IRCC Update on Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada | CIN
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The Latest IRCC Update on Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada

Austin Campbell



Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada

In a recent press briefing, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Minister Marc Miller made a significant announcement regarding reforms to the management of temporary foreign workers and residents in Canada. Joined by Employment Minister Randy Boissonnault, Minister Miller shed light on the government’s plan to review various programs relating to temporary foreign workers.

A Closer Look at the IRCC Update

Minister Miller’s directive emphasizes the importance of ensuring that temporary foreign workers contribute effectively to filling critical labor shortages across Canada. As part of this initiative, businesses seeking to employ foreign nationals through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) will be required to provide a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) demonstrating the unavailability of qualified Canadians or permanent residents for the positions in question.

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For the first time, Canada will establish annual targets for temporary residents, mirroring the existing practice for permanent residents. Minister Miller intends to collaborate with provincial counterparts to determine these targets, aiming to strike a balance between addressing labor market needs and maintaining the integrity of Canada’s immigration system.

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TR Levels Rise to 2.5 Million in 2023

With the temporary resident population in Canada reaching approximately 2.5 million in 2023, concerns have emerged regarding the sustainability of this growth trajectory. Minister Miller announced plans to reduce the proportion of temporary residents to 5% of the overall Canadian population over the next three years, following consultations with provincial and territorial authorities.


Several adjustments have been introduced to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to ensure its effectiveness and sustainability. Notably, the validity of new Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) will be reduced to six months starting May 1, 2024, except for employers participating in the Recognized Employer Pilot Program (REP). Additionally, certain sectors, including healthcare and construction, will be exempt from these changes until August 31, 2024.

Province-Wise Distribution of Temporary Residents

Ontario, as Canada’s most populous province, boasts the highest number of temporary residents, followed by Quebec and British Columbia.

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The table below provides a breakdown of temporary resident populations across various provinces:

ProvinceTotal Temporary Residents
British Columbia400,964
Nova Scotia45,794
New Brunswick27,458
Newfoundland & Labrador12,911
Prince Edward Island9,953
Northwest Territories567

Addressing the Future of Canadian Immigration


As Canada continues to refine its immigration policies, a focus on striking a balance between temporary and permanent residency remains paramount. By setting clear targets and recalibrating programs to meet evolving needs, the government aims to ensure that Canada remains an attractive destination for skilled workers while addressing domestic labor market demands. The recent update from IRCC underscores the government’s commitment to managing temporary foreign workers in Canada responsibly.

By implementing targeted reforms and engaging in collaborative dialogue with provincial partners, Canada seeks to maintain a sustainable immigration system that serves the country’s economic and social interests.

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