Labour & Employment Law Bulletin: Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program


Effective July 31, 2013 the Federal Government announced new rules relating to the temporary foreign worker program. It has advised that the changes are being made to ensure that Canadians are given the first chance at available jobs. The changes include the following:

1. Employers must now pay a processing fee for a Labour Market Opinion (“LMO”) of $275 for each position requested. This is estimated to cover the cost of the LMO. The only exemptions from the processing fee are for employees who are hired under agricultural programs.

2. Employers are not permitted to ask for language skills other than English or French in applications for temporary foreign workers. There is an exemption to this restriction if an employer is able to demonstrate that a language other than English or French is an essential requirement for the job. If an employer is advertising a position that legitimately requires a language other than English or French, it must clearly demonstrate, in writing, that the language requested is consistent with the regular activities of the job. The examples given are a translation company hiring a translator to work in a language other than English or French or a tour company catering to foreign tourists only in a non-official language.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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