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The end of Alberta’s refusal to process LMIA applications

As of May 1, 2022, Alberta’s Refusal to Process List is no longer in effect. Employers who rely on temporary foreign workers can resume their recruitment efforts.

In 2017, the Government of Alberta and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) jointly announced a pilot project with the purpose of putting Albertans first in line for available jobs in the province. The pilot project created a “Refusal to Process List” that identified and restricted the occupations in which employers could hire temporary foreign workers under the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program (“TFWP”).

When the Refusal to Process List was first introduced, it enumerated 29 occupations that rendered Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”) applications ineligible for processing under the TFWP. On November 2, 2020, the Government of Alberta added 475 occupations to this list. The Refusal to Process List became so extensive, that the Government of Alberta then introduced a Processing Exemption List, in which it identified those occupations that were exempt from the restrictions.

While the aim of maintaining a Refusal to Process list was to ensure that more employment opportunities were available for Albertans, certain industries in Alberta that rely heavily on employing temporary foreign workers were particularly impacted by this policy, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic when labour shortages in Canada grew.

Langford Law welcomes the end of Alberta’s Refusal to Process LMIA Applications and looks forward to helping our clients revitalize Alberta’s economy.

As experienced Canadian immigration lawyers, we can help you with your immigration needs. If you are an employer interested in hiring temporary foreign workers under the TFWP, get in touch with us at