Canadian immigration update: Reducing Canadian temporary residents intake by 2027

3 minute read
28 March 2024

On March 21, 2024, Marc Miller, serving as the Minister overseeing Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), unveiled the government's strategy to curtail the influx of temporary residents within the next three years.

The category of "temporary residents" in Canada includes international students, temporary foreign workers and asylum seekers.

The federal government aims to reduce the proportion of temporary residents in Canada from the existing level of 6.2 per cent of Canada's population to 5 per cent by 2027.  This would equate to a 19 per cent reduction in the number of temporary residents over the three-year timeframe. There are currently about 2.5 million temporary residents in Canada.

The federal government will convene with provincial and territorial representatives to discuss immigration strategies and levels planning for temporary residents. The final targets are to be determined by the fall of 2024.

For further details, see Marc Miller's speaking notes regarding the announcement.

How this may affect your business

This announcement makes it clear that Canada will be introducing more restrictive temporary resident policies, including policies relating to temporary workers.  We are likely to see more restrictions placed on work permit programs. This will affect the ability of Canadian employers to hire or access foreign national workers.

A recent example of this restrictive trend is the March 21 announcement that as of May 1, 2024 LMIAs will be valid for six months (down from 12 months).  Additionally, employers identified in the 2022 Workforce Solutions Road Map will see a reduction from 30 per cent to 20 per cent of their workforce that can be hired through the low wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (with the exception of the construction and health care sectors).

This trend is also in keeping with Canada's study permit announcements and visa changes earlier this year, which placed more restrictions on those temporary resident programs.

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