Program requirements for high-wage positions
New recruitment requirements for positions onboard a foreign vessel undertaking coasting trade effective as of September 11, 2018.
Note: The Governments of Canada and Quebec have reached an agreement to launch a pilot project under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). The agreement will introduce new flexibilities for Quebec employers in the TFWP.
For more details on the Quebec pilot project, please refer to the section Hiring Temporary Foreign Workers in Quebec.
On this page
- Processing fee
- Recruitment fees
- Third-party representatives
- New employers
- Business legitimacy
- Transition plan
- Recruitment and advertisement
- Job duties and working conditions
- Health insurance
- Workplace safety
- Employment agreement
- Language of work
- Unionized positions
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.
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:
- 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- The processing fee will not be refunded if your application is withdrawn, cancelled or if your Labour Market Impact Assessment is negative.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
There may be a variety of fees and costs incurred in the process of recruiting temporary foreign workers, including but not limited to:
- cost of using a third-party representative
- advertising fees
- fees paid by a foreign national for assistance with finding or securing employment
- fees paid by an employer for assistance or advice in the hiring of foreign nationals
As an employer, you must confirm and ensure that you or anybody recruiting on your behalf does not charge or recover any recruitment fees, directly or indirectly, from the temporary foreign workers. Failure to do so will result in a negative LMIA decision.
Use of a third-party representative
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. The third-party representative also cannot demand or recover the processing fee or other costs related to recruiting from the TFW.
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
- not-for-profit group
- religious organization
A recruiter or anybody recruiting for the employer is someone who:
- finds or attempts to find an individual for employment with the employer, or
- assists another person in finding or attempting to find an individual for employment with the employer, or
- refers a foreign national to another person who finds or attempts to find an individual for employment with the employer
Some provinces and territories have specific requirements for recruiters and recruitment activities. It is your responsibility to ensure you comply with those requirements. As an employer, you are also responsible for the actions of anyone who recruits on your behalf.
Employers who have not employed a temporary foreign worker in the past 6 years prior to submitting a LMIA application will be subject to a review. The employer must demonstrate that they made reasonable efforts to provide a workplace that is free of abuse and that they were not an affiliate of an employer who is ineligible for the TFW Program or in default of any amount payable in respect of an administrative monetary penalty.
A workplace that is free of abuse includes
- (a) proactive efforts made to prevent workplace abuse
- (b) reactive measures taken to stop abuse
An affiliate includes an employer that is controlled by another employer
- (a) 2 employers that are under common control, or
- (b) employers that are not operated at arm’s length
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.
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:
- 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 and advertisement
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.
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.
- 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
- 6331 - Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers-retail and wholesale
- 6731 - Light duty cleaners
- 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
Effective January 12, 2022 and until June 30, 2023, Employment and Social Development Canada will suspend minimum advertising requirements for employers applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to hire temporary foreign workers in primary agriculture. Employers are expected to continue efforts to recruit Canadians and permanent residents. However, employers will not be required to meet TFWP minimum advertising requirements or submit proof with their LMIA application.
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. Note: you may see “basic” option when creating your job posting, which is the same as “default” option.
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
- profit sharing
- 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:
- pharmacy students (excluding the Province of Quebec)
- pharmacy interns (excluding the Province of Quebec)
- program leaders, instructors (recreation, sport and fitness)
- cold Lake
- international medical graduates in Quebec
- fee for service physicians
- maritime sector
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) (French only).
Please note that failure to meet the prevailing wage will result in a negative LMIA decision.
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.
- pay TFWs for all work (including overtime, where required by law)
- provide workplace safety insurance
- offer TFWs the same benefits as other workers, and
- not take the TFWs’ identification
Employment in most occupations is covered under provincial/territorial legislation that deals with labour and employment standards such as: hours of work, working conditions and termination of employment. In fact, every province/territory has a Ministry of Labour that can provide information to assist employers and TFWs with questions or issues related to work.
In applicable provinces/territories (P/Ts), you must obtain and pay for private health insurance that covers emergency medical care for any period during which the TFW is not covered by the applicable P/T health insurance system.
The coverage the employer purchases must correspond with the TFWs’ first day of work in Canada and the costs must not be recovered from the TFWs.
During an employer inspection, an ESDC/SC inspector will look at the policy coverage to make sure that it has not been charged back to the worker, and that it covers at minimum the costs of basic emergency health care for sudden illness or injuries during the period the TFW is not covered by the P/T health insurance. Some private insurance companies offer more comprehensive plans, but ESDC will accept a basic plan so long as it ensures that the TFW will not have to pay for medical care if they become sick or have an accident while working in Canada.
To demonstrate compliance, the employer must be able to show proof of payment for suitable private health insurance for each TFW, as well as the terms of the policy coverage (for example, the details of what is covered).
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.
Although a copy of employment agreement is not required at the time of LMIA submission, you must commit to providing a completed and signed employment agreement to each foreign worker on or before their first day of work with you. An employment agreement must:
- include information for employment in the same occupation, with the same wages and working conditions as those set out in the offer of employment
- be drafted in either English or French as preferred by the foreign worker, and
- be signed by both the employer and the foreign worker
You can use this sample employment agreement (under development), or, if you use your own version of an employment agreement, please ensure that it meets all above requirements.
Employers must maintain comprehensive employment records that fully document adherence to the employment agreement throughout the duration of the employment.
For positions in Quebec, please visit the website of ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Intégration (MIFI) (French only) for specific requirements regarding the employment contract.
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
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. During LMIA assessment, if it is determined that hiring TFWs is likely to adversely affect the course, the outcome or the settlement of any labour dispute, you will receive a negative LMIA decision.
We recommend that you work actively with union representatives to recruit Canadians and permanent residents.
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