Canada has announced a new temporary provision that eliminates the time limit for temporary foreign employees to engage in academic programmes without a study permit.
The relaxation is intended to help foreign workers who contribute to the country’s development but face restrictions in the types of study programmes in which they can register to pursue their ambitions and improve their lives.
As part of the new policy, foreign workers will be able to seek further training and education to help them advance in their jobs and boost their chances of obtaining permanent residency.
Foreign workers could study while working under the previous regime, but only for programmes of 6 months or less, and for longer programmes, they had to apply for a separate study permit.
This restriction hampered many who wanted to further their education and acquire additional training, especially those who needed to upskill or confirm their international credentials through certain programmes.
With this new three-year temporary solution, foreign workers can study full-time or part-time while their work permits are valid or until the policy expires, with no time limit.
Commenting on the measure, Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship said the move is aimed at addressing the critical labour shortages and is welcome news for all parties involved.
“Temporary foreign workers are extremely important to the Canadian economy, and many have goals that extend far beyond the work that brought them here in the first place.” With this policy in place, we intend to empower foreign nationals to enhance their skills and accomplish their dreams, while also providing a future potential supply of talent for our labour market. By reducing barriers to skill growth, we allow more foreign-trained doctors and nurses to care for our loved ones and assist our healthcare system. We also provide a pathway for construction workers to become tradespeople, as well as develop our communities and create new houses,” he said.
In terms of eligibility, this temporary measure applies to those who have a valid work permit or a decision on their work permit extension pending on June 7, 2023.
It is worth noting that if foreign worker desires to study for a period longer than the expiration of their work permit, they must still apply for a study permit.