The Honourable Ministers of Immigration, Tourism and Finance have announced a three phased plan to address the labour shortage challenges faced across Canada, by expanding the eligibility of temporary work permits to family members of the principal applicants. Expanding work permits to the spouses and working-age children of Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) will benefit employers in finding the employees they need to fill gaps in the labour market, as well as benefit the families of foreign workers by aiming to keep families together. 

The Honourable Sean Fraser emphasized the importance of this announcement, saying “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. Our government is going to continue helping employers overcome labour shortages, while also supporting the well-being of workers and uniting their families.”

The phased approach, allowing working age children and spouses of Temporary Foreign Workers to be eligible for open work permits, is set to begin in January 2023 for a two-year period. It is important to note that changes will not be made to the Temporary Foreign Work Program itself and instead these changes will apply only to eligible family members of the principal applicant.  

The first phase will extend open work permits to eligible family members of primary applicants under the high-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the International Mobility Program. Phase two will be directed to eligible family members of primary applicants under the low-wage stream of Temporary Foreign Workers. Lastly, phase three will focus on extending the open work permits to agricultural workers.  

Prior to this announcement, spouses and working-age children of Temporary Foreign Workers were not afforded with the same allowances of receiving a permit to work in Canada as the principal applicant. Only spouses of a principal applicant, working with a work permit in a high-skill occupation, were eligible for a work permit. The joint announcement is intended to help all industries across Canada currently experiencing labour shortages, including the tourism industry, to find and hire the workers they require. The phased plan also addresses the need to keep foreign family units together by aiming to promote positive emotional, physical and mental health among these familial units.

This three-phased framework is essential to ensure Canada’s future prosperity as it immediately increases the number of eligible workers admitted to Canada, as at present time, close to one million jobs remain vacant. 

Temporary Foreign Workers immigrating to Canada will continue to be one of the keys to success when addressing issues encountered within the labour market such as vast shortages. If you and your family are looking to immigrate to Canada, book a consultation with Brace Law to help explore available options and navigate this process together. With Brace Law, you can Consider It Handled. 

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