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Four Year Maximum Work Permit Duration

On April 1, 2011, the cumulative duration of work permits issued under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) was reduced to a four year maximum. The government’s primary goal in enacting this law was to prevent foreign workers who are working temporarily in Canada from losing ties with their country of origin due to the longevity of their stay in Canada.  The second goal was to encourage applications for permanent residence for foreign workers who wished to remain in Canada. As a general rule, once a foreign worker has accumulated four years of work in Canada, they would be ineligible to work in Canada again until a period of four years has elapsed from the final day of work in Canada.  Although there are several exemptions to this rule, the general rule places an obligation on employers ascertain which foreign workers they wish to retain after a period of four years, in order to determine what immigration decisions must be made to preserve their ability to work in Canada.