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The TFWP Program

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is Canada’s primary policy instrument to place migrant workers in temporary employment. It has four streams,5 three of which relate to lower wageworkers. Those three are: the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP), the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) and the Pilot Project for Occupations Requiring Lower Levels of Formal Training (National Occupational Certification (NOC) C and D) (the Pilot Project).6 The others, with slight exceptions for the LCP and Pilot Project, often necessitated “forced rotation,” since the terms of the visa-holders’ agreements require them to return to their country of origin. 

Temporary workers in SAWP, the LCP and the Pilot Project are often forced into a “rotation” pattern, whereby they are forced to return to their country or origin before being qualified to work temporarily in Canada again. This has changed somewhat for the Pilot Project (see here), and there remains an avenue, in some provinces, to obtain permanent residency through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). In Manitoba, workers with “low skill occupations” may be nominated by their employer to be considered by the provincial government for permanent residency; this is not the case in other provinces.7 However, were the PNP adjusted to include workers in this category, there would be potential to forge an avenue to citizenship in the SAWP and the Pilot Project.



The CCR has produced a four-page document intended for popular education and awareness-raising on the topic of migrant workers in Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

It is a tool to raise awareness that can be used with members of the public, the media, and for visits with MPs. It ties in the stories of migrant workers who have shared their experiences, and includes some recommendations on how the government should direct efforts at protecting these workers who contribute to our economy and communities, but are left vulnerable. See PDF "migrantworkers4pager.pdf" below. 


"Visa Pages" - U.S. Temporary Foreign Work Programs - New Edition
Updated edition of Visa Pages is now available! 
"Visa Pages" is a one-stop resource to find comprehensive information about the various non-immigrant visas U.S. employers use to bring temporary foreign workers from all over the world to work in the U.S. 
Recruitment Rules: Countries of Employment

"Recruitment Rules: Countries of Employment" details the legal framework for international labor recruitment in four common temporary work programs - the United States nonimmigrant H-2A (agricultural) and H-2B (nonagricultural) visas, and the Canadian Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the bilateral Special Program for Agricultural Workers with Mexico and Caribbean nations.


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