Alberta Lifts Restrictions On Temporary Foreign Workers

Alberta Lifts Restrictions On Temporary Foreign Workers

The move is to help employers meet their workforce needs.

Alberta has lifted restrictions on the hiring of temporary foreign workers from 1st May, 2022.

All pending temporary visa applications, including those submitted prior to May 1, are subject to this change.

Earlier, the Alberta government had a “refusal to process” list that contained occupations for which employers could not hire temporary foreign workers. According to the Alberta government, these occupations had labour surpluses and so the government was encouraging employers to hire unemployed Albertans for these occupations instead.

Alberta has justified this new change on the grounds it will support those sectors of the provincial economy that are grappling with labour shortages and are not being able to find Canadian workers.

According to Statistics Canada, the province currently has about 88,000 job vacancies.

The Alberta government will monitor impacts of this change and make adjustments in the process to ensure the TFWP continues to benefit its economy.

What is TFWP?

The purpose of the TFWP (Temporary Foreign Worker Program) is to enable employers to hire foreign workers when they can not find a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to do the job. 

Under TFWP, an employer submits a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application which is evaluated by the Canadian government to decide whether the hiring of the foreign worker may have a positive or neutral impact on the Canadian labour market. 

The employers must provide enough evidence that there are no qualified workers in Canada. Once a positive or neutral LMIA is granted, the foreign worker can then submit a work permit application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

With over 800,000 job vacancies, Canada is currently experiencing labour shortages across the country resulting in federal and provincial governments enabling employers to recruit more foreign talent. 

In early April, the Canadian government relaxed its TFWP rules in response to the country’s historically high job vacancy rate.

Read our comprehensive guide on Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) here.

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