What is the change? Canada has updated prevailing wage rates for a number of occupations.

What does the change mean? Employers sponsoring foreign workers in certain work permit and permanent resident categories are affected by the new rates. Applications submitted on or after Sept. 25 must be supported by the new prevailing wage rates.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs); Intra-Company Transferees (ICTs) – Specialized Knowledge work permit category; Global Talent Stream LMIA; Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) – Intra-corporate Specialist category; Employer-sponsored Provincial Nominee Program categories for Permanent Residence.
  • Who is affected: Employers sponsoring foreign nationals in the above categories.
  • Business impact: Businesses may need to adjust their budgets to account for the changes to the prevailing wage rates. In most cases, prevailing wages increased compared with last year’s wages; however, in some cases they decreased.
  • Next steps: Employers can check the new prevailing wage rates for specific jobs on Canada’s Jobs Bank website.

Background: Prevailing wage rates will vary by occupation as well as by geographic location. The prevailing wage in some of the more common positions held by foreign workers are as follows:

Location NOC 0213 – Computer and information systems managers NOC 2171 – Information systems analysts and consultants NOC 2172 – Database analysts and data administrators NOC 2173 – Software engineers and designers NOC 2174 – Computer programmers, interactive media developers
Toronto CA$101,338 CA$78,000 CA$68,578 CA$100,006 CA$74,672
Vancouver CA$90,002 CA$79,997 CA$65,000 CA$79,997 CA$79,997
Montreal CA$98,134* CA$79,997 CA$64,002 CA$85,010 CA$65,458
Calgary CA$106,662 CA$ 81,994 CA$72,280** CA$96,990 CA$78,894*

*Based on provincial average. **Based on highest wage in region or country.

BAL Analysis: Employers are encouraged to review the wages they are paying foreign workers to ensure they are in compliance with new wage minimums. Employers should note that other wage floors may apply in some circumstances, such as for workers in the Global Talent Stream.