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Canadian Work Permit: Latest Updates For Foreign Workers



Canada has seen tremendous modifications in their laws for its international workers and students over the past couple of years. Adding to these changes, the Canadian government released two new alterations for the new financial year:


Validity of LMIA’S in Canada reduced to six months:


•     Most Employers in Canada need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) document from the Canadian government to hire a foreign worker. This document is needed by employers in Canada before hiring a foreign worker. Once an LMIA document is issued, the employer will provide a copy to their temporary foreign worker (TFW). They can then register for a work permit at the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) along with their other required documents.

 

•     Up until April 30, 2024, the validity of an LMIA is 12 months since the date of its issue. The TFW had to register for their work permit within 12 months of the issue date of an LMIA. In case of expiration of the LMIA document, before the work permit is applied for, the document is no longer considered valid. The employer would have to apply again with a new LMIA application if they want to hire a TFW. Beginning from May 1, 2024, the validity of an LMIA document has been reduced to six months from its date of issue. The employers will have to apply and provide workers with an LMIA in a shorter time frame and the temporary workers too will have to apply faster for their work permit to gain employment.


Canada tightens Post Graduation work permit norms for International Students:


•    The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has confirmed that international students in study programs under curriculum licensing arrangements will no longer be eligible for the country’s Post Graduate Work Permit. This rule which was supposed to be applicable from September 1, 2024, has been preponed to be implemented from May 15, 2024.

 

•    This alteration in the law means that any international student enrolling in any post-graduate course on or after May 15, 2024, cannot apply for a work permit upon completion of their studies. This change was made keeping in mind the housing problems of Canada. However, it does not mean that people cannot outright get any kind of employment in Canada. A work permit supported by an employer’s LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) is still an alternate option.

 

•    Other than this rule, the Post Graduate Work Programme also made another announcement earlier this year. From February 15, 2024, international students in Canada who graduated with a Master’s degree or even less than two years will be eligible for a three-year post-graduate work permit. However, the length of this work permit will depend on one’s study program or the expiry date on one’s passport, whichever comes first. • Canada has introduced new rules for Spousal Open Work Permits (SOWP), effective March 19. Spouses of international students can only apply for SOWPs if their partner is pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree. Previously, partners of undergraduate students were eligible, but this has changed. However, there are exceptions for certain professional degree programs.

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