Welcome News for Tech Employers, Employers in Seven Sectors and a Few Other Tidbits

On April 4 Canada announced the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program Workforce Solutions Road Map, designed to support Canada’s continued economic growth, which is outpacing the ability of many employers to find workers. This announcement signals that the Canadian Government is recognizing the need to improve the TFW Program to better meet the actual needs of the current labour market. It also is likely a response to assist those with a path to permanent residence to give them more time to obtain permanent residence status, necessitated primarily due to large government inventories of applications invited in 2021 which in turn has caused much slower processing times than normal. In any event, it is very welcomed news for workers and employers in Canada. Here are the details:

The Solutions Road Map announces five key policy changes that will be implemented in the coming weeks.

Effective Immediately:

  • Removal of limits to the number of low-wage positions that employers in seasonal industries, such as fish and seafood processing, can fill through the TFW Program. In addition, the maximum duration of these positions will be increased from 180 days to 270 days per year.
  • Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) will be valid for 18 months, an increase from 9 months. (Prior to COVID-19, LMIA’s were valid for 6 months).
  • The maximum duration of employment for High-Wage and Global Talent Streams workers will be extended from 2 years to 3 years. This extension will help workers access pathways to qualify for permanent residency, enabling them to contribute to our workforce for the long-term.

Effective April 30:

  • Employers in seven sectors with demonstrated labour shortages employers will be allowed to hire up to 30% of their workforce through the TFW Program for low-wage positions for one year. These seven sectors are: Hospitality, Food Service, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Construction, Retail Trade, and Trucking. All other employers will be allowed to hire up to 20% of their workforce through the TFW Program for low-wage positions until further notice, an increase from the former 10% cap for many employers.
  • The Government will end the current policy that automatically refuses LMIA applications for low-wage occupations in the Accommodation, Food Services, and Retail Trade sectors in regions with an unemployment rate of 6% or higher.

Recognizing that these measures are helpful only if applications can be processed in a timely manner, Service Canada also recently implemented measures to increase capacity and expedite the processing of LMIA applications. This includes increases in staffing resources and the creation of an online LMIA portal for the submission of applications. Our team of experts can help you navigate the complexities of an LMIA application, discuss the requirements and process, and assist the submission of a strong application package.

If you would like to meet with one of our Canadian immigration law professionals to discuss your specific circumstances and potential strategies, we are happy to advise. Our legal professionals can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email: caruso@cilf.ca; guberman@cilf.ca; appleby@cilf.ca; mukherjee@cilf.ca; fagan@cilf.ca; bonisteel@cilf.ca; ali@cilf.ca; green@cilf.ca; trahan@cilf.ca