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 Canada Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Canada Announces Major Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)

Published on : April 5, 2022


The foreign worker program changes are expected to ease the existing significant labour shortages in Canada. 

In a News Release dated April 4, 2022, Employment and Social Development Canada announced the Temporary Foreign Worker Program Workforce Solutions Road Map. The announcement came from the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough. 

Canada continues with its ongoing effort to “adjust and improve” the TFWP, thereby ensuring that it continues to meet labour market requirements.

With the relaxation and updation of the TFWP, Canada plans to - 

  • Address labour shortages,
  • Enhance worker protections, and 
  • Build a stronger workforce for today as well as tomorrow. The Canadian workforce is to be built through pathways to Canadian permanent residency

What are the changes in the Canadian TFWP in 2022?

A total of five policy changes were announced on April 4, 2022. Of these, while three are effective immediately, another two policy changes will come into effect on April 30, 2022. 

Changes Announced in the TFWP of Canada 

In response to current skills and labour shortages in Canada


Policy Change 

With effect from 

Seasonal industries 

  1. No longer a cap or limit on the number of low-wage positions in seasonal industries that can be filled through the TFWP. 
  2. The Seasonal Cap Exemption, in place since 2015, becomes permanent.
  3. Maximum duration of such low-wage positions in seasonal industries increased to 270 days per year (from the previous 180 days/year duration). 

April 4, 2022

Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA)

LMIAs will now be valid for 18 months. 

  • Previously, LMIA validity was 9 months
  • Before COVID-19, LMIAs were valid for 6 months 

April 4, 2022

Maximum Duration of employment for High-Wage and Global Stream workers 

To be extended to three years. 

Previously, the maximum duration was two years. 

The extension of the maximum duration of employment for High-Wage and Global Talent Streams workers will help them access pathways to qualify for Canada PR, thereby contributing to the Canadian workforce for the long-term.

April 4, 2022

Sectors with demonstrated labour shortages 

Seven sectors with demonstrated labour shortages will be allowed to hire up to 30% of their workforce - for low-wage positions for one year - through the TFWP.  

All other employers can hire, until further notice, up to 20% of their workforce through the TFWP for low-wage positions. Earlier, there was a 10% cap for many Canadian employers. 


April 30, 2022

Refusal to Process Policy

End of the current policy of automatic refusal of LMIA applications for low-wage occupations in the sectors of Retail Trade as well as Accommodation and Food Services in regions in Canada that have an unemployment rate of 6% or higher. 

April 30, 2022


The post-pandemic economic recovery of Canada is well underway, outpacing the ability of many employers to find workers. With the aim of supporting Canada’s continued economic growth, the Government of Canada is focused on building a “strong, resilient workforce in all sectors”

As the needs of Canada’s workforce change, the TFWP is being accordingly adjusted to meet them. The Workforce Solutions Road Map builds on the progress made so far to renew, modernize, and improve the Temporary Foreign Worker Program for employers and workers alike. 

According to Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Frases, “.. as we begin to recover from the pandemic and look to fill remaining job vacancies, we will continue to make our Temporary Foreign Worker Program more accessible, efficient and agile to support employers who are looking to staff up and grow their operations.” 

Quick facts 

  • Canadian TFWP allows employers in Canada to hire a foreign worker when no Canadian permanent resident or citizen of Canada is available.
  • A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) might be required by a Canadian employer before hiring a foreign worker under the TFWP. 
  • A positive LMIA means that there is a requirement to hire a temporary foreign worker for the job as no Canadian (permanent resident or citizen) is available to do the job. 
  • Open work permits for Canada are exempt from the LMIA requirement. 
  • Job vacancy rate in Canada reached an all-time high in the third quarter of 2021. 
  • Highest vacancies in - (1) Accommodation and Food Services, (2) Health Care and Social Assistance, (3) Retail Trade, and (4) Manufacturing. 
  • In 2021, the TFWP approved around 23,000 positions in the High-Wage steam and approximately 5,000 positions under the Global Talent Stream.

Topics: Work, Canada




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