In A Major Policy Shift, The Federal Government Will Limit Entry Of Temporary Foreign Workers Into Canada in 2024

In A Major Policy Shift, The Federal Government Will Limit Entry Of Temporary Foreign Workers Into Canada in 2024

The Canadian Immigration Minister has made an important announcement recently that can have a serious impact on temporary immigrant workers coming into the country. According to Minister Marc Miller, there will be a limit placed on the number of temporary foreign workers visiting Canada in 2024.

The system has “run a bit rampant for far too long,” he added.

Mr. Miller says he believes there exists a connection between the increase in the number of international students and temporary workers coming into the country and the housing scarcity faced by the nation.

Talking to the press, the Minister pointed out the very visible surge in the number of people residing in the country temporarily. The observation by Mr. Miller is seen as a direct outcome of the disclosure by Statistics Canada. The data revealed that the country’s population grew by a huge margin of 430,000 in the third quarter of 2023. This is also the country’s fastest growth in population in any quarter since 1957.

Statscan Canada estimates that the population of Canada has surpassed 40.5 million. Immigration is the primary cause for this substantial growth in the third quarter, involving approximately 313,000 non-permanent residents. A majority of these non-permanent residents arrived in Canada with work or study permits.

The Minister asserted that the challenges related to housing and the rising number of temporary residents have become more intertwined, presenting evidence of a clear correlation. He said the ministry has planned serious reforms to address this influx at the commencement of 2024.

The Minister made it very clear that the government is not targeting individuals here. They are only trying to control the impact of such rampant immigration on the system.

His statement linking the number of temporary foreign residents to the supply of housing reflects a major shift in the stance of the federal government on this subject.

“It’s clear that that does put pressure on the system and particularly our housing needs,” he said.

Temporary foreign residents reach Canada by applying as international students. They acquire postgraduate work permits for prolonged stays or as temporary agricultural laborers. Individuals from Ukraine seeking refuge due to the war also fall within this category.

Mr. Miller recently announced some modifications to the international student program. These changes are aimed at limiting numbers. These modifications include a twofold increase in the financial threshold that applicants must demonstrate to cover their living expenses.

He said there are plans to stop provinces, such as Ontario, from licensing substandard colleges as they deliver a less-than satisfying experience to many international students. There are also plans on the anvil to deny study permits if there is no action taken on colleges creating international graduates like “puppy mills.”

According to Mr. Miller, the provinces must take corrective steps urgently or the federal government will be forced to step in.

“Turning off the tap from the federal government is a pretty rough instrument, and if provinces can’t get their houses in order, we’re prepared to do it,” he added.

Mr. Miller also hinted at introducing key reforms in the postgraduate work permit system for international students and the temporary foreign workers program. 

“Both represent increased volume that we’ve seen jump astronomically in the last few years, even when you net out the period during COVID,” he said.

Mr. Miller acknowledged that the situation has resulted in unforeseen consequences, and there is a need for immediate implementation of corrective measures. He expressed the readiness of the federal government to address the issue and said the government is fully prepared to take action.

However, he emphasized that any intervention must be accompanied by substantial discussions with the impacted jurisdictions to ensure their proactive engagement in fulfilling their responsibilities.

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