Canada makes changes to its temporary visa policies
The Canadian government has announced new changes to its immigration policy on temporary foreign workers. The reasons for this are numerous abuses, which have created a bad name for the program. According to the new rules all foreign workers on temporary visas must now be paid as much as their Canadian counterparts in order to ensure that the immigrants are not taking workplaces for the local workers. The changes will take place immediately.
Last year several changes were introduced which allowed Canadian firms to pay foreign workers 15 % less than the Canadians. The aim of the new changes was to stimulate the economy. In addition to that the processing time for the temporary foreign worker visa was reduced to only ten days. Both of those changes will be now reversed because this provides incentive to employers to hire foreign workers instead of Canadians.
On a press conference that took place on 29 April the Canadian immigration minister Jason Kenney announced all of the new changes which include the following:
- All temporary foreign workers must now be paid ‘the prevailing wage’ for the job that they are doing.
- The Accelerated Labour Market Opinion (ALMO) process will be suspended.
- The government will have greater powers to suspend and revoke work permits where the system has been abused
- Employers will need to show that they are not replacing Canadian workers with foreign workers.
- Employers which rely heavily on foreign workers will need to show how they intend to employ more Canadians in future
- The government will raise the fees for applications to employ foreign workers.
- Employers will no longer be able to specify that employees must speak language other than English and French (Canada’s national languages) in order to take a job.
Despite recent abuse and the new tougher rules the overall trend towards the employment of more workers on temporary work visas, both in Canada and globally, looks set to continue.
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