Canada’s highest work permit to take effect in 2022

This permit is designed to enable highly skilled foreign workers to work in Canada and allow them to compete with Canadians in the labour market. The permit is part of the government’s efforts to fill gaps in the labour market and grow the economy.

The new permit is open to any highly skilled foreign worker who has the skills, experience and qualifications required to fill positions in high-demand occupations. The permit will be valid for up to five years and will be subject to renewal. The permit holders will be able to apply for permanent residency after three years in Canada.

The permit holders will have to meet certain criteria in order to be eligible. For example, they must demonstrate proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages and must pass medical and security checks.

The permit will also require employers to pay an annual fee to hire a foreign worker and demonstrate that they are not displacing a Canadian worker.

In 2022, a record 608,420 Canadian work permits will come into force. That’s nearly 200,000 more work permits than in 2021, when only 414,000 permits were in effect. Work permits are issued between Canada’s two main work permit pathways – the International Mobility Program (IMP) and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). The majority of work permit holders (77%) welcome to Canada in 2022 are IMPs. In 2022, the IMP will have a total of 472,070 work permits in effect. In contrast, the remaining quarter of permits (136,350) under the TFWP were issued to workers. Both the IMP and TFWP are increasing the number of licenses in effect each year. In 2019, only 303,545 work permits were valid under the IMP. After a slight decline in 2020 the number of licenses under the IMP increased again in 2021 to 310,660 licenses. As a result, valid work permits for IMPs have increased by more than 55% since 2019.

Under the TFWP, only 98,030 work permits took effect in 2019. After seeing the same decrease in 2020 as IMP work permits, this number rebounded to 103,340 effective permits in 2021. Accordingly, since 2019, there has been a 39% increase in work permits that have come into effect under the TFWP.

What IMP streams saw the most permits come into effect?

Under the IMP, the following streams saw the most permits come into effect in 2022:

Medical residents and fellows, and post-graduate employment applicants—36% of effective permits collectively;

·Charitable or religious workers—29% of effective permits;

·Other IMP participants—8%;

·Spouses of skilled workers—5%;

·Post-doctoral PhD fellows and award recipients—4%;

·Intra-company transfers—2%; and

·The International Experience Canada (IEC) program)—2%.

What TFWP streams saw the most permits come into effect?

Under the TFWP, the breakdown of work permits that came into effect in 2022 is as follows.

·Agriculture workers—51% of effective permits);

·Other temporary foreign workers with an LMIA—46% of effective permits;

·Live-in caregivers—2%; and


“Other temporary foreign workers with an LMIA” encompasses all other professions for which a temporary foreign worker was issued an LMIA-based work permit to continue working in Canada.

Notably, Canada has made policy changes to retain and settle caregivers as part of the initiative to address labour shortages among health care and social assistance workers— including cutting the work experience requirement in half for permanent residence eligibility among these workers.

Which provinces had the greatest number of work permit holders in 2022?

Among Canada’s 13 provinces and territories, the following had the greatest share of effective work permits in 2022, under both the IMP and TFWP:

·Ontario—221,280 permits;

·British Columbia—102,845 permits;

·Quebec—89,765 permits;

·Alberta—43,550 permits;

·Manitoba—19,765 permits;

·Nova Scotia—12,645 permits;

·Saskatchewan—10,550 permits;

·New Brunswick—9,640 permits;

·Newfoundland and Labrador—4,210 permits;

·Prince Edward Island—3,840 permits;

·Northwest Territories—260 permits; and

·Nunavut—60 permits.

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