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Updates on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program & Changes in the Number of Temporary Residents in Canada

The influx of temporary residents in Canada reaching 2.5 million (6.2% of the population) in 2023, while enriching Canada's economy, has presented some challenges warranting the government to reduce this number to 5% of the population over the next three years. This measured approach will ensure Canada can effectively integrate newcomers while addressing its evolving labour market needs. To achieve this, a review of temporary resident programs is underway, with a focus on ensuring they align with labour market demands and minimize potential misuse. As such, provinces and territories will be consulted to establish final targets for temporary residents.

Prioritizing Permanent Residency

The government is committed to offering more pathways to permanent residency for temporary residents who wish to stay and contribute long-term. This includes increasing the number of permanent resident admissions and encouraging provinces to utilize their Provincial Nominee Programs for permanent residency nominations.

Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFW Program)

Effective May 1, 2024, the temporary foreign worker Program, which allows employers to hire foreign workers to fill specific labor shortages, will undergo the following adjustments to prioritize Canadian workers:

  • Shorter Validity for Labor Market Assessments: New Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs), which employers need to demonstrate a genuine effort to recruit Canadians before hiring foreign workers, will only be valid for six months, down from the previous one year.

  • Reduced Reliance on Low-Wage Temporary Workers: To incentivizes employers to explore other options, such as recruiting from Canada's pool of asylum seekers with valid work permits, the maximum proportion of temporary foreign workers for low-wage positions will be reduced from 30% to 20% of an employer's workforce through the TFW Program's low-wage stream (excluding construction and healthcare).

  • Annual Wage Reviews and Market Parity: Employers must now conduct annual reviews of temporary foreign worker wages to ensure they align with prevailing wages in their specific occupation and region. This guarantees fair compensation for temporary workers throughout their employment.

What next

In conclusion, Canada's immigration system is evolving towards a more strategic and selective approach. The emphasis lies on attracting and retaining skilled workers who can contribute meaningfully to the country's long-term economic and social well- Schedule a call with our consultants for strategic guidance regarding your application and to explore the options that will be right for you to migrate to Canada.


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