"4-In, 4-Out" Rule Dropped from Temporary Foreign Worker Program

The federal government has announced it’s dropping the four-year cumulative duration requirement — also known as the “four-in, four-out” rule — from the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) effectively immediately.

It’s welcome news for agricultural employers and farm groups.

“The feedback we received from agricultural stakeholders is very supportive of these changes,” noted Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst, executive director of the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council, following the announcement on Tuesday.

The rule made temporary foreign workers who had accumulated four years in Canada ineligible to work in the country for the next four years.

“In many ways, the four-year rule put a great deal of uncertainty and instability on both temporary workers and employers. We had the sense that it was an unnecessary burden on applicants and employers, and also on officers who process applications,” said John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

An exemption on the cap for seasonal industries seeking temporary foreign workers for up to 180 days during the 2017 calendar year will also be extended until December 31, 2017.

The removal of the “four-in, four-out” rule was was one of 21 recommendations in a report on the TFWP from the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities released in September. Additional changes to immigration and the TFWP are expected to be announced in 2017.

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