The Canadian Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) has been under intense media coverage over the last few months. Major changes in how the TFW program will be implemented will impact Canadian employers and temporary foreign workers. The following are some of the changes coming soon.
Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs)
In most cases, employers require government approval before hiring a foreign worker now called a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), formerly known as a Labour Market Opinion (LMO). An LMIA is issued by Service Canada in cases where a Canadian employer is unable to fill the position with a local Canadian worker. The main means of demonstrating this is though advertising the jobs in Canada and making efforts to hire Canadians but the applicants are not qualified for the position offered.
More details about LMIAs
The application fee for LMIA requests is now $1000 per worker, an increase from the $275 per worker fee for LMOs.
Under the new LMIA system job positions are to be be divided into just two categories: high-wage and low-wage. Jobs are considered high wage if the salary meets or exceeds the median wage in the province where the job will be performed, and low-wage if the salary is below the median.
Types of LMIAs
For high-wage positions, the LMIA procedure is much like that of the old LMO. However, a few major changes have been made:
The procedures and criteria involved for Low Wage LMIAs is somewhat different than for High-Wage LMIAs. More restrictions are imposed on Low Wage job offers than are high wage as follows:
Do all job offers to TFWs require a LMIA?
As in the case of the old LMOs, Canadian employers can recruit some TFWs without an LMIA. The following are categories where work permits are LMIA exempt:
In addition, beginning in summer 2015 employers hiring through some International Mobility Programs must have their job offers approved by a Canadian visa office before their hired employees can request a work permit. The processing fee for the job offer approval application will be $230.
This article should not be relied upon as legal advice - the comments may not be applicable to you and may not be up to date. If you have any questions, you should contact a lawyer.