Temporary Foreign Workers’ family to gain work permit eligibility with effect from January 30, 2023. Sean Fraser recently talked about the work permit extension for families of the chief applicants. This extension will apply to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and International Mobility Program. Moreover, this initiative will enable Canada to fight severe labor shortages.
Temporary Foreign Workers’ family to gain work permit eligibility
According to the new policy, work permit extensions will apply to specific individuals. Also, they will need to fulfill the following conditions to gain eligibility for work permits:
- They must be related to the work permit holder as a spouse, dependent child, and common-law partner.
- Need to work under any job of the TEER category ranging from 0 to 5.
- Must be the chief applicant with an Open Work permit. For instance, Post-Graduation Work Permit holders are applicable for all skill levels.
- Being a common-law partner, spouse, and dependent child of a work permit holder who is also a PR applicant under the economic class.
Those ineligible to apply at the moment include common-law partners, spouses, and dependents related to employees in a TEER 4 or 5 job. These jobs will fall under the category of low wage stream, which is a part of the following:
- Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program; and
- Agricultural Stream under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
New work permits and their role
Earlier, only spouses and families of chief applicants in high-skilled professions could access work permits. However, now the government has taken the initiative to issue temporary work permits to the family members of the temporary foreign workers. By doing so, the government helps the workers gain financial stability, reunite families and enable them to assimilate into the communities.
Also, Canada issued around 645,000 work permits between January and October the last year. Contrarily, in 2021 the same period witnessed 163,000 work permits. Last year, the work permits were four times the number issued in 2021.
This initiative by the government will last for nearly two years and also includes above 16-year-old children (working age group) of chief applicants across all skill levels. Additionally, families of workers working in the healthcare sector, trades, and hospitality are a part of this new measure. As estimated, the program will enable the families of more than 200,000 foreign employees to join the Canadian workforce.
Last year in December, the minister stated that Canadian employers continue to recognize a lack of workers as a major hindrance. However, the new declaration about this measure will help employers hire the workers they require to bridge the labor market gap. They will extend the work permits to families for all skill levels. Furthermore, this act will help more than 200,000 family members of the temporary workers to gain Canadian work experience.
He further claimed that the Canadian government is willing to assist employers in filling the labor market shortage. It will also take care of the workers and reunite them with their family members.
Execution of the measure to come in three phases
The execution of this temporary measure will primarily take place in three phases. However, the dates of these three phases are undecided as of now.
The three phases are as follows:
- Phase 1 will assist the workers’ family members to come to Canada under the high wage stream to apply for an Open Work Permit. This stream will be a part of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the IMP.
- Phase 2 works with the objective of extending this initiative to the workers’ family members under the low-wage stream of the TFWP.
- Phase 3 will focus on agricultural partners’ and stakeholders’ consultations to evaluate the functional probability of the extension to agricultural workers’ family members.