Thousands of Unfilled Jobs Available for Temporary Foreign Workers

EDMONTON– A pilot program in Alberta is allowing skilled trade workers to transfer from one employer to another while possessing a temporary Canadian work permit.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said that this change can bring hundreds to thousands of new skilled workers to the province.

Effects of the new program:

  • The new program will improve the system for certain foreign workers by making it easier for them to obtain a job in Alberta’s construction and oils projects.
  • The new method will even more facilitate the process specially in certain countries that have no Canadian visa restrictions, like the United States.
  • The Immigration minister said that the pilot program will aid in addressing labor shortage in a number of fields where there are no sufficient Canadians or local residents to fill the jobs.

In an interview last Monday, immigration minister Jason Kenney is quoted as saying:

“This collapses what used to be a six-month, complicated, bureaucratic process into a one-step process where they can get a work permit in 30 minutes at the airport. This will make it massively faster for employers to proactively recruit skilled tradespeople — for example, from the United States.”

Reference to past pilot projects

The implementation of pilot projects have been resorted to for the past year.

  • The past pilot projects overruled the common restriction required in the issuance of Canadian temporary foreign worker (TFW) program, which prohibits the transfer of a TFW from one employer to another.
  • In a past pilot project, instead of being locked up to a particular employer for the duration of the work permit, foreign pipefitters and steamfitters were allowed to move from one boss to another.

Coverage of the new pilot program

Who are allowed to join the new program? The new policy stated that this program will also be opened to:

  1. welders
  2. heavy duty equipment mechanics
  3. iron workers
  4. millwrights mechanics
  5. industrial mechanics
  6. carpenters
  7. estimators
  8. other tradesmen who are in-demand

No need for Ottawa Authorization- LMO

The pilot program will also introduce a speedy disposition of individual immigration cases by no longer requiring these types of workers from being issued a work permit without a special authorization from Ottawa – or a Labor Market Opinion (LMO).

Reasons for implementing pilot project

  1. The government estimated that the province of Alberta in less than a decade will be short of:
    • 1,500 welders
    • 1,376 carpenters
    • 775 heavy duty mechanics
    • 77 ironworkers
  2. Certain groups from Alberta province made an attempt to go South and recruit workers from the United States, however the effort turned out to be futile to fill in the job vacancies.
  3. Immigration minister Jason Kenney said that the last resort would be to invite and allow tradesmen into the province easily under Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program.
  4. There are over a thousand positions unfilled and are affecting construction industries. The minister believes that the pilot program will address the labor shortage once it picks up the stream.
  5. The program will benefit more workers who will have more options in finding a job, and the employers who care too much about having enough employees to carry out their trade or business.

The opportunity

Whether you are an employer or a foreign worker looking to get a job in Alberta, Niren and Associates can help you all throughout the process. Niren and Associates has been in the business for over 15 years and has enough immigration processing experience to ensure your chances for approval.

When you do the process yourself without the assistance of an immigration lawyer, you may be at risk of committing mistakes and losing the opportunity.

Take the first step to your immigration objective by calling (780) 800-2995 or emailing

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.


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