Hire a temporary foreign worker in a low-wage position - Overview

1. Overview

The Stream for Low-wage Positions allows employers to hire temporary foreign workers (TFW) for full-time positions (minimum of 30 hours of work/week) where the wage being offered is below the provincial/territorial median hourly wage where the job is located.

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is using the provincial/territorial median hourly wage to set program requirements by stream. The specific requirements an employer must follow will be determined by the wage being offered for the position, in relation to the provincial/territorial median hourly wage, based on Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey.

Employers offering a wage to a TFW that is below the provincial/territorial median hourly wage will be subject to all of the requirements of the Stream for Low-wage Positions.

It is important to note, that the TFWP uses the National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes to determine the prevailing wage and to ensure that the appropriate job requirements and duties are used for the occupation. After employers have determined whether they are hiring a TFW for a low-wage position or a high-wage position, they must ensure that they meet all of the requirements for that stream including meeting the prevailing wage requirement.

Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), there are special circumstances when:

Ministerial Instruction – Refuse to process

The TFWP is refusing to process LMIA applications for 10 low-wage / lower-skilled occupations from employers that are included in the Accommodation and Food services sector and the Retail trade sector in economic regions across Canada that have an unemployment rate of 6% or higher. To be affected by this refusal to process, 3 criteria must be met.

Employers must be:

  1. seeking to hire TFWs in an economic region with an unemployment rate of 6% or higher (as defined by Statistics Canada);
  2. classified under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) as:
  3. applying to hire TFWs for specific lower-skilled occupations, classified under the 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC) as:
    • NOC code 6541 - Security guards and related security service occupations
    • NOC code 6611 - Cashiers
    • NOC code 6622 - Store shelf stockers, clerks and order fillers
    • NOC code 6711 - Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations
    • NOC code 6721 - Support occupations in accommodation, travel and facilities set-up services
    • NOC code 6731 - Light duty cleaners
    • NOC code 6732 - Specialized cleaners
    • NOC code 6733 - Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents
    • NOC code 7611 - Construction trades helpers and labourers
    • NOC code 8612 - Landscaping and grounds maintenance labourers

Note: ESDC currently recognizes Yellowknife as micro region experiencing low unemployment. This means that the Ministerial Instruction – Refuse to Process does not apply to LMIA applications for work locations with specific Yellowknife postal codes.

Yellowknife postal codes:
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