Recent News > TIAC Confirms that Tourism Business Temporary Foreign Workers (hired for periods of 6 month or less) are Exempt from Program Caps

TIAC Confirms that Tourism Business Temporary Foreign Workers (hired for periods of 6 month or less) are Exempt from Program Caps

posted on March 18, 2016

OTTAWA, ON, March 18, 2016 - TIAC is pleased that Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, the Honorable MaryAnn Mihychuk has made it easier for tourism businesses to access labour that is badly needed for the 2016 season. Following consultations with the Minister and the Departmental Director of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, TIAC has confirmed that tourism occupations are considered "low-wage seasonal positions" that are therefore eligible for these exemptions.

Here are the details:

  • This summer, tourism businesses will be eligible to hire some TFWs outside the 10% cap limit:
    • This is a temporary measure until the government conducts its review of the program, and will apply only to the 2016 summer season.
    • TFWs that are hired for a period of less than 180 days WILL NOT be included in cap limit calculations of 20% (and 10% once the cap is reduced on July 1, 2016).
    • $1000 fee per worker and the LMIA requirements still apply.
    • Businesses can apply for as many 180-day positions as they want
      • All applications of TFWs of 180 or less must be made in one bulk application. To be clear, only ONE application can be submitted under this exemption but that application can cover multiple temporary foreign workers.
      • The department suggests that to avoid confusion, businesses apply for their 6 month TFWs in a separate application than their application for longer term TFWs.

TIAC recognizes that this is a temporary measure and is working behind the scenes with partners and government to find longer term solutions to labour shortages. This includes developing a comprehensive strategy to engage with the parliamentary review of the program set to take place later this year.

TIAC wishes to acknowledge regional partners including the Provincial and Territorial Tourism Industry Associations, DMOs, the Hotel Association of Canada and Tourism HR Canada for their engagement on this file. Research partners such as Banff Lake Louise Hospitality Association played an integral role in developing a fact based case for policy changes in this area.

TIAC is happy to answer any member questions (to be directed to ) on these changes but recommends that businesses always check in with program experts at Employment and Skills Development Canada.