Program requirements for high-wage positions

From: Employment and Social Development Canada


New recruitment requirements for positions onboard a foreign vessel undertaking coasting trade effective as of September 11, 2018.

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As an employer, you must comply with all the Temporary Foreign Worker Program requirements for the position you are requesting. Learn about employer compliance and the possible consequences of non-compliance. You must also ensure that the employment you want to offer to a temporary foreign worker is for a full-time position which means that is has to be for a minimum of 30 hours of work/week.

Processing fee

Families or individuals seeking to hire a foreign caregiver to provide home care for individuals requiring assistance with medical needs are exempt from paying the Labour Market Impact Assessment application processing fee. Families or individuals with a gross annual income of $150,000 or less, seeking to hire a foreign caregiver to provide childcare in their home to a child under 13 years of age, also qualify for the processing fee exemption.

You must pay $1,000 for each position requested to cover the cost of processing your Labour Market Impact Assessment application.

  • The processing fee payment (in Canadian dollars) can be made by:
    • Visa
    • MasterCard
    • American Express
    • Certified cheque (shall be made payable to the Receiver General for Canada)
    • Money Order (shall be made payable to the Receiver General for Canada)
    • Bank draft (shall be made payable to the Receiver General for Canada)
  • The processing fee will not be refunded if your application is withdrawn, cancelled or if your Labour Market Impact Assessment is negative. Refunds are issued only if a fee was collected in error.
  • The processing fee cannot be paid by nor be recovered from the temporary foreign workers.


Use of a third-party

If you choose to use the services of a third-party representative (paid or unpaid), you must complete the appropriate section of the Labour Market Impact Assessment application form.

You must not recover the costs for the services of a paid representative from the temporary foreign worker.

We may communicate directly with you to verify information provided on the Labour Market Impact Assessment application from the third-party representative.

We will not mediate a dispute between you and a third-party representative nor communicate complaints to a regulatory body on your behalf.

If you have a complaint about your third-party representative, there are ways to get help.

Paid third-party representatives

You may choose to ask a third-party representative to act on your behalf when seeking to use the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to hire a temporary foreign worker. A paid representative must be authorized to collect a fee or to receive any other type of payment to act on your behalf or to advise you in the Labour Market Impact Assessment application process. An authorized third-party representative is:

  • a member in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society or students-at-law under their supervision, or the Chambre des notaires du Québec
  • a paralegal in the Province of Ontario’s law society
  • a member in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council

Unpaid third-party representatives

An unpaid representative can also assist you but is not authorized to collect a fee or to receive any other type of payment for rendering services. An unpaid representative can be a:

  • family member
  • friend
  • not-for-profit group
  • religious organization

Business legitimacy

All employers applying to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) must supply documents along with their Labour Market Impact Assessment application to demonstrate that their business and job offer are legitimate.

Transition plan

A Transition Plan, valid for the duration of the employment of the temporary foreign worker, is a mandatory requirement to hire temporary foreign workers in high-wage positions. It describes the activities you are agreeing to undertake to recruit, retain and train Canadians and permanent residents and to reduce your reliance on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. If you have never completed a Transition Plan before, you must submit one as indicated in the appropriate section of the Labour Market Impact Assessment application form for high-wage positions.

If you are applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment and have previously submitted a Transition plan for the same position and work location, you must report on the results of the commitments you have made in your previous Transition plan (will be used to determine if the described activities had been undertaken).

Transition plan exemptions

The Transition plan requirement does not apply if the position you are requesting is for a:

  • caregiver:
    • private household employers (under North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 8141) for caregiving positions, (specifically National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes 3012, 3233, 4411 and 4412)
    • health care institutions (under two-digit NAICS 62) for caregiving positions (specifically NOC 3012, 3233 and 3413)
  • position under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, the Agricultural Stream and other primary agriculture occupations
  • specialized occupation that qualifies for Quebec’s facilitated Labour Market Impact Assessment process (applicable only to the first request for the same job at the same work location)
  • limited duration where:
    • the job is time-limited in nature and the employment duration may range from 1 day to a maximum of 2 years
    • there is no reasonable expectation that you could transition the position to a Canadian or permanent resident
    • the job will not be filled after the departure of the temporary foreign worker as the position will no longer exist (for example, project-based occupations such as consultant for business management, specialized engineer for a dam construction project)
    • in some cases, repeat use of the specific position is the norm for the industry, but each employment duration is limited (for example, some Film and Entertainment positions; emergency repairs and warranty work)
  • unique skill – skills or traits which belong to a specific individual and are not readily available in Canada (for example, NOC 00 occupations, hiring by a foreign government).


Recruitment is the process of finding and selecting qualified employees. As part of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program requirements, you must conduct recruitment efforts to hire Canadians and permanent residents before offering a job to a temporary foreign worker.


Due to economic impacts such as higher unemployment rates resulting from COVID-19, recruitment and advertisement requirements have been updated. Recruitment efforts are required to take place under the current labour market to ensure Canadians and Permanent Residents continue to be considered first for available jobs. This update applies to pending LMIAs received prior to June 15, 2020, and includes the following:

  • Any ads posted before March 15, 2020 may need to be re-posted for an additional two consecutive weeks.
  • If applicable, Service Canada will contact you regarding re-advertising requirements.
  • When re-advertising, employers must also meet all the minimum recruitment requirements described below.

Minimum recruitment requirements

Before applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment, you must conduct at least 3 different recruitment activities:

  • effective August 28, 2017, you must advertise on the Government of Canada’s Job Bank. If you choose to use an alternative method, you must submit a written rationale and explanation of the alternative method
  • you must also conduct at least 2 additional methods of recruitment that are consistent with the occupation (targets an audience that has the appropriate education, professional experience or skill level required for the occupation). One of the methods used must be national in scope, and easily accessed by residents of any province or territory, as people in high-wage positions are often mobile and willing to re-locate for work.

To be national in scope, Canadians and permanent residents must have the capacity to search advertisements for work locations across Canada in a single site, as opposed to referring to individual or regional sub-sites.

Note: Prior to August 28, 2017: you were required to advertise either on Job Bank or its provincial or territorial counterpart in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Quebec. While you can still use a provincial or territorial job board as a recruitment method, it does not meet the underrepresented groups requirement.

Note: Effective June 10, 2020, the program is prioritizing certain occupations which are considered essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. The listed occupations have been prioritized across all provinces and territories (except in the province of Quebec). For a list of occupations specific to the province of Quebec, please refer to Hiring in the Province of Quebec.

Important: Any Refusal to Process supersedes prioritization.

Until December 31, 2020, the program is prioritizing and waiving minimum recruitment requirements for the following occupations. For LMIAs received on or after January 1, 2021, these occupations will continue to be prioritized, but will be subject to the regular minimum recruitment requirements of the appropriate program stream:

  • 6331-Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers-retail and wholesale
  • 8252- Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
  • 8431- General Farm Workers
  • 8432- Nursery and Greenhouse Workers
  • 8611- Harvesting labourers
  • 9462- Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers
  • 9463- Fish and seafood plant workers
  • 9617- Labourers in food, beverage and associated products processing
  • 9618- Labourers in fish and seafood processing

The program is prioritizing the following occupations and not waiving the minimum recruitment requirements:

  • 3012 - Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
  • 3111 - Specialist physicians
  • 3112 - General practitioners and family physicians
  • 3124 - Allied primary health practitioners
  • 3131 - Pharmacists
  • 3211 - Medical laboratory technologists
  • 3212 - Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists' assistants
  • 3214 - Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
  • 3219 - Other medical technologists and technicians (except dental health)
  • 3233 - Licensed practical nurses
  • 3237 - Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment
  • 3413 - Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates
  • 3414 - Other assisting occupations in support of health services
  • 6731 - Light duty cleaners

Note: As of November 10, 2020, NOC 7511 (Transport truck drivers) will no longer be prioritized.

Job Match service

Effective August 28, 2017, you must use the Job Match service for recruitment purposes when advertising a position on Job Bank.

The Job Match service allows you to see anonymous profiles of registered job seekers which correspond to the skills and requirements outlined in your job posting. Each match is rated using a star system of 1 to 5 stars. The more stars received by the match, the greater the compatibility between your advertised position and the anonymous job seeker.

When creating your job posting, you must select the ‘’default’’ option. This option allows matches with job seekers from a wide variety of background as opposed to the ‘’strict’’ matching mode, where matches may be limited to fewer job seekers.

When seeking to fill a high-wage position, you are required to invite all job seekers matched within the first 30 days of your job advertisement to apply for the position if they are rated 4 stars or more.

Methods of recruitment

Acceptable methods of recruitment for a job advertisement include:

  • general employment websites
  • online classified websites
  • specialized websites which are dedicated to specific occupational profiles (for example, accounting, marketing, biotechnology, education, engineering)
  • local, regional and national newspapers or newsletters
  • local stores, places of worship, and community resource centres
  • local, regional and provincial or territorial employment centres
  • magazines and journals (for example, national journals or magazines, professional associations magazines, specialized journals)
  • participation at job fairs
  • partnering with training institutions or offering internships
  • professional recruitment agencies
  • consultations with unions for available labour
  • advertising through professional associations
  • recruitment within the company (for example, considering internal candidates for the position). A Human Resources Plan may outline the training opportunities for existing employees, and include:
    • a list of competencies for employees
    • workshops or programs for professional development and career management
    • specific programs to target specific employees for advancement

If the 2 additional methods of recruitment are online, they must each have unique value and reach different audiences. In cases where you advertise on multiple websites of the same type, the combined advertisements will only be considered as one additional method of recruitment.

Recruitment documentation retention

You must keep records of your recruitment and advertising efforts for a minimum of 6 years. You will also be asked to provide the results from the recruitment efforts you undertook to fill the position.

Job advertisement duration

You must ensure that the job advertisement:

  • has occurred in the 3 months prior to submitting the Labour Market Impact Assessment application
  • is for a minimum of 4 consecutive weeks within the 3 months prior to submitting a Labour Market Impact Assessment application

At least 1 of the 3 recruitment activities to seek qualified Canadians and permanent residents must be ongoing until the date a positive or negative Labour Market Impact Assessment has been issued.

Job advertisement information

The required job advertisement information includes:

  • company operating name
  • business address
  • title of the position
  • job duties (for each position, if advertising is for more than one vacancy)
  • terms of employment (for example, project based, permanent position)
  • language of work
  • wage (must include any incremental raises, performance pay or bonuses):
    • a wage range can be used for the purposes of complying with the advertisements; however the minimum wage in the range must meet prevailing wage
  • benefits package offered (if applicable)
  • location(s) of work (local area, city or town)
  • contact information, including telephone number, cell phone number, email address, fax number, or mailing address
  • skills requirements (includes education and work experience)

Proof of advertisement

You must demonstrate that you have made efforts to recruit qualified Canadians and permanent residents by providing these documents as proof of advertisement with your application:

  • a copy of the advertisement and information to support where, when and for how long the position was advertised
  • proof that the print media and websites used to advertise target an audience that has the appropriate education, professional experience or skill level required for the occupation
  • proof of other recruitment activities (for example, invoice from Job Fair)

Variations to the advertising requirements

In certain circumstances, there are variations to the advertising requirements for specific positions and in particular provinces or territories. Consult the variations list to determine if one of them applies to the requested position.

Applications for a foreign in-home caregiver position, where there is a live-in requirement, will not be processed unless you can demonstrate that the position is for high medical needs clients or for truly exceptional circumstances.


Wages offered to temporary foreign workers should be similar to wages paid to Canadian and permanent resident employees hired for the same job and work location, and with similar skills and years of experience.

For the purpose of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, you must pay the prevailing wage which is defined as the highest of either:

  • the median wage on Job Bank
  • the wage that is within the wage range that you are paying your current employees hired for the same job and work location, and with the same skills and years of experience

To determine the median wage on Job Bank:

  • go to Compare wages on Job Bank
  • in the “Job search” field, enter the job title or the NOC code that best describes the duties and requirements of the position
  • the hourly median wage will be listed in the middle column, by community or area. If the median wage is listed as ‘’n/a’’, consult the provincial or territorial wage. If it is not available, consult the national wage

If the position requires additional skills and years of experience over the applicable NOC description, the wages offered should reflect these additional requirements.

For the purpose of determining the wage rate being offered, we will only consider guaranteed wages, which exclude:

  • overtime hours
  • tips
  • benefits
  • profit sharing
  • bonuses
  • commissions
  • other forms of compensation

Variations to the wage requirements

In certain circumstances, industry-specific wage rates have been identified and are considered as the prevailing wage rate during the assessment of the application. These sectors have unique wage requirements:

If you want to hire a temporary foreign worker for a job in the province of Quebec, you must consult the wage table provided by the ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI)ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) (French only).

Job duties and working conditions

The temporary foreign workers you hired, as a result of a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment, must only perform duties that correspond to the occupation they were hired for.

Canadian law protects all workers in Canada, including temporary foreign workers. The exploitation of temporary foreign workers is considered a violation of Canadian laws and human rights.

Employment in most occupations is covered under provincial or territorial legislation that deals with labour and employment standards such as:

  • hours of work (including overtime)
  • compensation
  • working conditions
  • termination of employment

Every province or territory has a Ministry of Labour that can provide information to assist employers and temporary foreign workers with questions or issues related to work. Some employers are federally regulated and, therefore, are covered by the employment standards under the Canada Labour Code.

Workplace safety

You must always ensure that the temporary foreign workers you want to hire under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program are covered from the provincial or territorial workplace safety insurance provider, where required by law. Where the provincial or territorial legislation allows employers the flexibility to opt for a private insurance plan, you must ensure that:

  • any private plan chosen provides better or the same level of compensation to that offered by a province or territory
  • all employees on the worksite are covered by the same provider

If you are enquiring about private insurance plan equivalency, contact the appropriate provincial or territorial workplace safety authority.

The coverage you purchased must correspond with the temporary foreign workers’ first day of work in Canada and the costs must not be recovered from the temporary foreign workers.

Language of work

English or French are the only languages you can identify as a job requirement in your Labour Market Impact Assessment application and job advertisement. However, if another language is essential for the job, you must provide a justification on the application.

Positions with no language requirement

There may be rare cases where an offer of employment does not require any language for the foreign national.

If there is no language required for the job, you must provide more details on the application, including:

  • how the foreign national will perform job duties in an effective and safe manner without the ability to communicate in any language, and
  • what reasonable measures are in place to ensure health and safety of all persons at the place of work. To demonstrate this, you must also provide applicable and appropriate documentation with your application

Examples of reasonable measures are:

  • having translated workplace safety manuals and procedures
  • providing work place safety training in the foreign national’s identified language
  • using international safety signs that use symbols (pictures)
  • having official translators on-site
  • and/or employing other workers or supervisors who can speak with the foreign nationals in their identified language

Unionized positions

If you are applying to hire temporary foreign workers for positions covered under a collective agreement, you must:

  • advertise and offer the same wage rates as those established under the collective agreement
  • offer the temporary foreign workers the same terms and conditions as Canadian and permanent resident workers
  • submit a copy of the section of the collective bargaining agreement on the wage structure

The hiring of temporary foreign workers must not affect current nor foreseeable labour disputes at the workplace.

We recommend that you work actively with union representatives to recruit Canadians and permanent residents.

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