Canada: IRCC Considers New Work Permit Processing Method for Foreign Workers

IRCC is considering a new method to process work permits for foreign workers. The proposed approach targets individuals seeking to renew their work permits for continued employment with the same employer and in the same occupation.

A recent Access to Information Request (ATIP) obtained by CIC News reveals that Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is exploring a potential new approach to processing work permits for certain foreign workers.

The proposal, introduced in December 2022, specifically targets individuals who already possess a Canadian work permit and are seeking to renew it for continued employment in the same occupation with the same employer. While IRCC has not confirmed this information, it signals a potential shift in the department’s strategies.

IRCC’s Plan to Reduce Inventories

IRCC is proposing the deployment of a new work permit processing system as part of an ambitious Action Plan to reduce inventory, improve client service, and alleviate labour shortages in Canada.

This strategy is in line with Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC) objective to make work permit renewals for the Temporary Foreign Worker Programme (TFWP) easier.


The Proposed Process

The proposed procedure calls for the daily extraction of applications from the Global Case Management System (GMCS) and placement in specified folders. It is important to emphasise that the procedure will not be automated since officials will assess each work permit applicant individually for approval.

Their review will involve an assessment of the applicant’s experience, education, language ability, and any licensing needs.

Assessment of Genuine Employment Offers

The officer responsible for processing work permit applications will ascertain the authenticity of the job offer by investigating whether the employer is actively involved in their business, possesses the ability to pay employee wages, and complies with both federal and provincial employment laws.

Scope and Eligibility

The suggested approach will apply to candidates who are returning to the same employer and occupation, whether from inside Canada or abroad.


Data obtained through the ATIP reveals that between January 2017 and August 31, 2022, IRCC received 71,955 applications from foreign workers who were issued two or more work permits for the same employer and occupation.

This suggests that the proposed measures may be beneficial to a large number of people.

Eligibility Criteria

To be considered eligible for the new processing method, candidates must meet the following requirements:

  1. Previously issued an employer-specific work permit within the past five years without any discrepancies.
  2. Submit a complete work permit application for a new employer-specific work permit.
  3. Return to the same occupation, holding the same National Occupation Classification (NOC) code.
  4. Provide biometrics either before or along with their new application.
  5. Fulfil all other admissibility requirements throughout the screening process.

Overview of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)

The TFWP is designed to assist Canadian employers in filling job vacancies when they cannot find qualified or sufficient domestic candidates. Employees who arrive under this program are granted closed work permits, which restrict them to work solely for the designated employer in Canada.


Employers intending to hire foreign workers through the TFWP are generally required to obtain a positive or neutral Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from ESDC.

The LMIA outlines the employer’s hiring plan and justifies the need to hire foreign workers, highlighting the positive or neutral impact it would have on Canada’s economy.

Employers must demonstrate that they made efforts to recruit qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents before seeking foreign workers.

Compliance with Government Regulations

Following the commencement of employment, employers may be subject to government inspections to ensure compliance with relevant regulations.



As IRCC considers a new method of processing work permits for certain foreign workers, its proposed approach aims to streamline the renewal process, reduce inventories, and address labour shortages in Canada. While awaiting confirmation from IRCC, the potential changes could significantly impact eligible individuals seeking to continue their employment with the same employer in the same occupation

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of, he's passionate about writing.

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