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Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), the government agency responsible for Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), has announced that new, stricter, regulations will go into place on August 28, vis-à-vis recruitment requirements to hire a Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW). Hiring a TFW in Canada requires an employer to seek a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) – essentially government certification that the employer was not able to fill a position from the Canadian labour market, and has therefore been granted permission to hire a foreign worker. Once an employer secures an LMIA, the prospective TFW may then apply for a work permit – either at a visa post if he/she requires a visa, or at a Port of Entry otherwise.
There are exceptions to the need for an LMIA before a TFW applies for a work permit, such as intra-company transferees, certain professionals from specified countries, etc. These categories, which all fall under the umbrella of the International Mobility Program, will not be impacted by the changes to the TFWP. Further, specialized programs such as the Global Talent Stream will continue to maintain their unique requirements
LMIA applications are divided into those for high-wage occupations, and those for low-wage occupations (the dividing line being the provincial median wage). The new rules impact both of these categories, but we will be focusing in this article on the high- wage occupations.
High-wage occupation LMIAs have various aspects to them. Among other issues, the salary offered must be at prescribed rates (which depend on the job and the location), and recruitment must occur in a prescribed way. It is the method of recruitment which the government is altering.
Until now, the basic recruitment requirement in relation to an LMIA application, briefly summarized, was:
- For 4 consecutive weeks within the 3 months immediately preceding the LMIA application, advertise the position:
- On the Canadian job bank, or, where a provincial job bank existed, on the relevant provincial job bank
- On 2 other sources as may be appropriate for a particular industry, such as:
- Employment web sites
- National newspapers
- Recruitment agencies
- One of the ads must continue to run until the LMIA application is adjudicated (i.e. beyond the 4 weeks)
- The content of the ad had to meet certain requirements, including:
- Listing salary
- Listing job duties
- Listing place of employment, and
- Skills required
Effective August 28, the following additional requirements come into effect:
- For positions in provinces that have their own provincial job banks, the employer must now use the national job bank. However, the provincial job bank may serve as one of the additional 2 sources otherwise required.
- Employers will be required to use the job bank’s ‘Job Match’ service. This service provides employers with the ability to see anonymous prospective applicants whose skills corresponding to those set out in the job posting.
- Most importantly, the Job Match service noted above ranks each prospective candidate matched to a position on a system of 1 to 5 stars. It will now be mandatoryfor employers to invite any prospective candidate who applies within the first 30 days and who receives a 4 or 5 star ranking, to apply for the position.
What You Need To Do
Clearly, employers seeking to hire TFWs, and those advising them, must incorporate these changes into their processes. For additional detail please contact Oneterra Business Immigration Law.