Arisnel Mesidor, M.A., RCIC
ESDC announced amendments to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
The Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) introduced changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to tackle the labour shortage issue across Canada on April 4, 2022.
Effective immediately, the ESDC removed limits to the number of low-wage positions that employers in seasonal industries can hire through the TFWP and increased the maximum duration of these positions from 180 days to 270 days per year.
ESDC has made Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA’s) valid for 18 months and extended the maximum duration of employment for High-Wage and Global Talent Stream workers to three years to help them qualify for permanent residence.
Service Canada has recently introduced measures to increase capacity and expedite the processing of LMIA applications in order to ensure that employers across the country can hire TFWs in a timely manner. These measures include increasing staffing resources across all regions, including Quebec.
Also, employers are encouraged to submit their applications online in order to speed up the application process. The changes won't affect the extensive checks undertaken as part of the process to protect workers and the labour market.
In addition, ESDC is working to rebuild the TFW compliance regime in order to better protect TFWs. Some of the activities ESDC is undertaking to strengthen its risk-based targeting of high-risk employers include:
further strengthening TFW inspection tools and mandatory training
leveraging its tip line service, allowing workers to flag any situation of abuse or misuse of the program and
expanding its work with consulates to identify concerns that need immediate attention
The Temporary Foreign Worker Program allows employers in Canada to hire a foreign worker when no Canadians or permanent residents are available.