Canadian employers who seek to hire foreign nationals utilize the provincial and territorial middle hourly wage as a reference point to determine the eligibility criteria for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
Depending on the location of the job and the offered wage to the employee, employers must determine whether they need to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) under the high-wage or low-wage stream, each with its specific requirements.
If the employee receives a salary below the provincial/territorial median wage, they fall into the low-wage category, while those earning at or above the median wage are classified as high-wage earners.
The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is a program that enables Canadian employers to address labor shortages by hiring foreign nationals. To participate in the TFWP, employers are required to undergo the Canadian government’s labor market test known as the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The purpose of the LMIA is to ensure that hiring foreign workers will have either a positive or neutral effect on the Canadian labor market.
|Province||Median Hourly Wage (May 2023)|
|New Foundland and Labrador||$25.00|
|Prince Edward Island||$22.50|
Prior to a foreign national commencing employment through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) with a Canadian employer, both a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and a temporary work permit are mandatory.
For high wage worker recruitment, the employer must submit transition plans alongside the LMIA, outlining measures taken to gradually decrease reliance on foreign workers. This ensures a focus on prioritizing qualified Canadians for available job opportunities.
In contrast, when hiring low wage workers, the submission of a transition plan along with the LMIA is not required. Instead, the Canadian government imposes a cap on the number of low wage workers that a business can employ, limiting access to the TFWP.
If you are an employer providing a wage below the provincial/territorial median, you are required to:
- Cover the expenses for round-trip transportation for the temporary foreign worker.
- Ensure the availability of affordable housing.
- Provide private health insurance coverage until the worker becomes eligible for provincial health benefits.
- Register the temporary foreign worker with the provincial/territorial workplace safety board.
- Establish an employer-employee contract.
Subsequently, the application will undergo a thorough review by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Officials will assess the application to ensure that qualified Canadians are not being overlooked in favor of foreign workers.