By Employment and Social Development Canada
Canada’s economic recovery and critical labour shortages in key sectors are driving higher demand for workers under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). In response, the Government of Canada is taking a balanced approach to improving the program, with measures designed to respond to emerging labour market needs while also protecting Canadian workers.
That is why the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, has extended temporary measures introduced during the COVID-19 Pandemic and through the TFWP Workforce Solutions Road Map. The continued measures, intended to provide greater stability for employers and workers, include:
- permitting employers in seven sectors with demonstrated labour shortages (such as accommodation and food services, construction, and food manufacturing) to hire up to 30 percent of their workforce through the TFWP for low-wage positions;
- keeping the Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA) validity period at up to 18 months; and,
- maintaining the maximum duration of employment for low-wage positions at up to two years.
These measures will remain in place until October 30, 2023. In the meantime, the Government will carefully monitor activities and review policies to ensure they continue to reflect the latest economic conditions while also protecting workers in Canada. The Government continues work to implement a Trusted Employer Model this year. This will help to reduce red-tape for repeat employers who meet the highest standards for working and living conditions, and protections.
Additionally, the Minister announced that, effective April 3, 2023, the TFWP begins transitioning to the LMIA Online Portal as the primary method to submit LMIAs. This shift to an online system will further improve processing, helping employers address their labour market needs quickly.
“We are taking a balanced approach to adjust the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to meet the changing needs of Canada’s workforce and Canadian employers. Renewing these measures addresses immediate labour shortages, while ensuring Canadians have access to jobs. We’ll continue working with provinces, territories and other partners to build the strong, skilled workforce Canada needs to support our economy.”
– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough
- The Canadian labour market remains tighter than before the pandemic and the job vacancy rate reached an historic peak in the third quarter of 2021.
- Our unemployment remains at a near-record low of 5.0%
- As of March 19, 2023, 56.5% more files have been processed (108,592) this year, compared to the same time period in the previous fiscal year (69,379).
- Despite the significant increase in demand, national average processing times for LMIAs have improved by over 10 days in fiscal year 2022-23. Average LMIA processing times have continued to improve and now sit at about 29 days nationally, down from 40 days at the beginning of this fiscal year.