Pay raises for Canadian workers that have been higher than the rate of inflation in the last year are likely to be a boon for foreign nationals hoping to come here under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
Salaries paid to temporary foreign workers should be comparable to wages paid to Canadian and permanent resident employees hired for the same job and location, with comparable skills and years of experience, according to the federal government’s website.
The TFWP has two streams: one for high-wage positions and one for low-wage positions. However, regardless of which stream they use to recruit foreign workers, all employers are required by the TFWP to pay temporary workers competitive wages. As well as wages have increased at a faster rate than rising prices. Despite Canada’s current inflation rate of 6.7%, the median hourly wage increased by 12.5% in Nunavut, rising from $32 to $36 per hour, and by 10% in Nova Scotia, rising from $20 to $22 per hour, in the fiscal year ending April 30, 2022.
New Brunswick saw a similar-sized media wage increase of 8.3 percent, from $20.12 to $21.70. This was consistent with the magnitude of wage increases in the Northwest Territories, where the median hourly wage increased by nearly 8.56 percent, to $37.30 from $34.36. In Ontario, the median hourly wage increased by more than 8.4%, from $24.04 to $26.06 per hour.
In the francophone province of Quebec, median hourly wages increased by slightly more than 8.3 percent, from $23.08 to $25. In Canadian provinces where wages were already higher, average pay increases tended to be more modest. In Alberta, the median hourly wage increased by 5.75 percent in the last year, from $27.28 to $28.85, while wages in British Columbia increased by 5.76 percent, from $25 to $26.44 per hour. The Yukon territory saw a 6.7 percent increase in the median hourly wage, to $32 per hour from $30.
Statistics Canada reported earlier this year that the number of jobs increased in February as pandemic restrictions were lifted and Canadians – as well as temporary foreign workers – were increasingly able to find paying work. The big winners in terms of career gains in February were Ontario and British Columbia, both of which saw a 0.8% increase in employed workers that month, as well as Quebec, which saw a 0.9% increase in employed workers.
Foreign nationals who want to work temporarily in Canada can do so if they have a work permit from one of two main programmes, the TFWP or the International Mobility Program (IMP). The TFWP provides work permits to candidates whose employers receive a favourable Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). A positive LMIA confirms that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the position at hand and that no Canadian workers are available to do so.
The programme is divided into four streams: high-skilled workers, low-skilled workers, seasonal agricultural workers, and live-in caregivers. A positive LMIA is not required for IMP work permits. They do, however, require the employer to submit a job offer through their employer portal.
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