CFIB urges government to allow some TFWs in Canada to stay

Letter calls for urgent action for TFWs awaiting permanent residence rulings

Toronto – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is calling on the federal government to take urgent action to ensure that recent changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) don’t result in severe hardship for would-be Canadians.

New rules in the TFWP mean that thousands of Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) awaiting rulings on applications for permanent residence will be forced to leave Canada before their documents are processed. CFIB has written a letter to Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander, and Minister of Employment and Social Development Jason Kenney, asking them to quickly implement one-time transitional measures to help TFWs caught in the crossfire.

“CFIB members report a great deal of uncertainty and stress being placed unfairly on foreign workers,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly. “These workers came to Canada under a certain set of rules, and many went to considerable lengths to get here. To change the rules in the middle of the process will bring undue hardship to these terrific people.”

The majority of those affected are applying for permanent residence through the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), and participating provinces appear to be supportive of one-time measures to help these individuals. Required changes would include:

  • extensions on the employers’ Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and employees’ work visas for those with permanent residence applications currently in the queue
  • a one-time bump in the number of provincial nominee spaces allowed by the federal government and an expedited review process for these applications

“Small business owners value all their employees, including TFWs, and in many cases have helped these workers pursue permanent residence, recognizing that means full labour-market mobility rights. Whatever happens with the program going forward, they would like to see applicants who have invested time and money into the process given the opportunity to see it through.”

Read the letter to Ministers Alexander and Kenney at

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.