New Reforms for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

On June 20, 2014, the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, and the Honourable Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced a comprehensive overhaul of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).

The reforms cover three key areas:

The Government is also ending the moratorium that was placed on the food services sector, effective immediately.

Reorganizing the TFWP

Using Wage Instead of National Occupation Codes

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Fee of $1,000

Restricting access to TFWP

New Labour Market Impact Assessment

Cap on Low-Wage Temporary Foreign Workers

Refuse to Process

Applications for Low-wage / Lower-skilled positions in the Accommodation and food services and Retail trade Sectors

The TFWP is refusing to process LMIA applications for 10 low-wage / lower-skilled occupations from employers that are included in the Accommodation and food services sector and the Retail trade sector in economic regions across Canada that have an unemployment rate of 6% or higher. In order to be affected by this refusal to process, 3 criteria must be met.

Employers must be:

Pending Applications for Low-wage Positions

The TFWP is also refusing to process any pending applications for low-wage positions as of June 20, 2014. Any application that was submitted prior to June 20, for a position where the prevailing wage is below the provincial/territorial median hourly wage, and where an opinion has not been issued, will no longer be processed. In these cases, employers will be refunded the $275 per position processing fee. All other applications will be processed as normal.

This refusal to process applications is not applicable in Quebec.

Reducing the Duration of Work Permits set out in Labour Market Impact Assessments

Transition Plans for High-Wage Positions

Highest-Demand, Highest-Paid and Shortest-Duration Occupations

Stronger enforcement and tougher penalties

Increasing the Number and Scope of Inspections

Monetary Fines for Employers Who Break the Rules

Date modified:



Got a question? Let us know - we're here to help.

IVC and IVC staff are proud members or affiliates of

ICCRC logoIBP logoICEF logoPIER logo
MARA logoCANCHAM logoANZCHAM logoBritish Council logo