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Canada Introduces Changes to Temporary Foreign Worker Program to Address Labor Market Needs

Government Announcement: Amendments to Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Immigration Minister Marc Miller and Employment Minister Randy Boissonnault have jointly unveiled revisions to Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).

Update on Labor Market Measures

The press conference hinted at additional announcements. Amidst evolving economic dynamics, Minister Boissonnault highlighted the necessity to reassess temporary measures implemented during the pandemic, citing a narrowing gap between unemployment and job vacancies.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program in Focus

The TFWP, designed to address labor shortages by issuing work permits to foreign nationals, saw adjustments during the pandemic to alleviate labor market pressures. However, with economic conditions changing, Canada is now rolling back some of these temporary measures.

Validity Period for LMIA Reduced

A significant change involves the validity period of Labor Market Impact Assessments (LMIA), which was extended to 12 months during the pandemic. Effective May 1st, 2024, this period will revert to 6 months, except for employers in the Recognized Employer Pilot program, who remain unaffected.

Restrictions on Low-wage Workers

Canada had temporarily raised the cap on low-wage TFWP (Temporary Foreign Workers 'Program) workers to 30% of a company's workforce in select sectors. However, as of May 1st, 2024, only the construction and healthcare sectors will retain this allowance. Notably, exemptions for the agriculture sector and seasonal employers remain unchanged.

Strengthening Immigration Integrity

These adjustments reflect Canada's commitment to fortifying the integrity of its immigration system, pivotal for the nation’s economic sustainability. Recent measures include imposing a cap on study permits and modifying the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program in response to escalating international student numbers.

Ministerial Insights

Minister Miller emphasized the need for a well-managed, sustainable immigration system, aiming to reduce Canada’s temporary resident population to 5% over the next three years. He underscored the importance of setting up new families and residents for success while ensuring access to essential services.

In conclusion, Canada’s strategic recalibration of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program aligns with broader efforts to navigate changing economic landscapes while fostering sustainable immigration policies.

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