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Government Immigration Programs

Government programs to help employers hire skilled workers:

Federal and provincial government agencies provide strategies to strengthen our economy and enhance labour market outcomes. This section outlines the various government programs that employers can use to access immigrant talent.

Hire Permanent Workers:

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

In Ontario, the program is called Opportunities Ontario, and supports employers by facilitating the immigration of managerial, professional and skilled foreign workers, and international students needed to meet their hiring needs. This is helpful where employers are having difficulty finding the skilled workers they need.

Advantages to Employers:

Applications are streamlined (approximately 14 months) and there is a high acceptance rate. Applicants can continue to work in Canada while their application for permanent residence is processed. This means employers benefit from this supply of skilled talent with no interruption to their workforce.

For more information, visit: Fact Sheet on the Provincial Nominee Program - CIC website or

Opportunities Ontario - Ontario Immigration website

Hire Temporary Workers:

Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)

Employers that can demonstrate they are not able to find suitable Canadians/permanent residents to fill certain jobs can access this program to allow eligible foreign workers to work in Canada for an authorized period of time. The TFWP is coordinated, managed, and delivered by three governmental departments: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), Service Canada, and the Canada Border Services Agency.

Labour Market Opinion

Employers need to apply for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) before hiring a Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW).

A LMO is necessary to prove there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job, that there is no Canadian worker available to do the job, and that hiring a TFW will not negatively impact the Canadian labour market. There is a fee required for each application.

If a positive LMO has been issued, employers send a confirmation letter to each potential foreign worker, who then applies for a work permit (in most situations). The average time to process a work permit is approximately 105 days. In cases where the LMO is negative, employers have the option to send new information for re-assessment consideration.

For detailed information on LMOs and TFWs, visit How to Hire a Temporary Foreign Worker.

Federal Internship for Newcomers Program (FINP)

This program gives newcomers temporary Canadian work experience and training opportunities with federal government departments or private sector organizations. Interns are hired for 90 working days, and internships can be extended up to another 90 working days.

Internships are offered in fields such as policy, administration, project management, computer science, communications, science, and engineering. Mentors are provided to support each intern, and the number and types of positions available in a given year will vary.

For more information, visit: Federal Internship for Newcomers - CIC website