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Canadian Pilot Project to Provide Employment Authorization for Spouses of Temporary Workers

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 99020156 (posted Feb. 1, 1999)"

Pilot Project to Issue Employment Authorizations to Spouses of Highly Skilled Temporary Workers

By Martin J. Berger

A national pilot project for the spouses of temporary foreign workers will be launched on October 15, 1998. Under this pilot project, the spouses of workers coming to Canada for jobs in certain high skill occupations in key high growth sectors of the economy will be able to work here more easily and have to undergo fewer administrative processes. The pilot will enable the spouses of certain key foreign workers to accept employment through a facilitated validation process.

This pilot project will assess the extent to which it improves the ability of Canadian employers to attract key personnel and its impact on the Canadian labor market.

The pilot will be open to the spouses of foreign workers in the two highly skilled occupational categories described in the National Occupational Classification System and who hold employment authorizations valid for at least six months. The workers must also be filling highly skilled jobs that normally require a university degree as defined in the National Occupational Classification System (a classification system used by governments and researchers to characterize occupations in Canada). The pilot will cover key occupations that have been identified as being of strategic importance to economic activity. This approach is in keeping with the focus on targeted growth sectors described in the government of Canada's most recent Speech from the Throne. It has also been identified by the province of Quebec as an important tool in its efforts to address the unique economic challenges of that province and of the greater Montreal area in particular.

Monitoring efforts will determine how successful the pilot projects are in attracting skilled workers for temporary assignments in Canada. The impact of the pilots on the Canadian labor market will also be tracked and assessed.