In order to prevent unnecessary hardship and instability for both workers and employers, Citizenship and Immigration has announced that the four-year cumulative duration rule will no longer apply to all current and future work permit applications, effective immediately.

The cumulative duration rule, known as the “four-in, four-out” rule, was put in place in April 2011, limiting work for some temporary foreign workers in Canada to four years who then became ineligible to work in Canada for the next four years.

If an applicant departed Canada because they had previously met the four-year cumulative duration limit, they may apply for a new work permit without having remained outside Canada for four years.


As part of CIC’s efforts to ensure that Canadians have first access to available job opportunities, the Government will require low-wage employers, where appropriate, to advertise to more than one, and up to four, under-represented groups in the workforce—youth, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people and newcomers. CIC has not announced when these changes will come into effect, however we will keep you up to date on this revision to the advertising requirements.
The Government will maintain the cap on the proportion of low-wage temporary foreign workers that can be employed at a given worksite at 20 percent for employers who accessed the Program prior to June 20, 2014, and at 10 percent for new users of the Program after that date. The exemption on the cap for seasonal industries seeking temporary foreign workers for up to 180 days during the 2017 calendar year will be extended until December 31, 2017.