Dec 13, 2022
CanadaWork PermitFamily SponsorshipSuper News
The spouse and children of temporary workers can apply for Open Work Permits soon
Canada will expand the eligibility for work permits to temporary foreign workers’ spouses and working-age children in 2023.
Canada’s economy is recovering from the pandemic, but some employers have trouble finding the workers they need.
Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will expand the eligibility of Open Work Permits (OWP) to the family members of some current Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) work permit holders.
Immigration minister Sean Fraser claimed that expanding the eligibility for work permits to temporary foreign workers’ spouses and working-age children will help employers fill open positions, therefore addressing a labour shortage.
Starting in January 2023, Canada will phase in the expansion of spouses and children of working age who are eligible to work there for all skill levels through a temporary 2-year measure. This will include, for instance, families of workers in the hospitality, trades, and healthcare sectors.
As a result of this policy change, the IRCC anticipates receiving more than 200,000 new work permit applications from families of people who already have work permits. The policy will provide more opportunities for both foreign workers looking for employment there and for companies trying to fill their labour shortages.
The temporary policy will be implemented in the following three phases. Note that IRCC has not announced their guidelines and specific dates when these changes will happen.
Phase 1: High-wage stream. It’s for family members of TFWP employees with higher salaries who have a work permit.
Phase 2: Low-wage stream. It’s for family members of TFWP employees with lower salaries who have a work permit.
Phase 3: Agricultural workers. It’s specifically for family members of seasonal agriculture workers.
If you’re interested in working in Canada or bringing your family members to Canada, this could be good news. Previously, many prospective foreign workers had to look for jobs at a higher skill level (NOC 0, A, B, or TEER 0,1,2,3). Only those jobs would allow their spouse and dependent children to also receive a work permit and stay in Canada with them for longer than 6 months.
With the new policy, foreign workers will have more freedom when applying for Canadian jobs while their families can accompany them throughout their stay in Canada. For those working in medium- and low-skilled jobs, their spouse can get a work permit now and they may have more immigration options as well.
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