Changes to Temporary Foreign Worker and the Seasonal Agricultural Worker programs.

A report from Kevin Nixon, CHC rep on the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council’s Labour Task Force.

Starting January, Canada is implementing a biometrics database which will apply to all foreign workers.

Therefore, all employers who will require workers in January or February are strongly encouraged to go through the process of a applying for their LMIA’s immediately. This means all producers will need to update your advertising now so that employers can submit an LMIA as soon as possible.

LMIA’s which are approved and received by the VAC’s (visa application centers) abroad to issue visas to workers before December 31 will not be subject to the biometrics database which will ease the burden starting January.

Also, government officials are aware the job bank advertising is an issue because the start date is too far away from now to allow advertising, however, you can just revise your start date to within the 90 day period so that the job bank online system will allow the employers ad to run.  Update as necessary to keep the ad active. Service Canada officers who are processing the LMIA’s are aware of this obstacle and are supposed to be flexible with employers due to the extenuating circumstances with the introduction of the biometrics database and still allow LMIA’s to be processed even with this “glitch”.

Introducing this database is going to put significant strain on the VAC’s for the timely arrival of workers throughout 2019. All employers should be aware and are urged not to delay in the applications for their workers for the coming year and be prepared to advertise and apply earlier rather than later.

There will be more details around this in the coming days and weeks as well as some additional changes regarding housing and the validity period of an LMIA.