News Release — Cutting Red Tape for Skilled Immigrants

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Note: This news release was modified on December 21, 2012.

Minister Kenney introduces New Bridging Open Work Permit

Ottawa, December 20, 2012 — The new Bridging Open Work Permit enables certain economic class applicants to maintain their status and continue working in Canada while they wait for a final decision on their permanent residence application, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney announced.

“We are making our immigration system faster and more flexible, and cutting red tape for the skilled immigrants Canada’s economy needs to grow and thrive,” said Minister Jason Kenney.  “The new open work permit provides those who are transitioning to permanent residency with better opportunities to integrate into Canada’s labour market to the benefit of our economy and all Canadians.”

The bridging work permit is available immediately and is valid for one year from the date of issuance. Qualifying foreign nationals who have submitted an application for permanent residence under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) or the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) may be considered for an open work permit. They must already be in Canada on a valid work permit that is about to expire and must have received confirmation from CIC that their permanent resident application is eligible.

Previously, applicants who were awaiting a decision on their permanent residence application could find their temporary work permits expiring before their application was processed. As a result, these individuals would no longer have been authorized to work in Canada unless their employer applied for and received a Labour Market Opinion from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) and the applicant then applied for an extension of status.

Open work permits are already available for other in-Canada immigration streams, such as live-in caregivers, spouses or common-law partners.  This improvement will result in consistent treatment for other applicants already in Canada.

“We are preventing unnecessary disruption in the lives of the newcomers who are already contributing and successfully integrating into the Canadian economy,” said Minister Kenney. “Improvements to our immigration system like this will help Canada attract the best and brightest from around the world – the skilled immigrants we need to fill our skilled labour shortages.”

For further information regarding eligibility, please see: Bridging Open Work Permits for Certain Federal Economic Class Applicants.

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For further information (media only), please contact:

Alexis Pavlich
Minister’s Office
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
613-954-1064

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
613-952-1650
CIC-Media-Relations@cic.gc.ca

Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada’s economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.

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