Families of certain temporary foreign workers are now eligible for a Canadian work permit as a temporary measure

From today, 30 January, family members of some temporary foreign workers (TFW) will be eligible for a work permit.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said temporarily extending work permits to family members of key applicants in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP). This measure will help Canada deal with the permanent labor shortage.

Under the new policy, the eligibility for work permit has been extended to those who meet the following criteria:

  • They are the spouse, common-law partner or dependent child of the work permit holder:
  • They are the spouse, common-law partner or dependent child of a permanent resident applicant in an economic category who holds a work permit.

Spouses, common-law partners and dependents who work in a TEER 4 or 5 job under the low-wage stream of the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program and the agricultural stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program are not eligible to apply at this time.

New permit to make integration easier

Until the measure went into effect today, work permits were only available to spouses and family members of applicants majoring in high-skilled occupations. By temporarily issuing work permits to spouses, dependents and common-law partners of TFWs, the government hopes to ease workers’ stress by improving financial stability and making it easier for families to stay together and integrate into their communities Is.

Between January and October 2022, Canada issued more than 645,000 work permits. This is almost four times more than the 163,000 issued over the same period in 2021.

The measure will run for the next two years and will cover working-age children of prime applicants, 16 and older, of all skill levels. This includes families of workers in healthcare, business and hospitality. It is estimated that the program will make it possible for more than 200,000 foreign worker families to enter the Canadian workforce.

“Everywhere I go, employers across the country continue to identify the labor shortage as their biggest obstacle,” the minister said last December in Edmonton. “Today’s announcement will help employers find the workers they need to fill their labor gap by extending work permits to family members at all skill levels, resulting in more than 200,000 family members of foreign workers working in Canada. Will be able to. Our government will continue to help employers meet staff shortages, while also supporting the well-being of workers and uniting their families.”

Measurement will begin in three phases

The temporary measure will be implemented in 3 phases to ensure its successful implementation. Dates for phase two and three are yet to be announced:

  • 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 extend the measure to family members of workers from the low-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program after consultation.
  • Phase 3 will involve consultation with agricultural partners and stakeholders to assess the operational feasibility of extending the measure to family members of agricultural workers.

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