Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) made changes in its temporary foreign workers program which will be effective immediately. As per the new rule, the four year cumulative duration rule will not be applicable any longer.
As per this rule, which is famously known as ‘four in, four out’, implies that some foreign workers lose their eligibility to work in Canada for 4 years after they complete four years of work in Canada.
Originally, this rule was implemented in April, 2011, by the previous Conservative government. During that time, the government implemented the rule with the thought that many workers lose ties with the country of their origin as they have to obtain Canada permanent residency.
However, the rule ran into controversy soon as it also affected employers, families and the communities along with the workers as they had established social and economic ties. Foreign workers, in many cases, were not able to become eligible to apply for Canada permanent residency. This meant that they had to leave the country after the completion of four years.
Preventing Instability and Hardship
On December 13, 2016, it was stated by IRCC that ‘four-in, four-out’ provision will be put to end with immediate effect. Its objective is to prevent unwanted instability and hardship for both the employers and workers.
IRCC also added that the work of government is not over yet, as it is further developing pathways to help eligible candidates become the permanent residents of Canada. The government is still making plans to fine tune this issue.
The four year rule has put considerable amount of instability and uncertainty on both employers and foreign workers in many ways. According the immigration minister, John McCallum, there was unnecessary pressure not only of employers and applicants but also on officer who process the application for permanent residency.
The four year rule will not be applicable on all foreign workers living in Canada. Exemptions apply on workers in professional (NOC A) and managerial (National Occupational Classification 0) positions, workers with provincial nomination certificate and workers in Canada under NAFTA.
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