Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP) Rules In Canada To Be Relaxed | BOOZYN
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Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP) Rules In Canada To Be Relaxed

Canada is looking to relax the Temporary Foreign Workers Program rules in order to address the problem of labour shortages in the country.

The Canadian employers in the food service sector will be able to hire up to 30% of their workforce through the TFWP and other changes will be coming for the temporary foreign workers.

Canada is also looking to introduce measures to help make it easy for employers in Canada to access temporary foreign workers. These measures were announced on April 4 and it was in response to a nationwide labour shortage.

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Canada is currently experiencing a low unemployment rate and high job vacancies and the government believes that one way to address the labour shortages in the country is to bring in temporary foreign workers to help fill in job positions where there is no Canadian citizen or permanent resident available to do the work.

According to a media press released by the government, the changes that have been made to the TFWP are to help the country build its workforce especially in this present situation of high job vacancies.

Five Major Changes Coming For The TFWP

The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIAs) will be valid for about 18 months instead of 9 months as usual. The LMIAs document helps the employers to show the government of Canada that hiring a foreign worker to come to Canada to work has no negative effect on the labour market as there is no Canadian citizen or permanent resident available for the job. The LMIAs was only valid for six months before the pandemic.

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The maximum duration of employment for High-wage and Global Talent Stream workers will be extended from two years to three years and with the extension, workers will gain more Canadian experience and also help them qualify for more immigration pathways to get permanent residency in Canada which will help them become a workforce for Canada.

The Seasonal Cap Exemption which has been in place since 2015 will now become permanent. The limit to the number of low-wage positions that employers in seasonal industries can fill through the TFWP will be removed. The maximum duration of these positions will be increased from 180 days to 270 days per year.

Also, starting from April 30:

Employers of the sectors that have shown labour shortages will be allowed to hire up to 30% of their workforce through the TFWP for low-wage positions for one year. The seven sectors that are eligible are: nursing, residential care, accommodation and food services, food manufacturing, construction and hospitals. Other employers will be allowed to hire up to 20% of their workforce through the TFWP for low-wage positions until further notice, this is an increase from the 10% cap initially.

Finally, the current policy of automatically refusing LMIA applications for low-wage occupation in the accommodation and food services and retail trades sector in regions with an unemployment rate of 6% or higher will be stopped.

The labour market of Canada is tighter now prior to the pandemic and the job vacancy rate had reached a historic peak in the third quarter of 2021. Most of the unmet demand for labour in the low-wage occupations.

According to Statistics Canada, the following sectors faced the highest number of vacancies in November 2021:

  • Accommodation and Food services – 130,070 vacancies
  • Healthcare and Social Assistance – 119,590 vacancies
  • Retail trade – 103,990 vacancies
  • Manufacturing – 81,775 vacancies

Last year, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program approved about 5,000 positions under the Global Talent Stream and 23,000 positions in the high-wage stream. Together, the programs represent about 21% of all approved LMIA positions for 2021.

An estimate of about 50,000 to 60,000 foreign agricultural workers come to work in Canada each year which accounts for more than 60% of all foreign workers entering Canada through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).

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