On April 1, 2011 Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) introduced a four year “cumulative duration” limit on the length of time certain Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) could work in Canada. All affected TFWs in Canada as of that date were given a full four years under the regulation, irrespective of the length of time they had been in Canada prior to April 1, 2011. As a result, the first day that any TFW may reach their cumulative limit is April 1, 2015.
Who is affected?
The four year cumulative cap applies to all TFW under work permit skill levels NOC B, C and D with a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or Labour Market Opinion (LMO).
Who is exempt?
Some foreign nationals are exempted from the four year cumulative limit. They include foreign nationals:
- Who are working in Managerial (NOC 0) or professional (NOC A) occupations
- Who are working in Canada under NAFTA or other international agreements
- Who are exempted from the LMIA requirements, including spouses and common-law partners of NOC 0 or NOC A skilled professionals, religious workers and refugee claimants
- Who have applied for Permanent Residence and have received confirmation that their application has been accepted
I am affected, what should I do?
TFWs who are not exempt and who have been working in Canada for a cumulative total of four years are not eligible to work in Canada until an additional four years has elapsed. Foreign nationals may remain in Canada, provided they have legal status as a visitor or student, but they may not work for four years.
TFWs currently in Canada working in occupations supported by a positive LMIA should consider applying for Permanent Residence through Express Entry. The comprehensive point system in Express Entry is weighted heavily in favour of applicants with arranged employment through LMIAs.
If you would like more information about the cumulative four year cap on TFW or would like assistance in preparing an application for Permanent Residence through Express Entry please contact Green and Spiegel LLP.