New federal regulations for the temporary foreign worker program (TFWP) came into effect on Dec. 1, 2015. Government inspectors now have a stronger mandate to review the activities of anyone using a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

If you break the rules, you risk fines of $500 to $100,000 per violation and being banned from the program. Consequences are based on the type of violation, the employer’s history of compliance, and the severity of the violation. If you discover on your own that you’re non-compliant and voluntarily disclose this, it can reduce the consequences.

For more information on the new rules go to the EDSC website.

Follow these best practices to ensure compliance

Before the temporary foreign worker’s work permit is issued:

  • Review LMIA application and supporting documentation carefully
  • Keep copies of LMIA applications and supporting documentation
  • Work only with authorized third-party representatives
  • Inform Employment and Social Development Canada (EDSC) immediately if you find any errors.

After the worker arrives:

  • Provide all temporary foreign workers you employ with information on their rights in Canada. The pamphlet “Your Rights are Protected” is available in seven languages and can be printed from the website: Scroll down to: “Working Temporarily in Canada/Temporary Foreign Workers – Your rights are protected.”
  • Ensure that the TFW’s occupation, wages and working conditions are consistent with the LMIA
  • Regularly self-audit and immediately correct non-compliance
  • Disclose any LMIA inaccuracies or non-compliance you discover to ESDC
  • Keep records of exchanges with Service Canada
  • Keep well-organized records relating to compliance with TFWP conditions for 6 years
  • Contact ESDC when considering any changes to your LMIA
  • Actively cooperate with ESDC during inspections
  • Regularly check the TFWP website for updates and changes

Restaurants Canada members: If you have questions about temporary foreign workers or other labour issues, please contact Paul McKay on our Member Services Team: 1-800-387-5649 ext. 4225 or

Not a member? Join online now, or call our membership team at 1-800-387-5649.

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  1. Daniel Yeboah says:

    Hello I am 30 year old man with only high school education. I have gotten a restaurant employer in Canada who wants to sponsor me to come work for him. Please can I be eligible for LMIA?

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