October 23, 2023

IRCC exploring new TFWP work permit process.

The landscape of immigration in Canada is constantly evolving, and the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is at the forefront of shaping policies and procedures. In a recent revelation obtained through an Access to Information Request (ATIP), it has come to light that the IRCC is considering a groundbreaking approach to process work permits for participants in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). This potential initiative, designed to expedite the reduction of labor shortages in Canada, holds promising prospects for both foreign workers and employers. In this comprehensive article, we will delve into the details of this proposal, examining its implications, benefits, and eligibility criteria.


IRCC's Plan to Streamline Work Permit Processing

At its core, the proposed processing method is an integral part of the IRCC's Action Plan to reduce inventories, enhance client service, and effectively address labor shortages in Canada. It aligns with the Employment and Social Development Canada's (ESDC) mandate to simplify work permit renewals for TFWP participants. While the IRCC has yet to officially confirm this initiative, the information obtained through the ATIP sheds light on the potential transformative changes on the horizon.


The Innovative Approach

Contrary to the current manual evaluation process, the envisaged method employs a dynamic approach. The Global Case Management System (GMCS) would conduct daily application pulls, sorting them into specific folders. It is important to note that the IRCC has clarified that this process will not be fully automated. Skilled officers will assume responsibility for assessing applications, and meticulously scrutinizing various factors that determine eligibility. These factors include the applicant's experience, education, language proficiency, and adherence to licensing requirements. Moreover, the officer will evaluate the authenticity of the offer of employment by verifying the employer's active engagement in their business, ability to meet wage commitments, and compliance with federal and provincial employment laws.


Eligibility Criteria for Applicants

The ATIP data reveals that between January 2017 and August 31, 2022, the IRCC received a substantial number of applications from foreign workers seeking multiple work permits with the same employer and occupation. Based on this data, the proposed measures hold the potential to significantly benefit a considerable number of applicants. To be eligible for this new processing method, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  1. Previous Work Permit: The applicant must have been issued an employer-specific work permit within the past five years, with no discrepancies arising from the previous application.
  2. Complete Work Permit Application: A comprehensive work permit application for a new employer-specific work permit must be submitted, reflecting the intention to continue working in the same occupation.
  3. Occupation Continuity: The applicant must demonstrate their commitment to returning to the same occupation, as indicated by the National Occupation Classification (NOC) code.
  4. Biometric Verification: As per the IRCC's biometric requirements, applicants must provide biometrics either prior to or along with the new work permit application.
  5. Admissibility Requirements: Applicants must fulfill all other admissibility requirements throughout the screening process, ensuring compliance with relevant immigration regulations.


Understanding the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)

The TFWP serves as a crucial channel for Canadian employers to recruit foreign workers when suitable domestic candidates are scarce. Under this program, employees are granted closed work permits, confining their employment to a specific employer as indicated in their permit.

Most employers seeking to hire through the TFWP are required to obtain a positive or neutral Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from the ESDC. This assessment substantiates that hiring foreign workers will have a positive or neutral impact on Canada's economy. Employers must provide evidence of their efforts to hire qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents before resorting to foreign workers. Additionally, employers may undergo compliance inspections by government authorities after their foreign employees have commenced work in Canada.



The potential introduction of a new processing method for work permits in the TFWP marks a significant development in Canada's immigration landscape. By embracing a more efficient and dynamic approach, the IRCC aims to reduce inventories, enhance client service, and alleviate labor shortages. While the official confirmation of this proposal is pending, the eligibility criteria and the anticipated benefits underscore the potential positive impact on both foreign workers and employers. As the IRCC continues its commitment to exploring innovative solutions, it is essential for individuals and organizations to stay informed and updated on the latest developments, enabling them to navigate the Canadian immigration system successfully and seize opportunities for growth and prosperity.


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