Work Permits for Families of Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada
Canada has introduced a number of temporary measures to increase its immigration targets for 2023. The introduction of a new policy that allows family members of temporary foreign workers to apply for work permits is one of the most significant of these measures.
The New Strategy
Under the new policy, temporary foreign workers who have been employed in Canada for a minimum of one year and who have valid work permits may apply for open work permits for their spouses, common-law partners, and dependent children. The open work permits will allow family members to work for up to two years in Canada.
As part of the federal government’s response to rising economic immigration, the new policy went into effect on January 30. It aims to assist families in maintaining their incomes following a pandemic.
It is also believed that the move will benefit the Canadian economy, as it will allow more people to participate in the labor market. This could reduce the economic impact of the pandemic and ensure that the nation’s economy remains robust during this time.
In addition to open work permits, the new policy permits family members to apply for study permits,
allowing them to pursue studies in Canada. This will not only provide valuable educational opportunities, but it may also aid in the future recruitment of highly skilled foreign workers to Canada.
The new policy is a step in the right direction that could make it possible for temporary foreign workers and their families to remain in Canada during the pandemic.
It is a recognition of the significant contributions these workers have made to the Canadian economy over the past year, as well as the hardships they have endured. It remains to be seen how effective the policy will be, but it is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.
Incorporation in Phases
The Canadian government has announced the implementation of a new temporary measure in three phases to ensure its success. The dates for the second and third phases have not been disclosed as of yet.
- In Phase One, family members of workers entering Canada under the high-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program may apply for an open work permit.
- After a series of discussions, Phase Two will include an expansion of the policy to include family members of Temporary Foreign Worker Program low-wage stream employees.
Phase Three will involve additional consultation with agricultural partners and stakeholders to assess the operational viability of extending the measure to agricultural workers’ families.
What is an Open Work Permit for Foreign Workers’ Spouses and Dependent Children?
Foreign temporary workers are permitted to bring their spouses and dependent children to Canada. This is subject to certain conditions, and family members must obtain an Open Work Permit (OWP). The OWP allows temporary foreign workers’ families to live, work, and study in Canada.
To qualify for an OWP, the foreign worker must have a valid work permit and be employed full-time in Canada. The duration of the OWP will coincide with that of the foreign worker’s work permit. In addition to meeting the aforementioned requirements, family members must also pass health and security screenings.
Once an OWP has been issued, the holder is permitted to work for any employer and in any occupation in Canada. During their time in Canada, family members of foreign workers can also apply for a study permit.
Additionally, the OWP permits foreign workers to temporarily leave Canada while their family members remain in the country. The permit is valid for the duration of the foreign worker’s work permit, irrespective of the foreign worker’s length of stay in Canada.
The OWP is an excellent option for the families of temporary foreign workers who wish to live and work in Canada.
The permit enables family members to work, study, and travel in Canada without requiring a separate work or study permit. Employers seeking to hire foreign workers and their families also benefit, as obtaining the necessary permits is simplified.