Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Canada relaxes Temporary Foreign Worker Program to help ease labour constraints

Canada has announced important changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program under the Workforce Solutions Road Map with the intention of lessening the impact of labour shortages on businesses in heavily affected industries.

One of those industries is foodservice and food manufacturing. Operators will be granted more efficient and effective access to this crucial program.

Effective immediately:

  • To address seasonal peaks, there will no longer be a limit on the number of low-wage positions that employers in seasonal industries, such as fish and seafood processing, can fill through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. This makes permanent the Seasonal Cap Exemption that has been in place since 2015.  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 nine months. (Prior to COVID-19, LMIA’s were valid for just six months).
  • The maximum duration of employment for High-Wage and Global Talent Streams workers will be extended from two years to three years. This extension will help workers access pathways to qualify for permanent residency, enabling them to contribute to our workforce for the long term.

More changes will follow later this month.

Effective April 30:

  • For seven sectors with demonstrated labour shortages, such as Accommodation and Food Services, employers will be allowed to hire up to 30 per cent of their workforce through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program for low-wage positions for one year. All other employers will be allowed to hire up to 20 per cent of their workforce through the Program for low-wage positions until further notice, an increase from the former 10 per cent cap for many employers.
  • The Government will end the current policy that automatically refuses LMIA applications for low-wage occupations in the Accommodation and Food Services and Retail Trade sectors in regions with an unemployment rate of six per cent or higher.

Applications can be submitted here.