Canada is extending work permits to family members of temporary workers
Starting in January 2023, Canada will extend work permits to spouses and working-age children of temporary foreign workers. Before this announcement, spouses were only eligible for a work permit if the principal applicant was working in a high-skill occupation. With this new temporary 2-year measure, it is estimated that family members of more than 200,000 foreign workers could begin working in Canada. This would include families of workers in health care, trades and hospitality, for example.
The measure, which aims to improve the emotional well-being of workers, was announced on December 2nd by the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, and the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism. According to the Ministers, expanding the eligibility for work permits to family members will also help address labour shortages.
“Everywhere I go, employers across the country continue to identify a lack of workers as their biggest obstacle. Today’s announcement will help employers find the workers they need to fill their labour gaps by expanding work permits to family members at all skill levels, resulting in family members of over 200,000 foreign workers being able to work in Canada.”The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
How will this new measure be implemented?
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will implement the temporary measure in 3 phases:
- Phase 1 will enable family members of workers coming to Canada through the high-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program to apply for an open work permit.
- Phase 2 aims to expand the measure to the family members of workers from the low-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, following consultations.
- Phase 3 will include consultation with agricultural partners and stakeholders to assess operational feasibility for expanding the measure to family members of agricultural workers.
It is important to mention that between January and October 2022, Canada issued over 645,000 work permits. It is nearly 4 times more than the 163,000 issued over the same period in 2021.
The Government of Canada will continue to implement policies that help employers with their staffing needs across all skill levels.
How to work in Canada?
Canada is one of the top 10 economies on earth. Many people around the world dream to work and live in Canada. In fact, Canada welcomes more than 250,000 temporary foreign workers every year. Of course, these people work in different sectors such as agriculture, IT, manufacturing, natural resources, etc. Nonetheless, some of them are researchers or highly skilled workers and some of them are low-skilled workers. Our CEO and RCIC-IRB, Al Parsai, shared three steps to work in Canada:
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