• Four-Year Limits on Stay for Temporary Foreign Workers Become Effective in April 2015
  • April 22, 2014
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • From April 1, 2015, some foreign nationals working temporarily in Canada will be required to cease working and depart the country and may not be able to work in Canada again for up to four years. These limits on work stays apply to non-exempt foreign nationals who were approved for temporary work permits on or after April 1, 2011 and who have worked in Canada for a cumulative period of four years since the work permit was issued. Not included in the cumulative four-year limitation are any periods of more than one month spent overseas or on an authorized work break such as parental leave and extended unpaid leave.

    The following four categories of foreign workers are exempt from the four-year limit on work stays:

    • Temporary foreign workers who are exempt from Labor Market Opinion (LMO) requirements based on (1) international agreements, (2) Canadian interests, (3) self-support, or (4) humanitarian reasons;
    • Temporary foreign workers in managerial occupations (classified under job code, NOC-0) and professional occupations (NOC-A);
    • Temporary foreign workers who have applied for permanent residency and have received an approval in-principal letter or positive selection decision (depending on the permanent residence program); and
    • Provincial Nominees applying for an employer-specific work permit.

    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    Employers with non-exempt workers should work with their immigration service provider now to identify affected individuals and review available immigration options.

    When planning for LMO cases that propose work beyond April 1, 2015, employers will need to confirm how much of the four-year limit the foreign worker has used, including any time spent working for another employer.

    Temporary foreign workers should maintain detailed records documenting time they spend outside of Canada and any authorized interruptions from work. They may be required to present this evidence when seeking to recapture time.