Hiring Foreign Workers for Higher-skilled Occupations

Foreign workers can help employers meet their labour needs when Canadians and permanent residents are not available. These workers often bring new skills and knowledge to help the country's economy grow.

Under the Stream for Higher-skilled Occupations, employers can hire foreign workers in higher-skilled positions such as: management, professional, scientific, technical or trade occupations. These occupations can be found throughout many sectors of the economy, and as a result often have very diverse recruitment practices and regulatory requirements.

Employers can hire skilled foreign workers to either support the worker's:

  • temporary employment; or
  • permanent resident visa application.

Supporting Employment for a Temporary Position

Stream for Higher-skilled Occupations

  • position must require education or formal training such as:
    • university education
    • college education
    • vocational education
    • apprenticeship training
  • Academics
    • employer must be a degree-granting post-secondary institution
    • position must be for a full professor, associate professor or assistant professor, whose main duty is teaching or research
  • Film and Entertainment Occupations
    • position must be related to the making of a production or cultural or entertainment event
  • International Students Graduating from Recognized Canadian Post-secondary Institutions
    • for foreign workers no longer covered under the Citizenship and Immigration Canada's (CIC) Post-graduation Work Permit Program
    • temporary job offer is made by the employer interested in keeping the foreign worker while the application for permanent residency is in process

Supporting a Permanent Resident Visa Application

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

  • position must be an eligible skilled trade occupation, as designated by CIC
  • job offer is permanent (minimum of 1 year, which can be from up to 2 employers), full-time, non-seasonal
  • assists foreign workers to gain permanent residency

Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP)

  • job offer is permanent, full-time, non-seasonal
  • assists foreign workers to gain permanent residency


The FSTP and the FSWP are not available to employers hiring foreign workers in the province of Quebec. For more information, visit the Ministère de l'Immigration et des Communautés culturelles (MICC).