IRCC announces changes to Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program

IRCC announces changes to Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Manmeet Kaur Manmeet Kaur
[Published 23 Mar, 2024 | 02:50 PM]
About Author - 6 min read

IRCC has started to undo the temporary measures they made during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a recent announcement on March 21, 2024, IRCC unleashed measures to strengthen the integrity of Canada’s immigration system.

In recent years, Canada has witnessed a sharp increase in the number of candidates applying for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) – from international students to more foreign workers, numbers reaching up to 2.5 million (6.2% of Canada’s population in 2023).

With the gap between unemployment and job vacancies closing, Canada is targeting a decrease in the temporary resident population to 5% over the next 3 years.

Pre-Approved LMIA Work Permit in 45 days!

LMIA Validity Will Return to 6 Months

Canada introduced the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to hire foreign nationals to meet labour shortages. But to hire workers from foreign countries through TFWP, businesses across Canada need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) – a document that proves there is no qualified Canadian or permanent resident to fill the said role.

Originally, LMIA’s validity period was 6 months but to cope with labour market conditions during the pandemic, the validity of LMIA was increased to 12 months.

Now that the situation is under control, the validity of LMIA will return to 6 months. The Recognized Employer Pilot program on the employer’s part will not be affected by this change.

Temporary residents to be included in the annual targets

IRCC also made changes to the temporary resident's targets.

Starting fall of 2024, temporary resident targets will be added to the Canada Immigration Levels Plan who will be welcome to Canada each year – for the next 3 years. This will help the country stabilize population growth.

Till now, temporary resident levels have never been considered in the annual targets.

The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages said -

“Today, we announced our intention to reduce Canada’s reliance on temporary foreign workers and encourage employers to find the talent they need right here, at home. The time-limited measures we introduced in 2022 were necessary as our labour market was facing unprecedented conditions – but now, as times change, we must ensure our Temporary Foreign Worker Program reflects our current needs.”

Temporary residents to be included in the annual targets

Cap on temporary residents to Canada

Canada has never put a target or cap on permits issued through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), the International Mobility Program(IMP), Intra-company Transfers (ICT) or trade agreements, such as the Canada-United States Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).

However, with a sharp increase in the volume of temporary residents in the past few years, IRCC has decided to limit applications.

Furthermore, Canadian businesses can only have a maximum of 20% low-wage workers who applied through the TFWP. However, in 2022, Canada temporarily increased the cap to 30% for certain sectors. But, from May 1, 2024, only the construction and healthcare sectors will be allowed to have up to 30% of their workforce on low-wage TFWP work permits.

The exemption for the agriculture sector and seasonal employers from the cap on low-wage TFWP work permits will remain unchanged.

The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of IRCC said -

“Our labour market needs are tightening, so should our policies. Today's announcement prioritizes our country’s needs to have enough construction workers to build houses, early childhood educators to teach our kids, and health-care workers to treat patients. As we gradually reduce our reliance on temporary foreign workers, we will continue to help employers fill job vacancies while supporting Canadian workers.”

Temporary Cap on International Students

Speaking of caps, IRCC announced a temporary cap on study visa for international students in 2024. The cap is predicted to be around 360,000 approved Study Visas - a decrease of 35% from 2023.

Along with this, changes to the eligibility criteria for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) were also announced. This change stated that international students enrolled in a study program that is part of the curriculum licensing arrangement - will not be eligible to apply for a PGWP, starting September 2024.

More domestic draws for permanent residence

IRCC is aiming to conduct domestic draws to make the transition of temporary residents to permanent residency easier. Meaning Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) draws and Express Entry draws would more likely select candidates who are already in Canada as temporary residents.

Talk to an Expert

Through these changes, IRCC plans to stabilize the growth by allowing federal and provincial governments to support newcomers while taking into account the needs of the existing population.

Newcomers’ contributions are important to the Canadian labour market and economic growth and these changes will help the government to maintain a well-managed and sustainable immigration system.

Canada Immigration Levels Plan 2024 -26 Announced

As Immigration Levels Plan will expand – starting this fall – including both temporary resident and permanent resident arrivals, now is the best time to apply for a Canada visa from India.

If you’re having trouble, talk to the best immigration consultant in India to make your dreams of living and working in Canada possible.

Read more: Things to Expect from Canada immigration in 2024


We welcome your feedback

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enquire Now

Stay up to date with latest news

Website-Pop-UpExpress Entry Next Prediction Draw
Check Your Eligibility! chatbot icon
chatbot icon Check Your Eligibility In 60 Seconds!