January 10, 2024

Latest Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program: New Wage Requirements and Reduced Validity Period of LMIAs

Posted by Lijing Cao - Bellissimo Law Group PC

The Government of Canada has announced changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program Workforce Solutions Road Map to help employers fill job vacancies in the wake of labour shortages. The program was introduced in April 2022 and has now been extended until 30 August 2024, with the aim of better reflecting current labour market conditions and the economic outlook for the future.

The extended measures include:

  • enabling employers in seven sectors (including food manufacturing, wood product manufacturing, furniture and related product manufacturing, accommodation and food services, construction, hospitals, and nursing and residential care facilities) facing proven labor shortages to hire up to 30% of their workforce via the TFW Program for positions paying less than the provincial or territorial median hourly wage;
  • sustaining the maximum duration of employment for positions under the provincial or territorial median hourly wage at up to two years;
  • adjusting the validity period of Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from its current 18-month maximum to a maximum of 12 months.

In addition to these temporary measures, as of 1 January 2024, employers are now required to annually review LMIA-based foreign worker employees’ wages to ensure that they reflect increases to prevailing wage rates for their given occupation and region of work. This change is aimed at better supporting foreign workers and addressing concerns around wage suppression. Prevailing wages are typically updated in November every year, which can be reviewed on the Job Bank website.

Last but not least, the current temporary public policy suspending minimum advertising requirements for employers applying for a LMIA to hire foreign workers in primary agriculture is scheduled to end on 30 June 2024.

This article is prepared for information only and it is not intended to be legal advice. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our team.