The Canadian government this week announced the extension of temporary measures introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic and through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program Workforce Solutions Road Map. Employment and Social Development Canada cited Canada’s economic recovery as well as critical labor shortages as key sectors driving higher demand for TFWP workers.

“We are taking a balanced approach to adjust the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to meet the changing needs of Canada’s workforce and Canadian employers,” said Carla Qualtrough, minister of employment, workforce development and disability inclusion. “Renewing these measures addresses immediate labor shortages while ensuring Canadians have access to jobs. We’ll continue working with provinces, territories and other partners to build the strong, skilled workforce Canada needs to support our economy.”

The continued measures, intended to provide greater stability for employers and workers, will now remain in place until Oct. 30. They include:

  • Permitting employers in seven sectors with demonstrated labor shortages (such as accommodation and food services, construction and food manufacturing) to hire up to 30% of their workforce through the TFWP for low-wage positions;
  • Keeping the Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA) validity period at up to 18 months; and
  • Maintaining the maximum duration of employment for low-wage positions at up to two years.

LMIA Portal to Launch

Minister Qualtrough also announced that the TFWP on April 3 begins transitioning to the LMIA Online Portal as the primary method to submit LMIAs. The shift to an online system aims to improve processing and help employers address their labor market needs quickly.

As of March 19, 108,592 files have been processed this year, a 56.5% increase compared to the same time period in the previous fiscal year. Despite the increase in demand, national average processing times for LMIAs have improved by more 10 days in fiscal year 2022-23. Average LMIA processing times have continued to improve and now sit at about 29 days nationally, down from 40 days at the beginning of this fiscal year.