In a significant development that will be of benefit to thousands of Indian professionals and other foreigners working in Canada, the government of the North American nation has announced that beginning in the upcoming year; it will grow its work permit eligibility to include family members of Open Work Permit (OWP) holders to alleviate severe shortages in the labor force.
Because of the Open Work Permit, foreign nationals can find employment in Canada at any company for any position.
On Friday, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, Sean Fraser, announced that his department will begin issuing work permits to family members of temporary foreign workers for all skill levels.
It has become difficult for employers in Canada, including those in the tourism industry, to find the workers they require due to the rapid pace at which the economy has been recovering.
The extension of work permits to include family members of temporary foreign workers in Canada was announced by the Honorable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, and the Honorable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance.
Expanding the pool of people eligible to apply for work permits in Canada to include family members who accompany the principal applicant to the country will help alleviate the issue of labor shortages by making it easier for employers to find the workers they require.
Before this announcement, the only way for a spouse to qualify for a work permit was if the primary applicant was employed in a profession that required a high level of expertise.
By preventing workers’ families from being separated for extended periods, this temporary measure seeks to improve the workers’ mental health, physical health, and financial stability. Consequently, it is anticipated that the employee will be able to integrate into their overall work environment and the community more successfully.
Beginning in January 2023, the government of Canada will implement a temporary measure that will last for two years. As part of this measure, spouses and children of working age will be eligible to work in Canada on a phased basis, and this expansion will apply to workers of all skill levels.
Families of workers in industries such as health care, trades, and hospitality would fall into this category, for example. It is predicted that family members of more than 200,000 foreign workers could resume work in Canada as a result of this new approach. This would provide a greater opportunity for foreign workers searching for work in Canada and employers looking to address their labor needs.
Implementation Of Temporary Measure
To ensure the temporary measure’s success, it will be rolled out in three stages:
- In the first phase, open work permits will be made available to family members of workers entering Canada via the high-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program.
- Phase 2 will involve consultations with stakeholders and an attempt to extend the measure to the families of low-wage Temporary Foreign Worker Program participants.
- As part of the third phase, we will speak with agricultural partners and stakeholders to determine whether or not extending the measure to agricultural employees’ families in terms of operations is feasible.
Canada’s government will continue to create laws to assist businesses in meeting their staffing needs across a wide range of skill sets, and immigration will continue to play a critical role in alleviating the country’s labor shortages.
Why does Canada need more people?
Although Canada has long understood the significance of immigration to the nation’s economic, demographic, and social well-being, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the country’s demand for foreigners.
Immigration has become a central priority for economic health and recovery in the aftermath of a pandemic that will affect 2020 and 2021. As the country continues to face record-high job vacancies, varying levels of unemployment, and a continuous flow of retirees, immigration has become a central priority.
According to Minister Fraser’s announcement on December 2nd, there were around seven working Canadians for every retiree who left the labor field ten years ago. Currently, there are approximately two working people for every retired person, but given how things are going, that ratio is projected to drop to one or two in the next ten to fifteen years.
If these numbers don’t go up, Canada won’t have the qualified workforce it needs to maintain its most important industries, including healthcare and education, much less its economic development or health.
Modifications to government policy like the one described above will be necessary milestones in ensuring the continued well-being of Canadian society.
Through the Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025, the IRCC has already committed to allowing more than 1.45 million new immigrants into the country by the year 2025’s end!
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