Maximum Cumulative Duration of Work in Canada

On April 1, 2011, CIC introduced a regulatory amendment that establishes a 4-year cumulative duration limit a TFW can work in Canada. As a result, employers wishing to make a job offer to a TFW who has previously worked in Canada should be aware that TFWs reaching or close to reaching the 4-year limit may not be granted a new work permit, or an extension to their current work permit or they may have its duration limited. In addition, once the 4-year limit has been reached, the TFW will have to wait 4 years before being eligible to work in Canada again. The 4-year cumulative duration limit will only be counted starting from April 1, 2011 which means that as a result of this regulation, refusals of work permits will potentially begin April 1st, 2015.


Note: TFWs being hired under this stream for occupations, where the National Occupational Classification (NOC) code skill level is A, meaning the position requires a university degree (bachelor’s, masters or doctorate), such as a nurse, are exempt from the maximum cumulative duration.


The idea is that the TFW should apply for permanent residency & he/she is not exploited by the employer.


(NOC) code skill level A:

  • 1111 - Financial Auditors and Accountants

  • 1112 - Financial and Investment Analysts

  • 1113 - Securities Agents, Investment Dealers and Brokers

  • 1114 - Other Financial Officers

  • 1121 - Specialists in Human Resources

  • 1122 - Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management

  • 2111 - Physicists and Astronomers

  • 2112 - Chemists

  • 2113 - Geologists, Geochemists and Geophysicists

  • 2114 - Meteorologists

  • 2115 - Other Professional Occupations in Physical Sciences

  • 2121 - Biologists and Related Scientists

  • 2122 - Forestry Professionals

  • 2123 - Agricultural Representatives, Consultants and Specialists

  • 2131 - Civil Engineers

  • 2132 - Mechanical Engineers

  • 2133 - Electrical and Electronics Engineers

  • 2134 - Chemical Engineers

  • 2141 - Industrial and Manufacturing Engineers

  • 2142 - Metallurgical and Materials Engineers

  • 2143 - Mining Engineers

  • 2144 - Geological Engineers

  • 2145 - Petroleum Engineers

  • 2146 - Aerospace Engineers

  • 2147 - Computer Engineers (Except Software Engineers and Designers)

  • 2148 - Other Professional Engineers, n.e.c.

  • 2151 - Architects

  • 2152 - Landscape Architects

  • 2153 - Urban and Land Use Planners

  • 2154 - Land Surveyors

  • 2161 - Mathematicians, Statisticians and Actuaries

  • 2171 - Information Systems Analysts and Consultants

  • 2172 - Database Analysts and Data Administrators

  • 2173 - Software Engineers and Designers

  • 2174 - Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers

  • 2175 - Web Designers and Developers

  • 3111 - Specialist Physicians

  • 3112 - General Practitioners and Family Physicians

  • 3113 - Dentists

  • 3114 - Veterinarians

  • 3121 - Optometrists

  • 3122 - Chiropractors

  • 3123 - Other Professional Occupations in Health Diagnosing and Treating

  • 3131 - Pharmacists

  • 3132 - Dietitians and Nutritionists

  • 3141 - Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists

  • 3142 - Physiotherapists

  • 3143 - Occupational Therapists

  • 3144 - Other Professional Occupations in Therapy and Assessment

  • 3151 - Head Nurses and Supervisors

  • 3152 - Registered Nurses

  • 4111 - Judges

  • 4112 - Lawyers and Quebec Notaries

  • 4121 - University Professors

  • 4122 - Post-Secondary Teaching and Research Assistants

  • 4131 - College and Other Vocational Instructors

  • 4141 - Secondary School Teachers

  • 4142 - Elementary School and Kindergarten Teachers

  • 4143 - Educational Counsellors

  • 4151 - Psychologists

  • 4152 - Social Workers

  • 4153 - Family, Marriage and Other Related Counsellors

  • 4154 - Ministers of Religion

  • 4155 - Probation and Parole Officers and Related Occupations

  • 4161 - Natural and Applied Science Policy Researchers, Consultants and Program Officers

  • 4162 - Economists and Economic Policy Researchers and Analysts

  • 4163 - Business Development Officers and Marketing Researchers and Consultants

  • 4164 - Social Policy Researchers, Consultants and Program Officers

  • 4165 - Health Policy Researchers, Consultants and Program Officers

  • 4166 - Education Policy Researchers, Consultants and Program Officers

  • 4167 - Recreation, Sports and Fitness Program Supervisors and Consultants

  • 4168 - Program Officers Unique to Government

  • 4169 - Other Professional Occupations in Social Science, n.e.c.

  • 5111 - Librarians

  • 5112 - Conservators and Curators

  • 5113 - Archivists

  • 5121 - Authors and Writers

  • 5122 - Editors

  • 5123 - Journalists

  • 5124 - Professional Occupations in Public Relations and Communications

  • 5125 - Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters

  • 5131 - Producers, Directors, Choreographers and Related Occupations

  • 5132 - Conductors, Composers and Arrangers

  • 5133 - Musicians and Singers

  • 5134 - Dancers

  • 5135 - Actors and Comedians

  • 5136 - Painters, Sculptors and Other Visual Artists

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