Food Services Moratorium

On April 24, 2014, the Minister of Employment and Social Development announced a moratorium on the Food Services Sector’s access to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) as a result of serious allegations of abuse of the TFWP. Accordingly, Employment and Social Development Canada stopped processing any new or pending LMO applications related to the Food Services Sector. In addition, any unfilled positions tied to a previously approved LMO were suspended.

Effective immediately, the moratorium on the Food Services Sector’s access to the TFWP has ended.

Ending the moratorium now allows an employer to fill previously suspended positions tied to an approved LMO, unless the LMO expired during the suspension. Employers wanting to apply for a new Labour Market Impact Assessment to hire temporary foreign workers in the Food Services Sector need to submit new applications that will be subject to the new program requirements, including the cap on temporary foreign workers in low-wage occupations.

Work permit applications that were suspended from processing due to the suspension of the associated LMO will go back into the queue for processing by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Questions and Answers

Impact on employers

My LMO was suspended as a result of the moratorium on the Food Services Sector’s access to the TFWP. How does the lifting of the moratorium impact me?

LMOs suspended under the moratorium are now unsuspended. As long as the LMO is still valid and has not expired, the prospective temporary foreign worker(s) named on that LMO may submit work permit applications to CIC, or, if eligible to apply on entry into Canada, to a Canada Border Services Agency port of entry.

My LMO expired during the moratorium. Is it still valid?

No, employers with expired LMOs need to submit new applications that would be subject to new stricter program requirements, including the cap on temporary foreign workers in lower-wage occupations. Please visit esdc.gc.ca for details on applying under the new program requirements.

Impact on temporary foreign workers

I applied for a work permit (or extension) before/during the suspension of Food Service Sector LMOs but I haven’t heard from CIC yet. What will happen with my application now?

Your application will go back into the queue for processing by Citizenship and Immigration Canada now that the suspension has been lifted.

I was planning to apply for a work permit (or extension) for an employer who had an LMO approved before the suspension of Food Service Sector LMOs was announced. Can I still do so?

If the LMO is still valid and has not expired, and you are named on that LMO, you may submit a work permit application as per normal procedures.

I want to apply for a work permit but the employer’s positive LMO expired during the suspension of Food Service Sector LMOs. Can I?

If the LMO is no longer valid or has expired, you may not apply for a work permit based on that LMO. Before you can apply for a work permit, your employer will need a valid Labour Market Impact Assessment (formerly the Labour Market Opinion).