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Not the End of the Road for Temporary Foreign Workers Facing the New 4in-4out Limit

greenawalt-1When the new “4in-4out” policy, introduced by the Canadian authorities to stop the misuse of the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) visa, comes into effect on 1st of April 2015, thousands of TFWs and their families would be in a limbo. According to the policy that was introduced in 2011, TFWs who have completed their allotted four years would have to leave Canada and wait for another four years before being granted a worker’s visa.

Those who would initially be affected by the new policy will have to make necessary changes soon as their four year period expires within days. This is going to be a very tough situation for them as most of them have settled down with their families and are linked up with various sections of the societies like schools for their children, community groups for the ladies, etc. But it is not an end of the road situation for them.

Here are some policies and options that the affected TFWs could consider, to continue living in Canada without having to leave at the end of their four year term:

1) Exemptions in the New Policy

  • TFWs who are in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) Code 0 or A designations, working in management and other professional positions, are exempted from the four year limitation.
  •  Jobs exempted under the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) which includes visa provided under International Agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement, etc are exempted.
  • Exemptions are also considered if the TFW is involved in skills or profession that contribute greatly to Canadian culture and other interests.
  • TFWs working under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker’s Program (SAWP) are also exempted.
  • Those who have got an in-principle approval for their Permanent Resident visa application are exempted.
  • Performing artists, business visitors, foreign diplomats and staff of foreign news companies that are reporting from Canada, fall under the list of those who are exempted from the four year policy.

2) Visitor Visa application

TFWs who are soon completing their four year limit can apply for a Visitor Visa to stay back in Canada. A Visitor Visa is only granted initially for 6 months but is further extendable at the discretion of the visa authorities. A TFW needs to prove there are sufficient funds to support him during the entire period. He would not be allowed though to work or study under this visa.

3) Student Visa application

Applying for a Student Visa is another way of staying back in Canada after the completion of the four year limit of the TFW visa. Canadian Universities and Colleges offer excellent opportunities to pursue research and other higher studies.

4) Express Entry Pool

Through this Pool candidates are selected by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for immigration under one of the following immigration programs:

a)      Federal Skilled Worker Program

b)      Canadian Express Class

c)       Federal Skilled Trades Program

d)      Provincial Nominee Programs

TWFs could find themselves qualified to immigrate under one of the above programs. Certain Provinces like Quebec have their unique nominee programs with criteria that are much simpler than other immigration programs.

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