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Canada Updates Salary Requirement for Work Permits

As we step into the new year, Canada is ushering in significant transformations to its work permit system, specifically revolving around wage requirements. These alterations carry substantial implications for employers, skilled workers, and those eyeing immigration opportunities in the Great White North.

Canada’s New Wage Requirements for Work Permits

Commencing January 2024, Canada has initiated a comprehensive overhaul of wage requirements for work permits. This strategic shift aims to harmonize the compensation of temporary foreign workers with prevailing rates in specific occupations and locations. Under the stewardship of Minister Randy Boissonnault of Employment and Social Development Canada, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program now incorporates annual wage evaluations by employers. This mechanism ensures that remuneration is equitable and aligns with prevailing rates for specific roles and geographical areas.

Sector-Specific Measures and Employment Terms

The updated regulations also usher in sector-specific restrictions and adjustments to the maximum term of employment based on wage levels, effective until August 30, 2024. Notably, certain sectors like Accommodation and Food Services, Construction, and Manufacturing can now hire up to 30% of their workforce from low-wage foreign labor. Additionally, jobs paying below the median hourly wage in a province or territory maintain a maximum employment term of two years.

Monitoring and Adaptation by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)

ESDC is committed to vigilant monitoring of the labor market, ensuring the Temporary Foreign Worker Program remains adaptable to economic shifts while safeguarding the interests of temporary foreign workers in Canada.

Increased Demand for Temporary Foreign Workers

With a notable 40% increase in demand for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program as of October 2023, this initiative proves crucial when Canadian firms require temporary foreign labor, especially in the absence of eligible Canadians or permanent residents. To streamline processes, the program transitioned to an online system in 2023, with the introduction of the Recognized Employer Pilot (REP) further supporting safety priorities and simplifying business procedures.

Work Permit Processing Time and Immigration Targets

Online work permit applications in Canada have averaged a 134-day processing time for 80% of applications over the past six months. In 2024, Canada aims to welcome 485,000 new permanent residents, with immigration targets set to increase in subsequent years.

Preparing for the Changes

In light of these changes, employers, skilled workers, and immigrants are urged to stay informed. Employers should adjust temporary foreign worker salaries in line with prevailing rates, utilizing the online platform for streamlined processing. Skilled workers should research wage trends in their desired occupation and location, while immigrants must stay abreast of TFWP updates, considering high-demand professions for a successful transition.



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