5 Ways for Temporary Foreign Workers to become Permanent Resident in Canada

Story By: Frank C.

The Government of Canada announced that effective December 13, 2016, the cumulative duration limit for temporary foreign workers program is eliminated. The four-year maximum no longer applies to all current and future work permit applications.Then, what are the steps for temporary foreign workers (TFW) to become a permanent resident (PR) in Canada?

With a full-time permanent job offer from a Canadian employer, you may be eligible for a number of options for permanent immigration to Canada. Other options for permanent immigration to Canada may also be available to you, depending on your circumstances.

Here are some Five Pathways for TFW to become PR in Canada:

  1. Arranged Employment thru Federal Skilled Worker program

This program is the most related for an educated, experienced temporary foreign worker in a skilled position. It consists of two steps:

Step 1: The employer for whom the individual is working for on a temporary basis can offer a position of indefinite length. This is referred to as Arranged Employment.

Step 2: The worker must pass the FSW points system. This system attributes numerical value to things such as a job offer, adaptability, and education. If one has a job offer, higher education, and some language skills, they often have ample points to qualify.

To determine your eligibility, check this website. Its timeframe is approximately 12-18 months.

  1. Canadian Experience Class

Temporary Foreign Workers in skilled positions can apply under this program. This is often a choice option for individuals who are unable to meet the point requirements necessary for the Federal Skilled Worker program. The key difference between the two programs is that this category requires a candidate to garner the following experience in Canada:

  • 2 years of work in Canada or
  • Post-secondary studies completed in Canada and 1 year of work

If one qualifies for this path they must be prepared to maintain continuous employment for one of the above time periods before applying for PR.

Check the Minimum Requirements for Canadian Experience Class here. Its timeframe is approximately 1 year.

  1. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Like other programs, PNP seeks skilled laborers. Many provinces, through agreements with the federal government, have robust provincial programs, which allow them to nominate foreign workers for PR. Pursuing this path from within Canada will vary greatly from province to province. However, in general, these applications must be for workers with skilled positions and will require involvement on the part of the employer.

Check this website for the Canadian Provinces that offer Provincial Nominee Program – http://pinoy-canada.com/articles/canadian-provinces-that-offer-provincial-nominee-program/.

  1. Quebec Experience Class

The province of Quebec has unique agreements with the federal government that allows it to put special immigration systems in place. Generally, candidates on temporary work permits must work in Quebec for a minimum of 1 year in a skilled position. Most importantly, they must speak at least intermediate French under this particular program. After approval, they will receive a Quebec Selection Certificate, which will allow them to reside permanently in the province.

Unlike other programs, Quebec allows individuals on Temporary Working Holiday visas to apply for PR, providing they meet the aforementioned requirements.

Check this website –  http://www.immigration-quebec.gouv.qc.ca for details. Its timeframe varies greatly or less than 1 year.

  1. Spousal/Common-Law Partner Sponsorship (if applicable)

If you are lucky enough to find a Spouse or Common-Law Partner who is a Canadian Citizen, this is the fastest way to become a Permanent Resident. Its timeframe is approximately 6 months.

Check this website to apply for Spousal Sponsorship Program.


A temporary work permit is not required to secure PR. Each program has been designed to facilitate the entrance of workers who will positively contribute to Canada’s labor market. All those wishing to immigrate permanently to Canada should choose the path which best matches their unique experiences and abilities. But if you are a temporary foreign worker whose goal is to become a permanent resident of Canada, you have much to plan.

  1. You must be financially stable before you start the process. Fees are expensive and time-consuming.
  2. Make sure that the job/position you currently have is listed in Canada’s National Occupational Classifications. Check this website for NOC –  http://noc.esdc.gc.ca/English/home.aspx.
  3. The moment you receive your work permit, apply only for positions that qualify for permanent residence status under one of Canada’s NOC codes.
  4. Do your own research into the application process. You could begin by identifying the best class for you to apply under (e.g., skilled worker, Canadian experience class, and provincial nominee.
  5. Complete all the requirements you need for the program then you will be ready for the PR status later on.

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