What Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program Would Mean for Employers and Foreign Workers in Canada

posted on October 5, 2016

By Canada Immigration Newsletter |

By Canada Immigration Newsletter |

Last month, CICNews published a story on recommended changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) that were submitted by a House of Commons committee tasked with reviewing the program. These wide-ranging changes may soon become law, either in whole or in part. Consequently, it is vital for employers and foreign workers alike to get a fuller picture on how the program may function in the future.

Employers in Canada

The recommended changes to the TFWP come at a time when many in the business community have been calling for a less bureaucratic process that is quick to respond to labour market needs. If the recommendations become part of a revamped program, employers could look forward to:

  • A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application process that is speedier and more efficient.
  • Reduced LMIA processing times for employers that demonstrate trustworthiness.
  • The possibility of being allowed to modify contracts with foreign workers during the employment period if both parties consent.
  • Further exemptions from the requirement to submit Transition Plans for high-skilled workers.
  • Further exemptions from the LMIA process for the hiring of certain workers, such as academics.
  • A change to ensure the cap on the percentage of low-wage temporary foreign workers a business can employ at a given time, be set at a minimum of 20 percent.
  • More localized data analysis of unemployment figures with respect to certain low-wage positions in regions with a six percent or higher unemployment, which may result in employers that were previously excluded from hiring in these sectors becoming eligible to do so.

Richard Truscott, vice-president for Alberta and British Columbia at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, says that “the Committee has made some good recommendations in many areas, including loosening the cap on the number of temporary foreign workers per business, setting up a Trusted Employer system, and also taking some steps to better align the temporary and permanent immigration systems with employers, which includes eliminating the four-year total duration rule.

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