March Immigration Madness – Multiple Immigration Developments

Update to Public-Private College Partnerships for Students

The government previously announced that it would cancel the eligibility for post-graduation work permits (“PGWPs”) for students attending programs at private colleges that are subject to public-private curriculum licensing agreements. As part of the its ongoing efforts to limit the number of international students amidst increasing public opposition to more newcomers as a result of the housing and cost-of-living crises, it has now announced an update. Those who start their program at a private college that is part of a public-private curriculum arrangement after May 15, 2024, will not be eligible for a PGWP. The date has been moved forward from the previously announced date of September 1, 2024.

Temporary Resident Cap

Due to increased pressures from the housing and cost-of-living crises, the government is looking for ways to reduce the number of newcomers to Canada. In addition to students, it is now targeting the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (“TFWP”), and in particular, low-wage workers. As of May 1, 2024, the percentage of low-wage foreign workers who can make up a company’s workforce will be 20%; reduced from 30%. The healthcare and construction sectors will be exempt, and they will still be allowed to have foreign workers make up to 30% of their employees. Additionally, the validity of Labour Market Impact Assessments (“LMIAs”) will be 6 months; reduced from 12 months. Employers will also need to consider asylum seekers with valid open work permits before they can consider temporary foreign workers.

Iran – Measures for Temporary Residence

The government has announced the extension of the public policy to February 28, 2025, which exempts Iranian temporary residents (workers, students, visitors) from having to pay application and biometrics fees. Fees are also waived for Canadian citizens and permanent residents in Iran when applying for limited validity Canadian passports, citizenship certificates, and permanent resident travel documents.

Ukraine – Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (“CUAET”)

March 31, 2024, will be the last day that Ukrainians and their family members can enter Canada under the CUAET public policy. This public policy allows for the issuance of open work permits, study permits, or visitor status for up to 3 years to all Ukrainian citizens and their family members. Those in Canada have until March 31, 2024 to extend their status under the CUAET for up to 3 years, and settlement services will be available to them until March 31, 2025. After March 31, 2024, they will need to qualify and apply for temporary resident status under an existing category, and/or transition to permanent residence.

New Immigration Pilots to Support Rural and Francophone Communities

In fall 2024, the government is set to implement the Rural Community Immigration Pilot to bolster local businesses in rural communities and address labour shortages. It will provide a path to permanent residence. Details are yet to be finalized, but it is likely to be based on the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. Eventually, the government wishes to establish the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot as a permanent program.

Also in fall 2024, the Francophone Immigration Policy is set to be implemented. The government intends to increase the number of French-speaking newcomers to Francophone minority communities outside of Québec, and to restore the demographic weight of Francophones in Canada. The Francophone Immigration Policy will also provide a path to permanent residence and is yet to be finalized but will likely be based on the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot.

Alberta Provincial Nominee Program – Tourism and Hospitality Stream

Alberta’s tourism industry is booming and the province is implementing a new stream to provide a path to permanent residence for workers in its tourism and hospitality industry, including many occupations that are considered “low-skilled” and were not previously eligible for permanent residence. Applicants will need a valid job offer from an employer in the industry with whom they have worked for at least 6 months. Eligible occupations within the tourism and hospitality sector include recreation, sport, and fitness instructions; restaurant managers; food service supervisors; chefs; cooks; food counter attendants and kitchen helpers; bartenders; food and beverage servers; maîtres d’hôtel and hosts/hostesses; accommodation service managers; hotel clerks; tour and travel guides; support occupations in accommodation, travel, and facilities set-up; light duty cleaners; specialized cleaners; janitors, caretakers, and heavy-duty cleaners; dry cleaning and laundry occupations; and outdoor sports and recreation guides.

If you or your employee are interested in one of the new programs, or will be affected by any of the announced changes, reach out to one of our professionals today for a consultation. Our Canadian immigration legal professionals can be reached by phone (416-368-1111) or via email:;;;;;