CIMM - Temporary Foreign Workers – Labour Shortage
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- Temporary foreign workers play a valuable role in our economy, by providing employers with a source of labor when Canadians are not available.
- The Government works closely with Canadian businesses to make sure they have skilled labour that they need to both grow their business and our economy.
- A foreign national who is applying to work in Canada temporarily can apply for a work permit through either the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program. Both the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and International Mobility Program are made up of a number of different streams.
- In June 2017, the Government launched the Global Skills Strategy, with an aim to provide fast, reliable access to highly-skilled workers that employers in Canada need when they are launching or expanding operations and creating jobs for Canadians. This includes the Global Talent Stream of Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the 2-week work permit processing for highly-skilled International Mobility Program applicants.
- Across the board, we can say that the Global Skills Strategy is achieving its goals.
Temporary Foreign Worker Program and Labour Market Impact Assessment Breakdown
- The Temporary Foreign Worker Program allows employers to hire workers only after demonstrating through the Labour Market Impact Assessment process that they could find no Canadians or permanent residents for the positions they have available.
- The International Mobility Program refers to the various streams of workers who are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment process. These exemptions are based on broader economic, cultural or other competitive advantages for Canada and reciprocal benefits enjoyed by Canadians and permanent residents. For example:
- international trade agreements that offer Canadians reciprocal benefits in partner countries
- the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program that provides an opportunity to international students to work after graduation and potentially gain the skilled work experience to later apply for permanent residence.
Global Skills Strategy Results
- IRCC is meeting the 2-week processing commitment for all routine work permit applications for highly-skilled workers and other temporary residence applications for their accompanying family members.
- In the first two years, more than 1,100 Canadian employers used the Global Talent Stream:
- committing to create more than 48,000 jobs and more than 12,500 paid co-op positions: and
- dedicating over $113M in skills development and training.
- With this success, the Global Skills Strategy, originally launched as a pilot, has been made permanent.
- Top occupations of successful applicants are vital to high-growth industries and Canada’s economic growth in the future, including interactive media designers, university professors and computer analysts. Feedback we have received indicates Global Skills Strategy has been playing an important role in helping companies grow and flourish in Canada.
- Many employers making job-creating investments in Canada have been referred to IRCC’s dedicated service channel and assigned an account manager, who works with them to navigate the full range of immigration programs to bring in talent they need and haven’t found in Canada.
Labour Market Impact Assessment in Quebec
- My colleague the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, is aware of this increased volume of Labour Market Impact Assessment applications in Quebec and is working with her Department to address this backlog.
- Between January and November of 2019, 44,267 work permits were issued under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and International Mobility Program for temporary work in Quebec. This is a 22.1% increase from 2018
Supporting Facts And Figures
- In 2019, IRCC issued work permits to approximately 405,000 foreign nationals.
- 75% of these work permit holders were authorized to work in Canada without the need for a labour market test under the International Mobility Program.
- 25% of these work permit holders required a labour market test under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
- This total does not include other sources of temporary labour, such as international students and refugee claimants, who also have certain rights to work.
- Growth in the number of work permits issued each year is primarily the result of an increasing number of open work permits issued under the IMP (e.g., for post-graduate students, youth exchanges under International Experience Canada, and spouses of skilled workers or students).
- In 2019, 82% of all work permits issued to foreign nationals in Canada were open, allowing the holder to work for any employer in Canada. Open work permit holders, who are already in Canada and authorized to work, present a large source of potential labour for employers.
- To date, over 60,000 people have benefited from expedited work permit processing under the Global Skills Strategy, including 35,000 highly skilled workers in occupations such as computer programming, information system analysis and software engineering.
Global Skills Strategy:
- The Global Skills Strategy was implemented on June 12, 2017.
- The Global Skills Strategy provides faster and more predictable access to top global talent where companies are committing to increase their investment, bring new skills to Canada and create more Canadian jobs.
- There are four measures that form part of the Global Skills Strategy and relate to temporary foreign workers:
- Faster processing – IRCC committed to process work permit applications in two weeks (14 calendar days) for high-skilled workers who intend to work in an occupation listed in Skill type 0 (Management Occupations) or A (Professional Occupations) of the National Occupational Classification (NOC), as well as for foreign nationals with a positive Global Talent Stream Labour Market Impact Assessment. Family members of these high-skilled workers are also eligible for priority processing under Global Skills Strategy. Routine, straight-forward cases are completed within 14 days.
- Work permit exemptions – IRCC has introduced new work permit exemptions for high-skilled talent coming for thirty days or less, and for researchers coming for 120 days or less. This results in reduced red tape and processing pressures, especially at ports of entry. As with all work permit exemptions, these exemptions are not systematically tracked at the border, so no data concerning their use is available.
- Dedicated Service Channel - IRCC has implemented a Dedicated Service Channel to provide companies making significant investments in Canada with personalized client service to assist them with their immigration needs. Over 195 companies have been referred to the Dedicated Service Channel.
- Global Talent Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program – Led by Employment and Social Development Canada, the Global Talent Stream facilitates the labour market impact assessment process for companies seeking unique talent or seeking to hire foreign nationals in occupations for which there is a shortage of domestic labour. Budget 2019 announced funding to make the GTS a permanent program.
- Feedback from stakeholders on the Strategy has been positive, as has been coverage in various media sources.
Global Skills Strategy Four Pillars Breakdown:
- a Global Talent Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program featuring enhanced client service and fast Labour Market Impact Assessment processing times;
- 2-week work permit (and temporary resident visa, if applicable) processing for highly-skilled International Mobility Program applicants and applicants through the Global Talent Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, as well as the spouses/common-law partners and dependents of those applicants;
- work permit exemptions for highly-skilled workers coming to Canada for short-term work assignments (one 15-day period once every six months or one 30-day period once a year) and for researchers coming to Canada to participate in short duration research projects (one 120-day period once a year); and
- a dedicated service channel that works with employers who are planning job-creating investments in Canada and who have been referred to the dedicated service channel by a referral partner.
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