In A Flash

ESDC Announces Key Changes to LMIA ‘Refusal to Process’ List

Employment and Social Development Canada (“ESDC”) has announced that certain Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”) applications will no longer be subject to a Refusal to Process Policy under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (“TFW Program”). Under the TFW Program, ESDC may refuse to process certain LMIA applications due to public policy considerations as set out under Ministerial instructions.

As of April 30, 2022, LMIA applications submitted for low-wage occupations in the following sectors and classifications will no longer be subject to a Refusal to Process Policy:

  • Accommodation and food services sector (NAICS Code 72) and retail trades sector (NAICS Codes 44-45), and NOC Codes 6541, 6611, 6622, 6711, 6721, 6731, 6732, 6733, 7611 and 8612 in regions with an unemployment rate of 6% or higher.

As well, effective May 1, 2022, ESDC will no longer refuse to process LMIA applications submitted for certain occupations in Alberta. In 2017, 29 high-wage occupations in Alberta were added to the Refusal to Process list in an effort to prioritize Albertans for available jobs during the economic downturn in the province. In 2020 due to increasing unemployment rates in the province and the COVID-19 pandemic, ESDC released a positive list of 27 National Occupation Classifications (“NOC”), and the related positions, for which LMIA applications would continue to be processed. ESDC refused to process LMIA applications for all positions not on this list, subject to certain very limited exceptions.

This Refusal to Process Policy for occupations in Alberta is now being lifted in an effort to address the current labour shortages in the province and to support the provincial economy. LMIA applications submitted prior to May 1, 2022 will also benefit from these recent changes. 

Further information on these updates to the Refusal to Process list can be found on the Federal Government’s website here.

If you have any questions about this topic, or any questions relating to workplace law generally, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer.

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