The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is contemplating a fresh approach to handle work permit applications, primarily affecting the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) participants. Information from a recent Access to Information Request (ATIP) points towards a potential shift in the work permit renewal process for foreign workers already engaged in Canadian employment.
As yet, IRCC hasn’t confirmed this proposal, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on future developments.
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A New Strategy to Expedite Work Permit Processing
The suggested measure, first proposed in December 2022, aims to streamline the work permit renewal process for foreign workers looking to continue in the same occupation with their current Canadian employer. It’s a part of a broader IRCC Action Plan aiming to reduce backlog, enhance customer service, and swiftly address labour shortages in Canada.
The Global Case Management System (GMCS) would play a pivotal role in this new method, pulling applications daily into specific folders. Contrary to what one might expect, this process won’t be automated.
In the existing system, each work permit applicant undergoes an individual evaluation by an officer, who assesses their experience, education, language abilities, and any licensing requirements. Additionally, the authenticity of the employment offer is scrutinized. The proposed approach, however, would apply to any candidate returning to the same employer and occupation, whether applying from within Canada or overseas.
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Eligibility for the New Process
An insight into the ATIP data shows that from January 2017 to August 31, 2022, IRCC received 71,955 applications from foreign workers issued two or more work permits for the same employer and occupation. This suggests the proposed measures could bring significant benefits.
To be eligible for this new process, candidates must:
- Have been issued an employer-specific work permit in the past five years without discrepancies from the previous application
- Submit a comprehensive new employer-specific work permit application
- Be returning to the same occupation, with the same National Occupation Classification (NOC) code
- Provide biometrics, either prior to or with their new application
- Fulfill all other admissibility requirements throughout the screening process
Understanding the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
The TFWP aids Canadian employers in hiring employees when they struggle to find qualified personnel for vacant positions. TFWP participants arrive with closed work permits, meaning they can only work for one employer in Canada.
Hiring through the TFWP usually requires a positive or neutral Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) submitted to the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). This outlines the employer’s hiring plan and the necessity for foreign workers, ensuring their hiring won’t negatively impact Canada’s economy.
Employers must evidence their attempts to hire qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents for the vacancies before seeking foreign workers. After the foreign worker begins their job in Canada, employers may be inspected for compliance with government regulations.
In conclusion, the potential new approach to work permit processing proposed by IRCC is poised to bring significant improvements to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). By streamlining the renewal process for foreign workers already employed in Canada, this method could help expedite the processing times and make it more efficient. It would also align with the broader goals of reducing backlogs and enhancing client services.
While we await official confirmation from IRCC, it’s exciting to anticipate the positive impact this could have on the Canadian labor market and the experience of foreign workers in Canada. Stay tuned as we continue to follow this development and provide timely updates on the world of work permits in Canada.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the new proposed method for processing work permits by IRCC?
The proposed method aims to streamline the work permit renewal process for foreign workers who are continuing in the same occupation with their current Canadian employer. The new process will use the Global Case Management System (GMCS) to manage applications daily.
Who will be eligible for this new work permit process?
Those who have been issued an employer-specific work permit in the past five years with no discrepancies, intend to return to the same occupation, and meet all other admissibility requirements are eligible.
What is the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)?
TFWP is a program designed to help Canadian employers hire employees when they can’t find qualified individuals locally. Participants in this program have closed work permits, allowing them to work for a specific employer in Canada.
What is a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)?
A LMIA is a document required by most employers who hire through the TFWP. It outlines the employer’s hiring plan, the need for foreign workers, and demonstrates that hiring foreign workers will have a positive or neutral impact on Canada’s economy.
When will the new work permit processing method be confirmed by IRCC?
As of now, the IRCC has not confirmed the implementation of the new work permit processing method. We recommend staying updated with official IRCC communications for the latest news.