Tuesday, May 3, 2022

NEW Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program Workforce Solutions

 The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program Workforce Solutions Road Map. This initiative marks the next step in an ongoing effort to adjust and improve the TFW Program to ensure it continues to meet the labour market needs of today. 

Five key policy changes will be implemented in the coming weeks as part of the TFW Program Workforce Solutions Road Map to respond to current labour and skills shortages.

Effective immediately:

  • To address seasonal peaks, there will no longer be a limit to the number of low-wage positions that employers in seasonal industries, such as fish and seafood processing, can fill through the TFW 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 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 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.

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% of their workforce through the TFW Program for low-wage positions for one year.  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 and Food Services and Retail Trade sectors in regions with an unemployment rate of 6% or higher.
Quick facts
  • The TFW Program allows employers in Canada to hire a foreign worker when no Canadians or permanent residents are available.

  • The Canadian labour market is tighter than before the pandemic and the job vacancy rate reached an historic peak in the 3rd quarter of 2021.  Much of the unmet demand is in low-wage occupations and, according to Statistics Canada, in November 2021 the following sectors were facing the highest number of vacancies:

    • Accommodation and Food Services – 130,070 vacancies
    • Health Care and Social Assistance – 119,590 vacancies
    • Retail Trade – 103,990 vacancies
    • Manufacturing –  81,775 vacancies
  • Approximately 50,000 to 60,000 foreign agricultural workers come to work in Canada each year, which accounts for more than 60% of all foreign workers entering Canada under the TFW Program.



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