On June 27, 2023, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, announced a new temporary measure that will eliminate the restriction on the duration of study programs available to temporary foreign workers without a study permit.
Through this measure, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) acknowledge the obstacles foreign workers face in pursuing the study programs of their choice to enhance their professional development and education.
Previously, foreign workers could study while working but were limited to programs lasting six months or less. A separate study permit had to be obtained if they desired to enroll in a longer program.
This has posed a challenge for foreign workers seeking to enhance their education and gain further training, particularly those needing to validate their foreign credentials through specific programs.
The new temporary measure will be in effect for three years. Foreign workers will now have the opportunity to study either full-time or part-time while holding a valid work permit without any restrictions on the program’s duration.
This temporary measure applies to individuals who possess a valid work permit or have a pending decision on their extension as of June 27, 2023. However, a foreign workers must apply for a study permit if they wish to pursue studies beyond their work permit.
This measure will facilitate the expansion of future job prospects for foreign workers and provide them with increased opportunities to transition to permanent residence by enhancing their Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) through higher levels of education or qualifying work experience.
Thanks to this new three-year temporary measure, foreign workers can now engage in full-time or part-time studies for their valid work permits or until the policy expires, with no limitations on the program’s length.
Foreign workers who possess a valid work permit or have submitted an application to renew their work permit on or before June 7, 2023, and are authorized to work, will be eligible for this temporary measure. However, should foreign worker desire to pursue studies beyond their work permit, they are still required to apply for a study permit.
“With the implementation of this policy, the aim is to empower foreign nationals to enhance their skills to achieve their career aspirations and fulfill their dreams while also creating a potential future source of talent for our labor market.
By eliminating barriers to skills development, they open doors for more internationally trained doctors and nurses to contribute to the well-being of our loved ones and support our healthcare system.
We also provide an avenue for construction laborers to become skilled tradespersons, thus strengthening our communities and constructing new homes. This immigration measure benefits employers, workers, and our economy by addressing critical labor shortages,” stated Sean Fraser.