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On March 21, 2024, Canada announced that it would be introducing temporary resident targets for the first time. One likely practical impact of this is that the IEC quotas may shrink in the coming years. But those in Canada on IEC permits may also face challenges staying in Canada after their IEC program ends.

There is a lot of uncertainty about Canada’s IEC and the temporary resident target. So, we have gathered some questions we expect IEC permit holders and future participants to have and answered them here: 

Key Takeaway: 

  • At the moment, we are waiting for the federal government to announce how these changes will affect temporary residents in Canada. No figures are currently available to outline exactly what impact these changes will have on the IEC program. 

Reminder: What is IEC?

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I am waiting in the IEC pool- will this announcement reduce my chances of being invited in the coming rounds of invitations?

Not directly. The government recently announced that it would reduce the number of working holiday invitations for the next few rounds of invitations, and we saw a very low number of invitations sent out in the week of March 22. This seems to be related to processing efficiencies and not the recently announced temporary resident targets. We make this conclusion based on two factors: 

  1. The government’s IEC rounds of invitations pages highlight that the reduced number of invitations for the working holiday program is temporary and that levels will return to normal soon. 
  2. IRCC has already announced its quotas and levels for 2024 and it is unlikely that it will walk these back. 

However, it is possible that we will see a reduced quota in 2025. So, if you’re unsuccessful in receiving an invitation in 2024, it may be even more competitive in 2025. This is particularly relevant for countries that have extremely high demand for working holiday spots, such as France, Costa Rica, Chile, South Korea, and Taiwan. (That is, assuming the high demand in these countries does not change between now and 2025.)

Related: You can read our analysis on the weekly IEC draws and what to take away from them.

I am currently in Canada for a working holiday, but I need to renew my work permit with an LMIA. Will this be possible?

This will remain possible, but it may be more challenging in the future, especially if you work in an industry outside of healthcare, construction, or agriculture.

The reason it may be more challenging is that most employers which were able to increase the percentage of their workforce that were temporary foreign workers will now be required to reduce their reliance on temporary workers. 

In percentage terms, many employers were able to have up to 30% of their workforce made up of temporary foreign workers in the low wage stream. From May 1, 2024 onwards, these employers will be subject to a 20% cap on temporary foreign workers in the low wage stream unless they operate in the health care or construction industry.   

So, if you are working for an employer that has a higher volume of temporary workers within its workforce and is not in the agricultural, construction, or health care sector, you may not be successful in applying for a temporary work permit via an LMIA. This may have a significant impact on IEC workers, since many work in hospitality in Canada and this is not an exempt sector. 

There are other options available for you, however. You might consider permanent residence through Express Entry. The Canadian Experience Class may be relevant, however at the moment federal draws require an extremely high CRS. Provincial Nominee Programs might offer better prospects, particularly in Alberta, which has just recently adopted a Tourism and Hospitality stream. 

If you hope to stay in Canada beyond your IEC validity, we strongly encourage you to start planning early so you can meet the requirements of any immigration pathways open to you. Our immigration quiz might be helpful in this regard.

Read more: How to stay in Canada after IEC?

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Will they reduce the age limit for IEC participation? 

We don’t think that it’s likely the government will reduce the age limit for IEC participation at this time.

 

Will more PR options become available for IEC workers?

In the announcement, Minister Miller suggested an intent to make PR more available to temporary workers in Canada. Whilst no details of this have been announced, there are a number of ways this can be achieved on both a federal and provincial level. As soon as we have more information on this, we will let you know.  You can subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with the latest Canadian immigration news.

About the author

Stephanie Ford profile picture

Stephanie Ford

She/Her
Finance, Law and Immigration Writer
Stephanie is a content marketer who has written for law firms (with a focus on immigration and privacy), legal tech companies, and finance professionals for more than 9 years. She earned a Bachelor of Laws and a Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning in Australia. Stephanie is now a permanent resident of Canada and a full-time writer at Moving2Canada.
Read more about Stephanie Ford
Citation "Canada’s IEC and the Temporary Resident Targets: What To Expect." Moving2Canada. . Copy for Citation

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