Hire a Temporary Foreign Worker in a Low Wage Position - Immigration Law Firm
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Hire a Temporary Foreign Worker in a Low Wage Position

Hire a Temporary Foreign Worker in a Low Wage Position

Hiring Temporary Foreign Worker to Canada

Would like to hire a Temporary Foreign Worker in your company but don’t know which route to take? There are many things that employers must determine before attempting to hire a temporary foreign worker. One of those things is the wage you will be paying this temporary foreign worker. For the purposes of this blog I will be talking about the low-wage positions. Let’s take a look at how the wages are determined for low paying jobs.

What to Consider when Hiring Temporary Foreign Worker to Canada

If you wish to hire a temporary foreign worker in your company, you must first determine whether you have a need for a foreign worker or not. Firstly, you have to determine whether or not this position can be taken on by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. There are many ways of doing this as previously explained in the blogs section of our websites. If and when you establish that you have not found anyone in Canada that would carry out the position you are hiring for after doing extensive research, you may be allowed to hire a temporary foreign worker. This has to be determined by applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) through the Employment and Social Development Canada and Service Canada. However, determination of labour shortage may not allow you to bring your foreign worker into Canada. You must apply for a work permit given that you receive a positive labour market impact assessment.

When the conservative government changed labour market opinion (LMO) to labour market impact assessment (LMIA) , the government basically divided the program into the provincial and territorial median wage rate for the position in which you are applying. The LMIA is a more rigid and restrictive procedure for employers to hire foreign workers. It has been called more comprehensive and rigorous and it truly is given the steps you have to follow. LMO used to use the national occupational classification to distinguish among different kinds of jobs but LMIA uses wages to determine differences. This makes the whole LMIA process more confusing and frustrating for some as wages vary in provinces across the country. So an LMIA application can be different for every single employer and every single position.

How to Determine the Wages of the Foreign Worker

If the position for which you are hiring has a prevailing wage rate that is higher than the median rate offered provincially and territorially then you qualify under a high-wage position. If the position for which you are hiring has a prevailing wage rate that is lower than the median rate offered provincially and territorially then you qualify under a low-wage position. Hence, the application for both applicants will be different.

Look at the below table that sets out the different wages for each province and territory in Canada. You can see that wages differ in all provinces and that is how you will determine the wages for each place. The reason for thedivision is how the application will be processed and what kind of documentation will be requested from you.


Wages prior to

April 29, 2016

2015 wage ($/hour)

Wages as of

April 29, 2016

2015 Wage ($/hour)




  British Columbia






  New Brunswick



  Newfoundland and Labrador



  Northwest Territories



  Nova Scotia









  Prince Edward Island












Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, 2014 and 2015

In order to apply under the stream for low wage position being offered must have a salary that is below the provincial and territorial median hourly wage. Given that wages determine what kind of LMIA you will need to apply for, here are some of the steps in determining a wage/salary for low-wage positions.

Step one

Establish if the position you want to hire in is unionized or not. Depending on this, wage will be affected.

Step two

First, you should search Job Bank online to determine wages, if this is not available consult on a provincial or territorial level. If that is not available either, then consult the national wage. There are many way of doing this.

Step three

Are there any workers employed at the same occupation and work location? If the answer is yes, make sure you do not try to pay the temporary foreign worker less than them. If the answer is no, then proceed to pay the prevailing wage of the location.

Step four

In some scenarios, the existing employees might be getting paid higher than the prevailing wage on the job bank. If this is the case for you then you have to pay the foreign worker the same wage. If existing workers get paid less than the prevailing wage then you may proceed to the prevailing wage section on job bank.

Remember, just because you hire a foreign worker it does not mean you can treat them differently and pay them lower. All workers are treated equally and everyone must follow rules set out by human rights and labour laws. Remember all applications are not the same so all requirements will not be applicable to everyone in the same manner.

What are some other program requirements?

· A cap on how many foreign workers can be employed and exemptions

· Recruitment and advertisement

· Processing fees – employers must pay CAD$1000 per worker

· Language – English and French can be the only two requirements for lanaguages

· Training, experience and education

· Housing

· Workplace safety

It’s crucial to do some research before attempting to apply for an LMIA only to find out that you are not eligible. There are certain sectors which are exempt from hiring temporary foreign workers and some of them are:

  • Security guards
  • Cashiers
  • Stockers and clerks
  • Cleaners
  • Construction staff

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program is refusing to process LMIA in these sectors because they have an unemployment rate of 6% or higher. Bottom line, the TFWP is here to boost Canadian economy not to deteriorate it and so some sectors cannot hire foreign workers so Canadian do not lose employment.

Want to hire a foreign worker in Canada? Then Contact Akrami & Associates

Akrami & Associates has assisted many clients with different immigration matters from temporary to permanent applications. If you’re looking to hire a foreign worker in Canada than contact Akrami & Associates for more details at 416-477-2545. Our immigration experts have submitted many successful immigration applications and we can help you achieve your immigration goals as well. Contact us today!

With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!

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