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Advisory on Temporary Foreign Worker Program in Canada


esdc canada

ADVISORY No. 01-2014: Moratorium on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program Involving the Food Services Sector in Canada

On 24 April 2014, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) Minister Jason Kenney announced an immediate moratorium in the food services sector’s access to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) due to reported abuses by some erring employers. The moratorium would remain in effect until the completion of the ongoing review of the TFWP.

ESDC clarified that temporary foreign workers who have been approved for a work permit by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) but have not yet arrived in Canada will not be affected. They remain eligible for a work permit at the port of entry, barring any other reason for inadmissibility to Canada.

The TFWP allows Canadian employers to hire foreign nationals to fill temporary labor and skill shortages after verification that qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents are not available. As a result of the moratorium, the federal government suspended the issuance of Labor Market Opinions (LMO) that allowed employers to hire foreign workers in the food services industry.

Accordingly, LMOs will not be processed to the following employers:

1) Employers classified under the North American Industry Classification System 722 (NAICS 722) (i.e. “establishments primarily engaged in preparing meals, snacks and beverages, to customer order, for immediate consumption on and off the premises.

This subsector does not include food service activities that occur within establishments such as hotels, civic and social associations, amusement and recreation parks, and theaters. However, leased food-service locations in facilities such as hotels, shopping malls, airports and department stores are included”); and

2) Employers applying for LMOs for the occupations related to specific National Occupational Classification Codes (NOC 2006), as follows:

NOC Code                   NOC Title

6641                            Food Counter Attendants, Kitchen Helpers & related occupations

0631                            Restaurant and Food Service Managers

6212                            Food Service Supervisors

6453                            Food and Beverage Servers

6611                            Cashiers

6241                            Chefs

6242                            Cooks

6252                            Bakers

0611                            Sales, Marketing and Advertising Managers

0621                            Retail Trade Manager

0632                            Accommodation Service Managers

0651                            Other Service Managers

6211                            Retail Trade Supervisors6213 Executive Housekeepers

6214                            Dry Cleaning and Laundry Supervisors

6215                            Cleaning Supervisors

6216                            Other Service Supervisors

6221                            Technical Sales Specialists – Wholesale Trade

6251                            Butchers, Meat Cutters and Fishmongers – Retail and Wholesale

6411                            Sales Representatives – Wholesale Trade (Non-Technical)

6421                            Retail Salespersons and Sales Clerks

6451                            Maitres d’ hotel and Hosts/Hostesses

6452                            Bartenders

6484                            Other Personal Service Occupations

6622                            Grocery Clerks and Store Shelf Stockers

6632                            Other Elemental Sales Occupations

6651                            Security Guards and Related Occupations

6661                            Light Duty Cleaners

6662                            Specialized Cleaners

6663                            Janitors, Caretakers and Building Superintendents

6681                            Dry Cleaning and Laundry Occupations

6682                            Ironing, Pressing and Finishing Occupations

6683                            Other Elemental Service Occupations

OFWs bound for Canada are strongly advised to refer to the “Questions and Answers” on the Moratorium on the Food Services Sector’s access to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) published by ESDC on www.esdc.gc.ca and to consult first with their prospective employers prior to their travel to Canada. Filipino workers who undertake a trip to Canada at this time – whether to take up employment positions as above listed on the basis of an LMO issued prior to the moratorium, or as workers returning to any of the above positions due to previously authorized leaves of absence, should be prepared to contact their employer and/or the nearest Philippine Consulate, should any question arise at their port of entry or disembarkation.

Meanwhile, Overseas Filipino Workers, whether from the Philippines or from third countries, may explore other employment options in Canada, such as the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), through the CIC website at www.cic.gov.ca

Philippine Foreign Service Posts and the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices in Canada continue to monitor the situation and stand ready to extend assistance to Filipino workers affected by the moratorium especially in emergency situations.

TFWP Emergency Hotlines

Philippine Embassy in Ottawa – +1 613 614 2846

Philippine Consulate General in Toronto – +1 416 922 7181

Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver – +1 604 685 1619 / 7645

Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Toronto – +1 416 975 8252

Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Vancouver – +1 604 682 5770

For the information and guidance of all concerned.



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