On June 20, 2014, Ministers Jason Kenney and Chris Alexander
held a press conference to discuss the changes that will be
implemented in Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program
(TFWP). The term TFWP now only refers to the program
governing the issuance of those who need Labour Market Impact
Assessments (LMIAs), formerly known as Labour Market Opinions
(LMOs). LMIA-exempt work permit applications now fall under
International Mobility Program (IMP). Here is what every
Canadian employer needs to know about the new TFWP:
The moratorium on restaurants accessing the TFWP has been
lifted, and those with LMOs that were previously suspended under
the moratorium are now reactivated.
The TFWP processing fee will be increased from $274 to $1,000
As part of an application for an LMIA, employers will be
required to disclose the specific number of Canadians that applied
for the position, how many were interviewed, and why those
applicants were rejected.
Employers who obtain LMIAs will be prohibited from laying off
or reducing the hours of Canadians.
Instead of classifying workers by skill level, workers will now
be classified by wage level.
LMIAs for high wage roles will require that employers implement
Transition Plans to outline commitments to recruit, retain and
train Canadians and permanent residents, and to assist Temporary
Foreign Workers (TFWs) to become permanent residents, if a positive
LMIA is issued.
Applications for LMIAs for the highest-demand occupations
(skilled trades), the highest-paid occupations (top 10%) or
shortest duration work permits (120 days or less) will be processed
within 10 business days.
LMIAs for low wage roles will be limited to one year in
duration, down from two years.
Workers in Canada under an LMIA for a low wage job will be
permitted to remain in Canada for a maximum of two years, down from
Employers with 10 or more employees who apply for a new LMIA
will be subject to a cap of 10% on the proportion of their
workforce that can be low wage TFWs. Those who currently
exceed the cap will have until July 1, 2015 to get their proportion
down to 20%, and until July 1, 2016 to reach 10%.
In regions where unemployment is above 6%, there will be no
access to the TFWP for low wage roles in non-tradable service
sectors, such as in the food service industry.
One in four businesses who use the TFWP can expect to be
inspected for compliance to the Program's requirements, and
will be required to adhere to many more conditions than
Penalties for employers who are found to be non-compliant with
the TFWP will be strengthened.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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