the CanadaVisa Team - 10 July, 2015
Temporary foreign workers in Alberta facing a looming deadline to leave Canada have been offered an opportunity to apply for bridging work permits while their applications for permanent residence through a provincial nomination are in process.
The new measures will assist more than 1,000 temporary foreign workers transition to permanent residence if they have already applied under the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) but risk having their work permits expire before their applications are processed. The measures came into immediate effect on February 1.
Federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney announced the transitional measures in order to “help address legitimate concerns that have been raised by employers in Alberta.”
This measure affects those workers who arrived in 2011 or earlier and had been facing an April 1 deadline to leave the country. They will now be eligible for a one-time, one-year bridging work permit, as long as they have already applied for immigration through the AINP and are waiting for word on their status. There is a limit of four years on the length of time a temporary foreign worker may work in Canada on temporary work permits.
Moreover, the government of Canada will provide a one-time exemption to these workers that will prevent them from being counted under rules that require employers to ensure no more than 10 per cent of their workforce is made up of low-wage temporary foreign workers. The exemption will mean employers can continue to seek approvals to bring in new foreign workers while their existing workers pursue permanent immigration to Canada.