Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Effective July 31, 2013, employers applying to hire temporary foreign workers (TFWs) must pay a processing fee of $275 for each position requested to cover the cost of a Labour Market Opinion (LMO).  Applications concerning seasonal agricultural workers are exempt.

The same day, amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations have come into force which introduce subsection a new language assessment factor. As a result of this change, English and French are the only languages that can be identified as a job requirement, both in LMO requests and in advertisements by employers applying to hire TFWs, unless employers can demonstrate that another language is essential for the job.  Employers advertising a job for a position that legitimately requires a language other than English or French must clearly demonstrate, in writing, that the language requested is consistent with the regular activities of the job (e.g. a translation company hiring a translator to work in a language other than English or French, a tour company catering to foreign tourists only in a non-official language).

Advertising period

Employers must advertise available positions in Canada for at least four weeks (instead of two) before applying for an LMO. This requirement applies to all advertising methods.  In addition to advertising on the national Job Bank website or the equivalent provincial/territorial websites, employers must prove that they have used at least two other recruitment methods that are consistent with the advertising practices for the occupation.

  1. If hiring for a higher-skilled occupation—one of the methods must be national in scope;
  2. If hiring for a lower-skilled occupation—employers must demonstrate that they made efforts to target under-represented groups in the labour force.

Employers must also continue to actively seek qualified Canadians to fill the advertised positions until an LMO has been issued.

Finally, the new LMO application form includes additional questions that must be answered by the employer. These questions were added to help ensure that the TFWP is not used to facilitate the outsourcing of Canadian jobs.

There is no transition period.  The new rules were published on 31 July 2013 and apply to all applications that reach the Service Canada on or after that day.



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