A More Efficient and Responsive Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Today, Minister Finley announced that the Harper Government is realigning the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to better meet labour market demands and support the economic recovery. Our Government is looking at ways to ensure businesses recruit from the domestic workforce before hiring temporary foreign workers.

The Harper Government is taking action to ensure that the Temporary Foreign Worker Program supports our economic recovery and effectively responds to local labour market demands.

Employers with a strong track record will receive an Accelerated-Labour Market Opinion (A-LMO) within 10 business days to hire temporary foreign workers in high-skill occupations, including the skilled trades.

A fast and flexible economic immigration system combined with a strong Temporary Foreign Worker Program will sustain Canada’s economic growth and deliver prosperity for the future. The Harper Government will ensure that the employment of temporary foreign workers supports economic growth and helps create more opportunities for all Canadians.


The new streamlined, attestation-based Accelerated-Labour Market Opinion (A-LMO), will be launched on April 25. The A-LMO will reduce the paper burden on employers, enable LMOs to be issued within 10 business days and strengthen protections for foreign workers through employer compliance reviews.

The new model will feature:

  • a simplified, online application process;
  • faster and timelier processing for employers with a good history;
  • risk-based and random in-depth compliance reviews of employers after LMOs are issued;
  • enhanced automation to reduce paperwork, and improve capacity to track compliance and share information; and
  • call centre support for employers.

Employers will have to consent to post-LMO reviews to verify compliance with the TFWP requirements (e.g. all reasonable efforts to recruit from the domestic labour force, providing wages and working conditions that are consistent with Canadian standards). HRSDC will closely monitor employer compliance and take action when necessary to protect temporary foreign workers.

A new wage structure will also be introduced to provide employers with greater flexibility. Wages that are up to 15% below the average wage for an occupation in a specific region will be accepted; however, employers must clearly demonstrate that the wage is consistent with that of Canadian workers based on Statistics Canada data.

The A-LMO will cover high-skill occupations, including the skilled trades, and will be open to employers across Canada. Through a tested and measured implementation, the A-LMO may gradually be expanded to include risk-based processing for all occupations and components of the TFWP.

While in Canada, temporary foreign workers have the same rights and protections as Canadian workers under applicable federal/provincial employment standards and labour laws.