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To solve labour shortages, Canada softens the rules for the temporary foreign worker program.

Employers in the food service industry in Canada will be able to hire up to 30% of their workforce through the TFWP, and there will be other changes for temporary foreign workers.

Canada has taken steps to make it easier for Canadian firms to hire foreign workers on a temporary basis.

These actions, which were announced on April 4, are in reaction to a nationwide labour shortage. At the same time, Canada has a low unemployment rate and a large number of job openings.

Bringing in temporary foreign workers to fill jobs where there are no Canadians available is one way to address labour shortages. According to a government press release, the changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) are intended to help Canada build its workforce.

The TFWP will undergo five major upgrades in the coming years. Starting right now:

  • LMIAs (Labor Market Impact Assessments) will now be valid for 18 months, up from nine months previously. LMIAs are documents that show the Canadian government that hiring a foreign worker will not have a negative impact on the labour market. LMIAs were only good for six months before the outbreak.

  • Additionally, the maximum length of employment for High-Wage and Global Talent Stream employees will be increased from two to three years. Workers will be able to qualify for more pathways to permanent residency as a result of this extension, allowing them to contribute to the Canadian workforce in the long run.
  • Additionally, the Seasonal Cap Exemption, which has been in effect since 2015, will be made permanent. Employers in seasonal industries will no longer be limited in the number of low-wage positions they can fill through the TFWP. These positions’ maximum duration will be expanded from 180 to 270 days per year.

Then, as of April 30th,

  • Employers of sectors with demonstrated labour shortages will be allowed to hire up to 30 percent of their workforce through the TFWP for low-wage positions for one year. The seven eligible sectors include: food manufacturing, wood product manufacturing, furniture and related product manufacturing, accommodation and food services, construction, hospitals, and nursing and residential care facilities. All other employers will be allowed to hire up to 20 percent of their workforce through the TFW Program for low-wage positions until further notice, an increase from the former 10 percent cap for many employers.
  • Finally, Canada 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 percent or higher.

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