Changes Coming to TFW Program


OTTAWA — On Monday, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced important changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program under the Workforce Solutions Road Map, which will provide restaurant and foodservice operators with more efficient and effective access to this crucial program.

“After a proactive advocacy surge, underpinned by our National Foodservice Labour Strategy, Restaurants Canada has been able to secure some significant changes to the TFW Program to help address the challenge of ongoing labour shortages facing our sector,” reads a statement from Restaurants Canada. “Among other areas as part of our Immigration and Accessibility Reform pillars, we recommended prioritized and streamlined access for restaurant and foodservice operators, expedited processing, and revisions to the punitive cap for low-wage positions under the TFW Program.” 

Effective immediately:

  • 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.
  • Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA’s) will be valid for 18 months, an increase from nine months. (Prior to COVID-19, LMIA’s were valid for six months).
  • 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 the workforce for the long-term.

Effective April 30:

  • For seven sectors with demonstrated labour shortages, such as Accommodation and Foodservices, employers will be allowed to hire up to 30 per cent 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 per cent of their workforce through the TFW Program for low-wage positions until further notice, an increase from the former 10-per-cent cap for many employers.
  • The government will end the current policy that automatically refuses LMIA applications for low-wage occupations in the Accommodation and Foodservices and Retail Trade sectors in regions with an unemployment rate of six per cent or higher.

Applications can be submitted here.

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