Alberta

Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program

News Release

Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program

Alberta’s government is limiting the number and types of jobs available to new temporary foreign workers – making jobs available to unemployed Albertans. 

As of Nov. 1, dozens of additional occupational categories will be added to the “refusal to process list,” removing the vast majority of occupations from the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program. This will result in more than 1,350 available jobs for unemployed Albertans at a time when they’re needed most.

Alberta is using its authority under the Temporary Foreign Worker Annex of the Agreement for Canada-Alberta Cooperation on Immigration and has reached an agreement with the federal government. These changes will impact 475 occupations in sectors such as accommodation and food services, retail trade, transportation, construction, and professional, scientific and technical services.

A small number of specialized occupations experiencing acute and proven labour shortages will be exempted. These changes will not impact employers recruiting for select occupations in the agriculture, technology and caregiving sectors that heavily rely on temporary foreign workers to fill employment gaps.

Alberta will monitor and adjust the province’s “refusal to process list” quarterly and work with industry experts, businesses, post-secondary institutions, municipalities and organizations as economic conditions improve.

Together, the new streams and changes to the TFW program balance the need to get unemployed Albertans back to work in available jobs while keeping educated and talented entrepreneurs in Alberta to build job-creating businesses.

Alberta’s Recovery Plan is a bold, ambitious long-term strategy to build, diversify, and create tens of thousands of jobs now. By building schools, roads and other core infrastructure we are benefiting our communities. By diversifying our economy and attracting investment with Canada’s most competitive tax environment, we are putting Alberta on a path for a generation of growth. Alberta came together to save lives by flattening the curve and now we must do the same to save livelihoods, grow and thrive.

Temporary foreign workers:

  • Current TFWs working in Alberta are not affected by these changes.
  • The changes do not impact 27 occupations in the following sectors:
    • Agriculture
    • Caregiver
    • Technology – such as computer and information systems, software, and information technology
    • Emergency response – such as firefighter and chief, water bomber pilot, and helicopter pilot

Related information

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