The New Federal Budget Brings Changes to Temporary Foreign Worker Program and Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
The recently-introduced 2017 federal budget has several implications for Canadian immigration. These include changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). These changes seek to improve the Canadian workforce, streamlining the delivery and processing of immigration programs and applications. For further information on obtaining Canadian work permits, contact an immigration lawyer in Canada.
The budget’s changes include additional funding for the TFWP and the International Mobility Program (IMP). These funds are meant to:
- improve the Global Skills Strategy;
- shorten processing times for temporary work permits; and
- attract highly skilled foreign workers.
There will also be the creation of new work permit categories that don’t require the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from employers before hiring a foreign worker.
The federal budget has allocated $7.8 million over two years to the Global Talent Stream (GTS). The GTS is meant to issue work permits to highly skilled workers. This allows Canadian companies to have access to talented workers, maintain competitiveness, increase investments, and promote job creation. The GTS will also help the growth of global companies who are relocating to Canada and create more jobs in Canada. The GTS will also create short-term work permit categories. These permits will allow for inter-company work exchanges, temporary expertise, and study exchanges for fewer than 30 days in a year.
Changes to the IRPA
The Canadian government also has plans to amend two parts of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). The first amendment will make it possible to efficiently manage the Express Entry system so it will be better able to meet the needs of the Canadian labour market. By doing so, the Comprehensive Rank Scoring will vary and depend on factors in the labour market—i.e. National Occupational Classification codes.
The second amendment will allow the Canadian government to update immigration application fees in a timely manner. This could lead to an increase in application fees, or to their re-allocation, depending on immigration categories.
The Canadian government is also removing the LMIA application fees for families who wish to hire caregivers to take care of family members with extensive medical needs. There are plans to drop these for for households that make less than $150,000 and wish to hire caregivers for child care.
The extensive funding to the TFWP and the expected streamlining of the application process for skilled foreign workers is a clear benefit for both Canadian companies and foreign workers. The IRPA amendment to change the Express Entry system will benefit highly skilled workers; in turn, this will help meet the demands of the Canadian labour market. It could, however, make it more difficult for foreign workers in fields with less demand to get work permits in a reasonable amount of time. For more information and help with the work permit process, consult with a Canadian immigration lawyer.