Temporary Foreign Worker Program Reforms Announced!

The Government of Canada, under Economic Action Plan 2013, has announced a number of changes in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program as follows:

  1. Effective immediately, all employers who hire temporary foreign workers are required to pay them at the prevailing wage. In other words, there will be no more wage flexibility.
  2. Effective immediately, the Accelerated Labour Market Opinion process is temporarily suspended until further notice.
  3. Pending parliamentary approval, the Government of Canada may suspend or revoke work permits and labour market opinions if any of them are misused.
  4. Pending parliamentary approval, the Government of Canada may charge a fee to employers for processing labour market opinions (currently, no fee) and increase the current processing fee for a work permit (currently, $150.00 per application).
  5. The current labour market opinion application may change with further information required by employers to show their plan to give the same job(s) to the Canadian workforce instead of temporary foreign workers and/or to have a firm plan to transfer the same job(s) from temporary foreign workers to Canadian workers in a short timeframe.
  6. When employers advertise for any jobs, they are to identify English and French as the only languages for job requirement, except specialized jobs such as translators, interpreters, tour guides or performers.

There is no determinative plan, especially for the amount of new fee charged, in place, but such information will be announced shortly. For your individual cases, please contact our office for further information.