Canadian officials announced upcoming changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker program as part of an effort to reduce the number of temporary residents in Canada.

Key Points:

  • As BAL previously reported, the Canadian government has recently announced reforms to raise the cost-of-living financial requirement for study permit applications and establish an intake cap on international student permit applications to better align with labor market needs and alleviate growing pressures on housing, healthcare and other services.
  • In addition, the government has announced upcoming changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to reduce the temporary resident population.
    • Effective May 1, the validity period of a labor market impact assessment will change to six months. The validity period was temporarily increased to 18 months during the COVID-19 pandemic, then more recently returned to 12 months to help ease labor market conditions.
    • Canadian officials also confirmed that, effective May 1, certain sectors within the Temporary Foreign Worker program will return to a 20% cap on low-wage foreign workers, previously set at 30% as a temporary measure in 2022.

Additional Information: Construction and healthcare sectors will still be allowed to have up to 30% of their workforce on low-wage work permits, and the cap exemption for the agriculture sector and seasonal employers will remain in place.

BAL Analysis: The Canadian government continues to implement updates to policies to encourage immigration in key sectors, while at the same time creating stricter policies to balance the needs of Canadian workers. Employers should be aware of these policy updates and consider them in their employment strategies and recruitment efforts.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group.

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