Need a temporary foreign worker? Good news! Faster work permit processing times & a new short-term work permit option

Global Publication November 2016

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced that it plans to reduce visa and work permit processing times for certain workers to two weeks and introduce a short-term work permit exemption for intracompany transferees and experts who will work in Canada for fewer than 30 days per year.


Canada’s Minister of Finance stated in his 2016 Fall Economic Statement that long work permit processing times are making it difficult for Canadian employers to attract the foreign talent they require to succeed. Currently, work permits can take upwards of four months to process.

Reduced work permit processing times

In light of this, IRCC has announced plans to create a Global Skills Strategy that will reduce visa and work permit processing times to two weeks. This initiative will look to support:

  • High-growth Canadian companies that need global talent to facilitate and accelerate investments that create jobs and economic growth. Such companies would need to demonstrate that the employment of the foreign worker would result in labour market benefits such as increased investment, knowledge transfer and creation of Canadian jobs; and
  • Global companies that are making a positive economic contribution to Canada, be it through investments, establishing new production or expanding production, or the creation of new Canadian jobs.

Short-term work permit exemption

IRCC also plans to introduce a work permit exemption for intracompany transferees, international exchange students and experts entering Canada to work for fewer than 30 days per year.

Benefits to employers and foreign nationals

These proposed changes will benefit Canadian employers and temporary foreign workers as it will facilitate the entry of foreign talent to train Canadian workers and drive innovation. This will result in more jobs for Canadians and a stronger economy.

We will provide additional information on these proposed initiatives as soon as it is available.

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