A Temporary Foreign Worker (“TFW”) is a technical term which refers to an individual working in Canada pursuant to a work permit. In many cases the work permit is issued on the basis of a positive LMO. A work permit issued pursuant to an LMO is employer specific and the TFW cannot change jobs without the new employer obtaining a new LMO for the TFW. Please see our website for more information about work permits.
The Labour Market Opinion (LMO)
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) is responsible for administering the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. The first step to hire a TFW is to obtain an LMO from HRSDC. The goal of the LMO process is to ensure that the Canadian Labour Market is not impacted negatively by bringing in workers who would displace a Canadian worker or who would accept lower pay or work standards which would have the effect of lowering standards for Canadian workers. Accordingly, the LMO is the mechanism or referee that ensures employers play by the rules.
An LMO is region and position specific. Should the employer choose to change the employee’s position or move the employee to another location the employer would be required to apply for a new LMO . Once the LMO is approved the foreign worker can apply for a work permit which allows him to work in Canada. However, the foreign worker must do so six months before the LMO expires. An employer must be able to provide a minimum of thirty hours per week to be eligible for an LMO. Foreign workers can be located in or outside Canada prior to their approval. Such workers may come from countries such as the United States, which are visa exempt or from countries that requires visas such as Russia.