Further Restrictions to the Temporary Foreign Worker program


The government has released more updates to the Temporary Foreign Worker program requirements, further restricting employers hiring and employing foreign workers.

Previous changes already implemented include tests being altered from an occupational level division to a wage based division, a raise in application fees from $275 per application to $1000 per application, and the introduction of caps on numbers of workers allowed to be brought into Canada for certain categories, to name a few. 

Although there has been a considerable drop in Temporary Foreign Worker applications (by approximately 74%), the government announced more changes in early October*:

  • Bans on employers for non-compliance with rules of hiring through the Temporary Foreign Worker program could now range from 1 to 10 years. The ban was previously a firm 2 years, regardless of circumstances.
  • Further non-compliance will result in monetary penalties, which will vary according to various factors of the violation. Penalties can range up to $100,000.
  • Any violation of conditions under the work program could lead to a monetary penalty and/or a ban: failure to meet wages, failure to meet work condition expectations, lack of a genuine job offer, deficiencies in reporting and document retention, and non-cooperativeness during inspections.

*Please note these changes are not yet finalized.

It is important to note that these new rules place much more emphasis on the subjectivity of the rules and the discretion of the government. These new guidelines should be implemented after October 16th, which is the deadline for proposal submissions. 

In response to the frequent reforms to the TFW program, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark has publicly stated that federal politicians have created “tragically misdirected” policies in reaction to the issues arising from temporary foreign workers. Clark suggested that federal politicians reform the intent of the program to be one that is more accepting to foreign workers, and to be one that does not see and treat foreign workers as less than that of Canada.

As many have said before, Clark reiterated the point that the title “Temporary Foreign Worker program” does not account for the potential permanent residency the applicants may one day obtain, and should be changed. 

FWCanada is a Montreal-based immigration law firm that provides professional legal services on Canadian immigration. For more tips and updates on Canadian immigration, follow FWCanada on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

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