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B.C. farmers must register to hire temporary foreign workers

October 19, 2020  By Fruit and Vegetable

B.C. producers will soon be required to register with the provincial government if they are hiring temporary foreign workers through federal programs where a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is required.

Federal programs such as the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), Seasonal Agriculture Worker Program (SAWP), and AgStream fall under this requirement. As of Dec. 15, 2020, registration will be mandatory to receive an approved LMIA by Service Canada.

The B.C. government keeps a public registry of employers that are registered to hire foreign workers. The registry lists each employer’s name, the date they were registered as an employer and when their registration expires.


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

B.C. employers can register online today.

You don’t need to register if you’re an excluded employer or you

  • Currently employ foreign workers and don’t plan to hire additional workers
  • Only hire foreign workers under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) or federal International Mobility Program (IMP)

If employers are unsure, they can contact the Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Unit.

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.

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