Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has confirmed that it will repeal the cumulative duration regulation limit for temporary foreign workers next spring.

Section 200(3)(g) of the Immigration and Refugees Protection Regulations, also known as the "four-in-four-out rule", denied work permits to foreign nationals who had worked in Canada for one or more periods totaling four years — unless the applicant met one of three exceptions.

The Government of Canada introduced a temporary public policy in December 2016 that provided an exemption to the regulation, saying the cumulative duration regulation limit “disproportionately targets certain sectors of the economy due to its application to lower-skilled and technical occupations in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.”

The public policy notice says the limit was designed “to prevent growth of a long-term temporary foreign worker movement of individuals who are unable to transition to permanent residence,” but had become unpopular with Canadian employers.

The regulation’s elimination was recommended by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. IRCC said in its public policy that “eliminating the effect of the regulation now will prevent further disruption of the seasonal worker movement, encourage foreign workers to remain in status, and give more time to technical workers, who qualify, to transition to permanent residence.”

IRCC says its temporary public policy will remain in effect until the repeal is implemented.