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Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program

Interested in learning about how your business can benefit from the TFW? This article outlines five key changes to the program and resources you can refer to for more information.

The Government of Canada recently announced a Workforce Solutions Road Map that included changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFW) to address labour shortages across the country, enhance worker protections, and create pathways to permanent residency.

The TFW will undergo five key changes, some of these changes will be effective immediately whereas some will take effect April 30.

Effective immediately:

  1. To address seasonal peaks, there will no longer be a limit to the number of low-wage positions that employers in seasonal industries, such as fish and seafood processing, can fill through the TFW Program. This makes permanent the Seasonal Cap Exemption that has been in place since 2015.  In addition, the maximum duration of these positions will be increased from 180 days to 270 days per year.
  2. Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) will be valid for 18 months, an increase from 9 months. (Prior to COVID-19, LMIA’s were valid for 6 months).
  3. The maximum duration of employment for High-Wage and Global Talent Streams workers will be extended from two years to three years. This extension will help workers access pathways to qualify for permanent residency, enabling them to contribute to our workforce for the long-term.

Effective April 30:

  1. For seven sectors with demonstrated labour shortages, such as Accommodation and Food Services, employers will be allowed to hire up to 30% of their workforce through the TFW Program for low-wage positions for one year.  All other employers will be allowed to hire up to 20% of their workforce through the TFW Program for low-wage positions until further notice, an increase from the former 10% cap for many employers.
  2. The Government 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% or higher.

Employers are encouraged to submit their application online to reduce processing time. The online application can be found here:

Should you experience technical issues while using the LMIA Online Portal (Pilot Project), contact us at:

If you would like to learn more about TFW refer to the following links:

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