The stream for Low-Wage positions allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers for full-time positions (minimum 30 hours/week) where the wage offered is below the provincial/territorial median hourly wage.

NOC codes are used to determine the prevailing wage and to ensure that the appropriate job requirements are used for the position.

The employer who is offering a low wage to TFW must be able to provide them the following facilities:

  1. Transportation: You must pay for the round-trip transportation costs for temporary foreign workers to and from their home country at the beginning and the end of the work period.
  2. Housing: You must provide or ensure that suitable and affordable housing is available for the temporary foreign workers you will employ.  Housing must costs less than 30% of the temporary foreign worker’s before-tax income. Shelter costs include rent (or mortgage payment) and any payments for electricity, fuel, water and other municipal services.
  3. Health care: You must ensure that the temporary foreign workers you want to hire in low-wage positions are covered by private, provincial or territorial health insurance from the first day they arrive in Canada. If provincial or territorial health care cannot be provided, you must pay for the equivalent private health insurance until the temporary foreign workers become eligible for the provincial/territorial plan.

LMIA Cap on Low Wage Employees:

The cap, implemented on June 20, 2014, was created to provide employers time to transitions to a Canadian workforce, and are limited to the following:

  • Must not exceed 20% of the number of temporary foreign workers in low-wage positions, or the employers’ established estimated cap (whichever is lower), if TFW was hired in a low-wage position prior to June 20, 2014.
  • Must not exceed the 10% of the number of temporary foreign workers in low-wage positions if the Canadian employers did not employ TFW in a low-wage positions prior to June 20, 2014.

The cap does not apply to:

  • Employers with a company-wide business size of fewer than 10 employees;
  • Employers hiring foreign workers for positions related to on-farm primary agriculture, including the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program;
  • Positions that are truly temporary (e.g. emergency and warranty positions);
  • Positions that are highly mobile or truly temporary and no more than 120 calendar days. This duration can be extended if an employer can demonstrate that their peak season, project or event operates beyond 120 days;
  • Applications supporting permanent residence under any Express Entry programs (e.g. Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program); and
  • Certain seasonal positions.

Currently, the TFWP is not considering the LMIA applications for low-wage/lower-skilled occupations and these are:

  • Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related occupations (NOC 6641)
  • Light duty cleaners (NOC 6661)
  • Cashiers (NOC 6611)
  • Grocery clerks and store shelf stockers (NOC 6622)
  • Construction trades helpers and labourers (NOC 7611)
  • Landscaping and grounds maintenance labourers (NOC 8612)
  • Other attendants in accommodation and travel (NOC 6672)
  • Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents (NOC 6663)
  • Specialized cleaners (NOC 6662)
  • Security guards and related occupations (NOC 6651)


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