Recent News > Recruitment of Workers Under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Recruitment of Workers Under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

posted on March 25, 2024

The purpose of this communication is to clarify obligations and responsibilities relating to recruitment fees and other related costs and activities under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFW) Program.

As part of the TFW Program, the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process is designed to ensure that employers prioritize hiring Canadian citizens and permanent residents to meet their labour needs. Any attempt to manipulate or circumvent this process is a criminal violation of Canadian immigration laws. Engaging in illegal activities including buying or selling of positions in LMIAs is considered fraudulent, can lead to serious consequences including fines, imprisonment, and/or bans from hiring foreign workers and will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency. The TFW Program prohibits employers from charging or recovering recruitment fees from workers and holds employers accountable for the actions of recruiters in this regard.

Recruitment Fees 

Recruitment fees are any charges or expenses related to the process of securing employment, regardless of when, where, or how they are paid. These fees may be one-time or recurring. This could include fees for advertising, disseminating information, arranging interviews, submitting documents for government clearances, confirming credentials, organizing travel and transportation, or placement into employment.

Third Party Representatives 

Employers may authorize a third-party representative to act on their behalf to help hire a worker and apply for an LMIA. If an employer authorizes and pays a third-party representative to act on their behalf during the LMIA process, the paid third-party must:

  • Be a member in good standing of a Canadian provincial/territorial law society, including a student-at-law under their supervision, or a member in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Québec;
  • Be a paralegal in the Province of Ontario’s law society;
  • Be registered with their province or territory, if applicable; or 
  • Be a member in good standing of the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants of Canada (CICC).

Employers must ensure that the third-party representatives they have hired do not charge recruitment fees to temporary foreign workers, which is crucial for protecting workers’ rights and ensuring fair hiring practices. In this regard, employers are held accountable for the actions of the third-parties they hire. This involves verifying the third-party representative’s compliance with federal and provincial/territorial laws, such as being registered or licensed with a recruiter registry where applicable, being a member in good standing with the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants, informing the third-party in question about the Program’s obligations, and making due diligence to check in with temporary foreign workers.

When employers use the TFW Program, they commit to various worker protection measures, which vary, depending on the Program stream used. Inspections are used to assess compliance. Failure to comply or cooperate during an inspection, can lead to a range of consequences, such as administrative monetary penalties and/or bans. When an employer is found to be non-compliant, their business name is also added to a public website.

If an employer discovers that the recruiter hired has not complied with federal regulations by charging or recovering recruitment fees from temporary foreign workers, they should immediately communicate with Service Canada’s Employer Contact Centre.

The following resources are also available:

New Job Bank Feature 

In efforts to simplify hiring of workers, Job Bank has a new feature called “Direct Apply” that can help employers hire workers efficiently. With Direct Apply, job seekers can apply to job postings directly through Job Bank by quickly using resumes created or uploaded in their Plus account. This functionality is available to employers at the How to apply step of the job posting creation.

You are encouraged to share this communication throughout your respective networks, and with any colleagues or peers who may need to be aware of this information.

If you have questions on the TFW Program, please visit or communicate with the Employer Contact Centre.