Recently Announced Changes to Corporate Immigration Policies Will Make It Easier for Temporary Foreign Workers to Stay in Canada
Canadian farmers feeling the effects of labour shortages will be relieved as recent changes to corporate immigration laws allow temporary foreign workers to stay in Canada for longer. The change means employers can choose to renew the work permits of their employees.
In 2011, the Conservative government created a “four-in, four-out” immigration policy requiring lower-skilled temporary foreign workers to leave Canada after four years unless they were granted permanent residency. This policy has had an overwhelming effect on Canadian industries, most notably the agriculture industry.
Without migrant workers available for farm labour, farmers and the few remaining workers have been struggling. But with these recent changes to immigration policy, more migrant workers will be eligible to stay in Canada for longer. This can also help temporary workers to obtain permanent residency.
A corporate immigration law firm can assist temporary foreign workers in the process to gain work permits and apply for permanent residency. According to a recent article, a newly released Conference Board of Canada study discusses the shortage of temporary foreign workers in the country and its impact on the Canadian agriculture industry. Not only has this shortage been a direct result of the Conservative government’s pushback towards temporary foreign workers in the country, but globalization is also cited as a contributing factor.
Other countries where the cost of labour is lower have been more welcome to migrant farm workers than Canada. Canada’s immigration programs have been targeting international university students and highly skilled workers to stay and work in the country, leaving limited eligibility for lower-skilled workers. There has been a push to limit access to permanent residency for lower-skilled workers in Canada.
Another problem farmers and migrant workers face are the physical demands of farm labour and low wages. Typically, farmers cannot afford to pay higher wages, so migrant farm workers earn lower wages than they would in other industries. Migrant farm workers also work more hours per week than migrant workers in other industries, and the labour is more physically strenuous.
The Conference Board of Canada study recommends more accessible immigration programs for migrant farm workers and lower-skilled workers, making it easier for them to gain permanent residency. The study also discusses the need for a faster application process with a “trusted employer” program, and for immigration programs to allow for multiple entry visas for increased migrant mobility.
Temporary foreign workers wishing to apply for permanent residency should contact a corporate immigration law firm for assistance with the application process.