Facts and Figures: Temporary Foreign Workers Program

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by The Origami staff


338,000 temporary foreign workers as of 2012

119, 903 work in Ontario, the highest number by province or territory

84,465 work in Alberta on approved labour market opinions

29,000 made the transition to permanent residence in 2011

57 per cent of Canadians strongly support or somewhat support the temporary foreign workers program

4 in 10 the number of Canadians who are familiar with the issue

Sources:Statistics Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Harris Decima Survey 

1973: The Liberal government allows employers to hire foreign workers, mostly high-skilled professionals (doctors, engineers, academics) to fill gaps, under the Non-Immigrant Employment Authorization Program (NIEAP)

2002: The Liberal government introduces the low-skilled pilot program allowing businesses to hire temporary foreign workers to fill in low-skilled jobs, mostly live-in caregivers.

2006: The Conservative government expands the list of jobs under the low-skilled pilot program and increases the processing of applications

April 1, 2011: The Conservative government introduces the “4 and 4 rule” forcing temporary foreign workers who have been in Canada for at least four years to leave. They can only reapply to work in Canada after four years.

April 1, 2014: As many as 70,000 temporary foreign workers will be forced to leave the country as the revised ruling takes effect.


TOP COUNTRIES OF CITIZENSHIP according to the number of temporary foreign worker positions on positive Labour Market Opinions, 2013 (Source: Statistics Canada)
Cylindrical_Equal-Area_Projection_Oblique_Case_Map_of_the_WorldImage: CIA/Wikimedia Commons

Philippines, United States, Mexico, Jamaica, India, Guatemala, United Kingdom, France, Trinidad and Tobago, South Korea, Thailand, China, Ireland, Great Britain, Germany, Portugal, Israel, Japan, Poland and Australia


TOP OCCUPATIONAL GROUPS in 2013 (Source: Statistics Canada) 



The highest percentage of temporary foreign workers in Canada are employed in farms, according to figures from Statistics Canada. Photo: Mykola Swarnyk
General farm workers
Good counter attendants, kitchen helpers and other related jobs
Babysitters, nannies and helpers
Harvesting labourers
Truck drivers
Food service supervisors
Nursery and greenhouse workers
Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sports and fitness
Construction trades helpers and labourers
Musicians and cleaners
Light duty cleaners
Food and beverage servers
Actors and comedians

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