Recently announced changes to Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program will primarily affect companies that employ low-skilled workers and will not impact companies bringing high-skilled foreign workers in professional or managerial positions to Canada.

Key points:

  • A rule that limited some lower-skilled workers to a cumulative four-year stay in Canada has been repealed. The “four in, four out” rule was introduced in 2011 and also required those workers to remain outside Canada for at least four years before returning to work.
  • The percentage of low-wage foreign workers allowed to be employed at a worksite will be cut to 10 percent for employers who began using the program after June 20, 2014. It will remain at 20 percent for employers who used the program before that date.
  • Employers of some low-wage foreign workers will be required to meet new job advertising requirements, including new requirements on advertising to certain groups that are underrepresented in the workforce: young people, people with disabilities, indigenous people and newcomers.

Background: The changes are the first in a series of reforms to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and are consistent with recommendations made in September by a Parliamentary committee. The government said other changes recommended by the committee would be forthcoming in the new year.

BAL Analysis: While the changes significantly impact many employers with low-wage foreign workers, they will have little effect on companies employing high-skilled foreign workers. BAL will continue following immigration-related events in Canada in the new year, including any other changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Canada. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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