreign workers require a temporary resident visa to enter Canada. If you need a temporary resident visa, you do not need to make a separate application – it will be issued at the same time as the documentation necessary for you to enter Canada as a temporary worker. Your prospective employer will likely need to get a labor market opinion from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRDSC) to confirm that the job can be filled by a foreign worker.

In order for your spouse or common-law partner and dependent children to accompany you to Canada, they must also apply for permission. They don’t need to complete separate applications, however. The names and relevant information for immediate family members can be included on your application for a temporary work permit.

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