ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 145 – August 14, 2009 (expired)

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

This Operational Bulletin has expired. Please refer to manual FW 1– Foreign Worker Manual for current information.

Changes to R204 Exemption Code T10 and New Provincial Authority


Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), through the signing of Canada-Provincial Immigration Agreements and their Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Annexes, is entering into bilateral agreements with provinces and territories on the movement of high and low-skilled TFWs destined to their jurisdictions.

Current status

Currently, the confirmation exemption code T10 is used for all types of agreements under section 204 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).

Changes to exemption code

As a result of the provincial Annexes coming into effect, various new provincial programs are being piloted and new provincial authorities are being exercised. For this reason, it is now necessary to distinguish between the three types of agreements under R204, in particular R204(c).

Therefore, effective August 14, 2009, exemption code T10 will be cancelled and will no longer exist to be used for work permits relevant to R204(a), (b) or (c). It will instead be split into three new exemption codes:

  • T11 – Canada-International Agreement, R204(a): These agreements are listed in a table in section 5.27 of FW 1. Note that the usual NAFTA and GATS exemption codes will continue to be used;
  • T12 – Provincial-International Agreement, R204(b): There are currently no agreements that influence the issuance of work permits; and
  • T13 – Canada-Provincial/Territorial Agreement, R204(c): See the “New provincial authority on the movement of TFWs – R204(c)” section below.

Revisions to FW 1 are forthcoming.

New provincial authority on the movement of TFWs – R204(c)

While various provincial pilot projects have been and will continue to be implemented as a result of the TFW Annexes (e.g. the issuance of open work permits to working-age dependents of skilled TFWs), this operational bulletin is meant to explain the portion of these agreements that enables provinces to request the issuance of work permits to specified individuals without requiring a labour market opinion. It is a new line of business similar to TFWs supported by provinces through the nomination process of their Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).

The following excerpts are from the agreements defining the provincial authority:

  • Canada and [province] agree that, pursuant to section 204(c) of the IRPR, Canada may issue work permits to TFWs destined to [province] without requiring a labour market opinion (described in section 203 of the IRPR) when [province] has provided CIC with a written recommendation to do so.
  • In exercising this authority, [province] may recommend the entry of TFWs whose presence in [province] will promote economic development priorities in [province] such as securing significant business or industrial investments, encouraging business competitiveness and productivity, advancing scientific research and development, and encouraging the commercialization of research.
  • Work permit applications supported by a [provincial] recommendation will continue to be assessed against all other applicable IRPA and IRPR criteria, including the applicant’s ability to do the job and the likelihood that the applicant will voluntarily leave Canada at the end of the period authorized for their stay. In addition, the applicant must meet all admissibility criteria in order to obtain status as a temporary resident in Canada.

To date, only Ontario and Alberta have such agreements in effect, but other provinces will soon be following suit. The agreements currently in place can be seen at the following links:

Role of the provinces

In exercising its R204(c) authority, a province will provide the visa office with a letter containing the necessary details such as the name(s) and birthdate(s) of the individual(s) selected for the specific job, information about the employer and place of work, the duration of the job and how it fits in with the employer's broader operations. A copy of this letter will be attached to each TFW’s application and upon receipt, whether at a visa office or at a port of entry (POE), the application will be assessed for each individual as per usual procedures. Unlike the TFWs supported through the Provincial Nominee Program (TFWs-PNP), the provincially selected TFW (TFW-PS) does not require a nomination certificate.

The province of Ontario was the first province to use this authority in 2009. Alberta has not yet begun to use this authority.

Work permit instructions

A new exemption code – T13 – has been created for TFW-PS applicants, as well as for issued work permits related to any federal-provincial agreements including provincial pilots and programs in place and for TFWs supported through the PNP program. Note that code T10 no longer exists.

A) Remarks

TFW-PS or TFW-PNP should be entered in the “Remarks” field to facilitate differentiating between these two provincial selection types. (Note: Separate instructions will accompany the other pilots or programs related to the TFW Annexes.)


For provinces who have not yet signed a TFW Annex, only TFWs-PNP will continue to be processed as per instructions already available in FW 1, section 5.27, under “R204(c) Agreement entered into by the Minister with a Province”.


For TFWs-PS, provinces will not need to prove that the foreign national has been nominated for permanent residence by the province. They will provide a letter directly to the mission with the names of the employer and selected workers and will attach the same letter to each worker’s application. Visa-exempt applicants will present a copy of this letter at a POE. For now only Ontario and Alberta have signed TFW annexes. TFW-PS applications shall be processed like other TFW work permit applications, on a first come first serve basis.

D) Extensions

Two-year extensions (or other durations stated in the letter) may be issued, provided the province has supplied the TFW with another letter affirming that the worker still meets the criteria for recommendation. Although no maximum was specified in the Agreements, as a general guideline three extensions for each TFW-PS can be issued.

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