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21 amendments have been recommended in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program of Canada

Posted - 04, Oct 2016

Canadian Parliament committee has recommended 21 amendments in the existing Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP) of Canada.

Lets take a look at the list of recommendations:

Changes featuring LMIA Fees

  1. As per the committee the LMIA application fees of $1000 is too high for the businesses especially the small ones. Moreover, it is also burdensome for the families requiring the caregivers. Hence, both IRCC (Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada) and ESDC (Employment and Social Development Canada), would take urgent steps to extend the work permit of Caregivers (which are in the low wage stream) from one to two years.

Changes featuring Processing and timelines of LMIA applications

  1. It is suggested that ESDC need to review the LMIA application processing and work towards enhancing its speed and effectiveness. The key things it would consider during the review are NOC codes and allotment of resources for training etc.
  2. A Trusted Employer Program should be introduced by ESDC for the faster processing of LMIA application for the employers who have a good record in the use of TFWP.
  3. ESDC need to review the policy for foreign faculty members presently employed or looking to get employment in the academic institutions of Canada. It is to be reviewed as to how we can provide a relaxation to this class of foreign immigrants in LMIA.
  4. TFWP need to allow small changes to the contact between employee and employer in terms of job profile or enhancement in wages provided both the parties are agree on the same. However ESDC must be informed about the same and also the changes in contract should not disobey the spirit of the job.

Changes Regarding TFWP

  1. The ESDC need to properly reform TFWP in order to obtain better social and economic benefit in the interest of both Canadians and the applicants.
  2. IRCC will assess the impacts of developing the definition of primary agriculture as per IRPR.
  3. Both IRCC and ESDC assess and enhance the situations and conditions in which foreign workers invited in Canada. Moreover, both will work to prevent the use of the TFWP to address the permanent labour needs.

Changeover Schemes

  1. The ESDC require providing exemption on the Transition Plan needs for 5% of the workforce of the businesses that include high-wage temporary foreign workers.
  2. The ESDC will take steps to make certain proper training and education resources are allotted in the domains of labour and skills shortages.
  3. All Businesses, stakeholders along with ESDC will assess the labour market needs and ensure the proper skills, education and training so that the Canadians only can match the future labour and employment needs in order to reduce Canadas dependency on foreign workers.

Cap on the work force with low-wage TFWs

  1. The ESDC will make certain the cap on the percentage of TFWs a particular business can employ at a particular time, i.e. at least 20%.
  2. The ESDC will take urgent steps in order to enhance the gathering of labour market data and assessing the Geographic zones used to decide the unemployment rates. This will work towards alignment of the labour market conditions alongside the need of TFWP.

Employer Specific Work permits

  1. The ESDC will take urgent actions to remove the need of an employer-specific work permit after assessing the associated factors and conditions.
  2. The IRCC need to provide multiple entry work visas for temporary foreign workers employed in seasonal work, with the aim to allow them more mobility during off-seasons.

Pathways to permanent residence for Temporary Foreign Workers

  1. That IRCC will coordinate with different provinces, territories, and government departments for synchronization of the nominee programs to work in alliance with one another.
  1. That IRCC need to amend rules of IRPA to eradicate the provisions regarding cumulative duration rule, which prevents certain worker from new work permits if they are working in Canada for four years.
  2. That IRCC need to restructure the Express Entry selection system to permit for fixed-term job contracts to be allotted the same points as permanent work contracts, when there strong possibility of persistent employment.

Monitoring and enforcement

  1. The ESDC, along with relevant stakeholders, assess present monitoring and enforcement mechanisms, with aim to address gaps in employer compliance and the protection of the rights of migrant workers
  2. The ESDC, in coordination with stakeholders, take steps to make certain that migrant workers and their employers are informed of their rights and responsibilities as per TFWP.

The Immigration Minister, John McCallum, and the Minister of ESDC have announced that they will review the recommendations and respond regarding the same in four months time.

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