Temporary Foreign Worker Program Updates – End of Workforce Solutions Road Map Special Measures and Recognized Employer Pilot

End of Workforce Solutions Road Map Special Measures

As part of the government’s continuing efforts to limit the number of temporary residents coming to Canada due to increased pressures from the housing and cost-of-living crises, as of May 1, 2024, the following changes will occur:

  • Labour Market Impact Assessments (“LMIAs”) will only be valid for six months; reduced from 12 months. This means that a work permit application will need to be filed or presented at a port of entry within six months of receiving a positive LMIA.
  • Employers previously identified in the 2022 Workforce Solutions Road Map will no longer to be able to have 30% of their total workforce come in through the low wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (“TFWP”). All employers will only be able to have 20% of their workers come in from low wage stream LMIAs. An exception is made for employers in the construction and health care sectors.
  • In addition to regular LMIA job advertising and recruitment requirements, employers will need to recruit asylum seekers in Canada with valid open work permits before they can apply for an LMIA.

These measures are in addition to the requirement for employers to review the wages of foreign workers on LMIA-based work permits on an annual basis to ensure that they continue to reflect the prevailing wage in the region of employment. Prevailing wages are updated annually, and usually increase at the time of the update.

Recognized Employer Pilot

The Recognized Employer Pilot (“REP”) is a three-year pilot project designed to help meet the demand for certain in-demand occupations from employers with a history of compliance with the TFWP, high standards for working conditions and worker protection based on the employer’s history with the TFWP. The employer must have received three positive LMIA decisions in the last five years, or one positive LMIA decision in 2022 or 2023 and two other positive LMIA decisions as far back as 2016. REP eligibility is assessed when an LMIA is submitted. Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (“SAWP”) LMIAs cannot be considered for the REP. Importantly, Service Canada will stop accrediting employers to the REP in September 2024, and the REP is scheduled to end in fall 2026.

The REP’s in-demand occupations list includes engineering managers, agricultural labourers, machine fitters, welders, seafood plant workers, loggers, metal fabrication labourers, psychologists, dental assistants, practical nurses, paramedics, medical laboratory technologists, veterinary technicians, physiotherapists, architects, land surveyors, chefs and cooks, butchers, food and beverage servers, carpenters, and welders. The full list can be viewed here: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/foreign-workers/recognized-employer/working-conditions.html#h2.4.

Employers who are part of the REP will receive LMIAs that are valid for up to 36 months, compared to the six month validity of regular LMIAs.  Should an employer be approved for the REP, they will have access to a simplified LMIA application.

If you or your employee will be affected by any of the announced changes, or you are interested in the REP, reach out to one of our professionals today for a consultation. Our Canadian immigration legal professionals can be reached by phone (416-368-1111) or via email: caruso@cilf.ca; fagan@cilf.ca; bonisteel@cilf.ca; ali@cilf.ca; mukherjee@cilf.ca; garciafialdini@cilf.ca.