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BC introduces mandatory registration for hiring temporary foreign workers

October 5, 2020  By Greenhouse Canada

Growers in BC looking to hire temporary foreign workers though federal programs where an LMIA is needed will soon be required to register with the provincial government.

As of Dec. 15, registration will be mandatory to receive an approved LMIA by Service Canada, according to the Western Labour Agriculture Initiative.

Online employer registration is now open.


WALI recommends employers register as soon as possible to prevent delays with hiring workers, as wait times for LMIA approvals are likely to increase after the December 15th requirement comes into effect. There is no fee to register.

This is the second phase of the Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act that came into law in 2018. The first phase required recruiters to be licensed.

To apply for a certificate of registration

The requirement applies to employers intending to hire a temporary worker through most federal foreign worker programs including the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), Seasonal Agriculture Worker Program (SAWP), Home Child Care Provider or Home Support Worker pilots, and other programs that require and LMIA.

If approved, employers are issued a certificate of registration valid for up to three years. The Director of Employment Standards has discretion over the period of time a certificate of registration remains valid.

Employers hiring a domestic worker will need to register the worker with the Employment Standards Branch within 30 days of hire.

Employers do not need to register if they are:

Unsure employers should contact the Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Unit.

Source: WALI

Employers, recruiters and employment agencies can learn more about their rules and responsibilities through the Recruitment in B.C. education seminar on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 at 10:00-11:30 am PST.

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