Changes to Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) Come Into Effect


The changes to Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program unveiled earlier this year have come into force as of July 31st 2013.  Many of these reforms are being undertaken in order to ensure that companies have more incentive to hire Canadians first before turning toward temporary foreign workers to fill job vacancies.

LMO Processing Charge

First among these modifications is a new $275 CDN processing fee attached to each request for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO).  All employers wishing to hire temporary foreign workers to Canada are required a positive LMO from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRDSC) to verify that hiring the foreign worker will not negatively impact Canada’s domestic labour market. This fee is expected give companies more financial imperative to seek Canadians for the job before turning to TFWs. Employers will not have to pay this fee if they seek to hire TFWs for on-farm primary agricultural positions or are recruiting foreign workers to Canada under the Agricultural Stream or Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program.

Extended LMO Application Questionnaire

LMO applications have also been extended to incorporate more questions that have been formulated so that the HRDSC and Canadian Immigration officials are better able to ensure that the TFWP is not unnecessarily outsourcing jobs that could have been performed by Canadians.

New Language Restriction

The next change to come into effect is a language assessment factor that stipulates that English and French are the only languages that can be distinguished as a job requirement.  If employers are not able to establish that another language is necessary for the job—a translating position, for example may require knowledge of a different language—this new restriction will apply to LMO requests in addition to job offers diffused by employers attempting to hire TFWs. Again, employers are exempt from this restriction if they are recruiting temporary foreign workers to Canada for on-farm primary agricultural positions or are hiring under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program or the Agriculture Stream.

New Advertising Requirements

Finally, employers are now mandated to adhere to new advertising requirements if they are not recruiting through the Live-in Caregiver program, the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, the Agriculture Stream, or on-farm positions in primary agriculture. Until an LMO has been issued to the employer, they are required to actively search for qualified Canadians to fill their job vacancies.

All job vacancies must be advertised in Canada for at least four weeks before the employer applies for a Labour market Opinion. All advertising methods are subject to this new requirement.

Next, employers must provide proof that they have used at least two other recruitment methods in addition to advertising on Canada’s Job Bank website. Those hiring for lower-skilled occupations must prove that they have attempted to make the job vacancy known to under-represented groups in the Canadian labour force. Those recruiting for higher-skilled occupations must ensure that one of their recruitment methods are advertised on a national basis. 

FWCanada is a Montreal-based immigration law firm that provides professional legal services on Canadian immigration. For more updates on Canadian immigration and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), follow FWCanada on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

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