Is it possible for a family of Temporary Foreign Workers to get a work permit and stay in Canada?

Families of high-wage stream participants in the International Mobility Program or the Temporary Foreign Worker Program are eligible to apply for an open work permit.

As of today, January 30, certain temporary foreign workers’ (TFWs’) families will be eligible for work visas.

The temporary foreign worker program (TFWP) and international mobility program (IMP), according to immigration minister Sean Fraser, would temporarily extend work permits to relatives of principal applicants. By taking this measure, Canada will help address its persistent labor shortage.

Everyone who meets the following criteria is now qualified for a work visa, per the updated policy:

They are a work permit holder’s spouse, common-law partner, or dependent child who:

1) holds a position in any TEER category (Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities) from 0 to 5, or;

2) is the main applicant and possesses a valid work permit (for example: post-graduation work permit holders at all skill levels).

• They are an economic class permanent resident applicant’s spouse, common-law partner, or dependant child who also has a work visa.

At this time, applications from wives, common-law partners, or dependents of workers are not accepted for the low-wage stream of the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program or the agricultural stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

New licenses will facilitate integration.

First before law went into effect today, wives and family members of major candidates in high-skilled positions were the only ones eligible for work visas. The government will temporarily provide work licenses to TFWs’ spouses, dependent children, and common-law partners in order to reduce some of the pressure on workers, improve financial stability, and make it easier for families to stay together and integrate into their communities.

Between January and October 2022, Canada issued about 645,000 work visas. This is about four times as many as the 163,000 issued over the same time period in 2021.

For the following two years, the policy will cover children of principal applicants of all skill levels who are working age (16 years or older). Families of workers in the hospitality, trades, and healthcare sectors are included. This program is expected to allow the families of more than 200,000 foreign workers to work in Canada.

“Today’s decision will assist firms in filling their labor shortages by extending work permits to family members at all skill levels. As a result, over 200,000 international employees’ families will be able to find employment in Canada. Our government will keep assisting businesses in meeting labor shortages,” the minister said in Edmonton in December.

The three phases of implementation for the measure

The interim solution will be implemented in three stages to ensure its success. The start and end dates for phases two and three have not yet been disclosed:

• Family members of employees who enter Canada through the International Mobility Program or the high-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program are eligible to apply for an open work visa under Phase 1.

• The policy will be expanded to cover family members of workers from the low-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in Phase 2, following consultation.

• Phase 3 would involve consultations with stakeholders and partners in agriculture to ascertain whether it is feasible to apply the policy to family members of agricultural workers.

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