Temporary Foreign Worker Program

In June of 2014 Employment Minister Jason Kenney and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander have announced an overhaul of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program:

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program got divided into two programs: One — remains to be called the TFWP — requires that employers prove the need to hire a non-Canadian worker (LMIA). The other, called the International Mobility Program, does not need LMIA.

These were major changes introduced in June of 2014:

Reforms to the program include:

  • Barring employers from hiring low-wage temporary foreign workers in regions where the unemployment rate is above six per cent.
  • A cap of 10 per cent on the number of low-wage temporary foreign workers employers can hire per work site by 2016.
  • The cap will be gradually phased in, starting at 30 per cent effective immediately, then reduced to 20 per cent on July 1, 2015, and 10 per cent a year later in 2016.
  • An increase in the number of inspections: one in four employers will be inspected each year. The government says it will hire approximately 20 more inspectors, bringing the number to about 60.
  • An increase from $275 to $1,000 in the application fee employers must pay per worker requested, effective immediately.
  • Fines of up to $100,000 for employers who abuse the program, starting in fall.
  • Additional funding for the Canada Border Services Agency so it can pursue more criminal investigations.
  • Posting the names of employers who receive permission to hire foreign workers.
  • Making public the number of positions approved through the program on a quarterly basis.
  • Reducing the amount of time a temporary foreign worker can be employed in Canada, to two years from four (already revoked).
The majority of today's changes do not apply to employers who hire seasonal workers, live-in caregivers and nannies.


Find out if you need a Labour Market Impact Assessment

List of Labour Market Impact Assessment exemptions, how to find your exemption code and who to contact if you need help.

Ineligible employers

A list of employers who have had Labour Market Impact Assessments suspended or revoked. 

Hire a temporary foreign worker in a high-wage or low-wage position

Hire a foreign worker where the wage being offered is below, at or above the median hourly wage. 

Hire a temporary foreign agricultural worker

Apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment to hire a temporary foreign agricultural worker. 

Hire a foreign in-home caregiver

Hire an in-home foreign caregiver to care for children, seniors or persons with medical needs 

Hire a skilled foreign worker

Hire skilled foreign workers and support their applications for permanent residence in Canada. 

Hire a foreign academic

Hire a foreign academic at a degree-granting post-secondary educational institution in Canada. 

Hire top foreign talent through the Global Talent Stream

Hire the specialized and in-demand talent that you need to scale up and grow. 

Hire in the province of Quebec

Hire a temporary foreign worker in the province of Quebec. 
 Refusal to process an application

Conditions which may justify that we cannot process your Labour Market Impact Assessment application.

Employer compliance

Your obligations, the conditions you must uphold as an employer and the consequences of non-compliance. 

Voluntary disclosure

Inform us if you think you are not in compliance with the conditions of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. 

Report abuses of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Anonymously report a case of potential abuse or misuse of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. 
 
 
   







Job Bank Service Standards:

Validation of employer files

  • Our standard: Our goal is to validate employer files within 5 business days
  • Our target: ESDC aims to meet this standard 100% of the time. (Note: service standard applies to employer files that reflect accurate and complete information)
  • Our performance in 2015-2016: A new Job Bank module was released in 2015-2016, making this the baseline year. Performance results will be available for 2016-2017

Job advertisement postings

  • Our standard: Our goal is to post job advertisements within 2 business days
  • Our target: ESDC aims to meet this standard 100% of the time
  • Our performance in 2015-2016: A new Job Bank module was released in 2015-2016, making this the baseline year. Performance results will be available for 2016-2017

Temporary Foreign Worker Program - Labour Market Impact Assessments Service Standards

Service Standard for the Issuance of Labour Market Impact Assessments under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program: 10-Day Priority Processing for Certain Occupations

  • Our standard: Applicants submitting Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA) applications for highest-demand occupations (skilled trades), highest-paid occupations (top 10% of wages in a given province or territory) or short duration work periods (120 days or less) will receive their LMIA or a reason for its refusal within 10 business days of receipt of the application and all documents required.
  • Our target: The target for achieving this standard is set at 80%
  • Our performance in the 2015 to 2016 fiscal year: ESDC met this target 87.9% of the time

Expedited processing

Your application could be processed within ten business days (except applications for positions located in the province of Quebec) if it meets at least one of these criteria:

Highest-paid

Skilled trades

Short-duration

  • The positions requested are for a period of employment of 120 calendar days or less; and
  • The wage offered for the requested positions is at or above the provincial or territorial hourly median wage

Express entry

  • The job offer is to support a skilled worker’s application for permanent residence under one of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Express Entry eligible programs.

However, the ten business day speed of service will only be performed if:

  • your application is complete
  • we do not need additional time for consultation or clarification concerning your application
  • you have not been selected for a Compliance Review.

Changing names or adding information

You must contact the Employer Contact Centre if information on your positive Labour Market Impact Assessment or its annexes is incorrect, missing or if it needs to be updated.

To change the names of temporary foreign workers after being issued a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment, contact the Employer Contact Centre in advance, based on the number of names to be changed:

  • ten names or less – request must be received at least 15 business days prior to the Labour Market Impact Assessment expiry date
  • more than ten names – request must be received at least 20 business days prior to the Labour Market Impact Assessment expiry date

The names of temporary foreign workers on a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment cannot be changed if the:

  • position is in the province of Quebec (except for positions under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program)
  • application is for permanent residence or dual intent
  • application is for the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (except for positions in the province of Quebec)
  • work permit has been issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Applications are assessed to determine that the impact the hiring of a temporary foreign worker would have on Canada’s labour market. Based on the information you provided, you will receive a negative or positive Labour Market Impact Assessment in the form of a letter.

If you receive a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (valid for six months from the date of issue) you need to:

  • ensure the employment contract has been signed by the temporary foreign worker and a copy has been provided, if applicable
  • provide a copy of the Labour Market Impact Assessment letter and its Annex A to the temporary foreign worker (required to obtain a work permit to work in Canada)
  • inform the temporary foreign worker to apply for permanent residence to immigrate to Canada or a work permit prior to the Labour Market Impact Assessment expiry date
  • inform the appropriate Service Canada Processing Centre of any changes required or errors on the positive Labour Market Impact Assessment or its annexes

If you receive a positive Unnamed Labour Market Impact Assessment:

  • you must complete and submit the Foreign Worker Name template provided with the Labour Market Impact Assessment to the appropriate Service Canada Processing Centre as soon as the names of the temporary foreign workers are known
  • you will receive a Labour Market Impact Assessment that includes the names of the temporary foreign workers
  • you must provide the temporary foreign workers with a copy of the Labour Market Impact Assessment to apply for a work permit to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada prior to the Labour Market Impact Assessment expiry date
  • for privacy reasons, the Annex B provided with your positive Labour Market Impact Assessment is for your records only and must not be shared with the temporary foreign workers

If you receive a negative Labour Market Impact Assessment, you will not be reimbursed the processing fee.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program compliance

Employers must meet specific requirements to hire foreign workers and uphold the conditions as set out in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations(IRPR). Employers of temporary foreign workers are expected to be aware of their responsibilities and obligations under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), and the IRPR.

Employers are responsible for:

  • ensuring they meet all of the conditions and requirements of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), as outlined in documents such as the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application, the LMIA decision letter and annexes;
  • keeping all records associated to their LMIA application and any other documents that demonstrate their compliance with the program conditions that are set out in the LMIA decision letter and annexes for a period of six years; and
  • informing Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada of any changes or errors relating to an approved LMIA or the temporary foreign worker.

Employers must regularly review the activities related to the employment of temporary foreign workers to ensure they continue to uphold the TFWP conditions. Employers are required to take action to rectify errors and/or non-compliance as soon as it is discovered, and contact ESDC/Service Canada of any changes that occur.


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