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Effective immediately, most temporary foreign workers who have worked in Canada for four years will no longer have to leave Canada for four years before they can apply for subsequent work permits. Previously, most temporary foreign workers were eligible to reside in Canada to work for a maximum of up to four years. After working in Canada for four years, they would have to leave Canada for another four years before they could apply for another work permit. In an effort to greatly reduce uncertainty and instability for both temporary foreign workers and employers, this four-year “cumulative duration” rule has been eliminated.

This change is the first of many upcoming changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program aimed at making the program work for workers, for employers, and for the Canadian economy. Employers will be advised as further changes come into effect in the New Year. These will include updated pathways to permanent residency to enable temporary foreign workers to more fully contribute to Canadian society.

Maximum validity periods will continue to apply to certain categories of work permits, including intra-company transferees (5 years or 7 years), NAFTA professionals (3 years per renewal), and post-graduate work permits (3 years).