Work Visas for Ontario: The Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement for Temporary Foreign Workers

Canadian-Ontario agreement for Temporary Foreign Workers

Finally, Ontario has stuck a deal with the Federal government for its own Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Applicants wishing to immigrate, visit, study or work in Ontario now have more options. Below are some highlights of the program regarding Work Visas for Ontario:

The Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade along with Citizenship and Immigration Canada recognize the need for better partnership between the federal and provincial government in order to meet the needs of the labour market and employers when selecting temporary foreign workers.

Ontario Temporary Foreign Workers Selection

In most cases, employers must apply for a labour market opinion before hiring a foreign worker. This is essentially proof that the foreign worker is needed to fill your job offer and that there isn’t a Canadian citizen available to do the job. However, Citizenship and Immigration Canada can issue work permits to temporary foreign workers without a labour market opinion (LMO) if the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development provides Citizenship and Immigration Canada with a written recommendation.

These letters of recommendation are written when temporary foreign workers will:

– promote economic priorities

– secure significant business for industrial investments

– encourage business competitiveness and productivity

– advance scientific research and development

– encourage the commercialization of research.

Applicants for these work permits for Ontario must still meet all of the admissibility criteria to become a temporary resident which includes:

– A reasonable belief the applicant will voluntarily leave Canada at the end of their stay

– Proof of their ability to do the job.

Dependents of the applicant will be eligible for open work permits if the principal applicant’s work permit is a skilled worker permit that is valid for more than six months. The dependent must apply and is limited to work in Ontario as long as the person is legally able to work in Ontario. Both permits will expire at the same time.

Dependents for Ontario Work Permits

Foreign spouses and dependents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents who leave Canada and then come back for a skilled worker job are also eligible for open work permits that will expire at the same time as the permit of the original applicant, usually two years later.

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Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

2 thoughts on “Work Visas for Ontario: The Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement for Temporary Foreign Workers

  1. Zain

    Can I have a LMO or AEO from an employer from Canada. I’m agriculturist but looking for a job offer in Hotel Industry.

    1. Sarah Jane MacDonald

      Hello Zain,
      There have been some recent changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in Canada. In particular some changes for the Hospitality Industry. See here for some information on the recent changes:

      If you wish to have your eligibility for the FSW Program evaluated, please fill out our Free Online Assessment Form, someone from the Canadian Immigration Team will get back to you within 24 hours.

      Sarah Jane


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