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Tuesday, June 25, 2024  
18 Dhul-Hijjah 1445  

Canada extends study authorisation for temporary foreign workers

Workers can study full time or part time while their work permits are valid
A construction worker passes a condominium site with a roll of cable in Toronto, Ontario, Canada October 8, 2021. Reuters
A construction worker passes a condominium site with a roll of cable in Toronto, Ontario, Canada October 8, 2021. Reuters

The Canadian government has announced a temporary measure to facilitate foreign workers to seek additional training and education during their stay in the country.

“With this new three-year temporary measure, foreign workers can study full time or part time while their work permits are valid or until the expiration of the policy, with no restrictions on the length of the program,” said Canada’s immigration ministry on Tuesday.

The temporary measure applies to those who hold a valid work permit or have a pending decision on their work permit extension on June 27, 2023. If a foreign worker wishes to study longer than the duration of their work permit, they still need to apply for a study permit.

Prior to this, foreign workers could study only in programmes of six months or less while working. They were required to apply for a separate study permit for longer programmes.

This has been a barrier for those who wish to improve their education and receive more training, including those needing to up skill or validate their foreign credentials through certain programmes.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said that temporary foreign workers were important for the Canadian economy. With this policy in place, he said the government hoped to empower foreign nationals to improve their skills in order to meet their career goals and achieve their dreams, while providing a future potential source of talent for the labour market.

“By removing barriers to skills development, we open the door to more foreign-trained doctors and nurses to help take care of our loved ones and support our healthcare system,” he said.

He went on to add that the government has provided a path for construction labourers to become tradespersons, and strengthen their communities and build new homes. “This immigration measure helps employers, workers, and our economy by addressing critical labour shortages. This is welcome news for all parties involved”.

The government believes the new measure would help foreign workers expand their future job prospects and increase their opportunities to transition to permanent residence.

Immigration accounts for almost all of Canada’s labour force growth. Roughly 75% of Canada’s population growth comes from immigration, mostly in the economic category. By 2036, immigrants will represent up to 30% of Canada’s population, compared to 20.7% in 2011.

While 50 years ago, there were seven workers for every retiree in Canada that ratio was closer to 3 to 1.

According to the global employability rankings, international employers recently ranked Canada’s education system in the top 10.

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