Foreign workers in Canada may soon have more freedom to change employers based on a new government proposal by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The new proposal would introduce changes to the way work permits are issued in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
The proposed change was recently published in the Canada Gazette, a government publication outlining public policy initiatives.
If the proposal is accepted, some foreign workers under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) will be issued occupation-specific work permits, rather than the employer-specific work permits that are issued in the current system. This means that certain workers would no longer be bound to a single employer, having the freedom to find another job within Canada, so long as it is in the same occupation and the employer is eligible to hire foreign workers.
Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)
The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is a popular Canadian immigration program enabling Canadian employers to hire foreign talent to fill job positions when Canadians are not available. The program welcomes close to 100,000 workers to Canada annually.
One of the defining features of the TFWP is the requirement for Canadian employers to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) prior to hiring a foreign worker. An LMIA is a document assessing the impact of hiring foreign talent to fill a position in Canada. To qualify for the program, an employer needs a positive LMIA, which means that the employer has adequately demonstrated that there are no Canadians to fill the position and that hiring foreign talent will have a positive impact on the workforce.