• Canada: New Restrictions for Temporary Foreign Workers Announced
  • September 6, 2010
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office

    Citizenship and Immigration Canada will introduce new restrictions for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), effective April 1, 2011, including a new cap on the time that some work permit holders can work in Canada and a new probation period for employers that fail to meet their commitments under the work permit program.

    Under the new requirements, some work permit holders will be limited to a cumulative duration of four years of work in Canada. Once the four-year cap is reached, these individuals will not be eligible to apply for another work permit for a period of four years, with some important exceptions. The cap will not apply to most workers who enter pursuant to a Labour Market Opinion (LMO)-exempt work permit category, specifically those holding work permits that are issued pursuant to an international trade treaty, such as NAFTA, or to those holding positions that are exempt from LMO requirements because they create or maintain significant benefits for Canadians. Employers should plan ahead and explore options for permanent residence for those foreign employees who may be subject to the four-year cap.

    Also, employers seeking to hire foreign workers will be assessed based against their past compliance with TFWP program requirements. Employers that are found to have provided a TFWP worker with wages, working conditions or an occupation that are not substantially the same as the terms and conditions of the job offer that supported their previous work permit application, and for which a reasonable justification has not been provided, will be subject to a two-year probationary period during which the employer will not be able to hire a foreign worker under the program. Citizenship and Immigration Canada will also maintain a public list of noncompliant employers on its website.

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