Temporary Foreign Worker Program Changes

The Temporary Foreign Workers Program is:

  • Administered by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)
  • Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) now required, replacing Labour Market Opinion
  • LMIA application should include:
    • number of Canadians who applied for the job
    • number of Canadians interviewed and why those were not hired
    • confirmation that no Canadians will be laid-off or have hours reduced
  • LMIA $1000 Application Fee/Per Position
  • LMIA valid for one year. Two-year maximum work permit

TFWs Classified Based On Wage Level

Low wage < $21.79
High wage > (median wage)

  • Low wage TFWs: less than provincial median wage
  • Low wage occupations are generally those requiring a high school diploma or maximum of 2 years of job-specific training
  • High wage TFWs: paid above provincial median wage

CAP and Restrictions on Low Wage TFWs

  • 10% cap on proportion of low-wage TFWs/worksite
  • TFW cap phased-in over next 3 years
  • Employers with current lower-wage TFW workforce above cap limited to 30% or frozen at current level
  • 30% transition cap reduced to 20% beginning July 1, 2015 and to 10% on July 1, 2016
  • Low-wage TFWs applications refused in Accommodation, Food Services & Retail Trade sectors inregions with 6%+ unemployment

Transition Plans for High-Wage Positions

  • Transition Plan required with LMIA to reduce reliance on TFWs
  • Additional employer recruitment activities required to hire from under-represented groups.
  • Report on transition plan success if reapplying for TFWs
  • Transition plan results required if inspected

High Demand Occupations, Highest Paid and Short Duration Processed First

LMIAs processed within 10-business-day service standard for:

  • highest-demand occupations (skilled trades)
  • highest-paid (top 10%) occupations
  • short-duration work periods (120 calendar days or less)

Stronger Enforcement and Tougher Penalties

  • One in four employers inspected annually
  • Employers are required to retain all recruitment documents for six years
  • Non-compliance: Suspend/revoke LMIA; ban from applying for LMIA; up to 100K fine; blacklisted

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