A new Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) pilot project will help employers in Canada more quickly hire temporary foreign workers from the Philippines by speeding up the processing of work permits.
It’s being called the CAN Work Philippines program.
“Every year, thousands of temporary foreign workers from around the world bring their skills to Canada, helping to grow our economy and fill labour market shortages,” says Immigration Minister Marc Miller.
“This includes a substantial number of newcomers from the Philippines. The CAN Work Philippines pilot will give Canada an important advantage in the global race for talent and support our industries in addressing labour market shortages.”
The announced pilot program comes seven months after the IRCC committed itself to upping its visa-processing capacity out of Canada’s embassy in Manila by opening up a new centre with 37 additional employees as part of Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy.
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This week, the IRCC announced the new pilot is hiring about 50 workers.
The federal government is planning to spend $74.6 million over five years, and $15.7 million in on-going funding, to boost the IRCC’s application processing capacity both domestically and in the Indo-Pacific region.
The promised faster processing for work permits from the Philippines also comes only four months after Canada announced on June 6, 2023 that it would expand access to its Electronic Travel Authorization Program to include the Philippines, giving more Filipinos access to visa-free travel by air.
Filipino government officials praised Canada’s steps to more quickly process work permits and the launch of the first-ever Philippines–Canada Friendship Week.
“I am heartened by the launch of the CAN Work Philippines program, marking a significant step in the long-standing partnership between the Philippines and Canada,” said Patricia Yvonne M. Caunan, undersecretary of the Department of Migrant Workers of the Philippines.
“The Philippines–Canada Friendship Week not only symbolizes the strong bonds and shared values between our two nations but it also stands as a testament to our joint commitment towards ethical and fair recruitment.”
Canada Giving IOM $200,000 As Part Of Deal With Philippines
Under its deal with the Philippines, Canadian immigration is also plunking down $200,000 for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to support the adoption of fair and ethical recruitment standards in the Philippines. The funding is to go to training sessions to promote the IOM’s Fair and Ethical Recruitment Due Diligence Toolkit to organizations which recruit talent in the country.
“Protecting the rights and welfare of our overseas Filipino workers remains paramount. We welcome initiatives that ensure transparency, fairness and adherence to global standards, as set by the International Organization for Migration,” said Caunan.
Canada is funding the IOM to demonstrate its continued commitment to fair and ethical recruitment practices and help ensure the health, safety and quality of life of temporary foreign workers, says Miller.
Immigration accounts for almost all of Canada’s labour force growth. Roughly 75 per cent of Canada’s population growth comes from immigration. By 2036, immigrants will represent up to 30 per cent of Canada’s population, compared to 20.7 per cent in 2011.
The IRCC’s current Immigration Levels Plan calls for Canada to welcome 465,000 permanent residents in this year, 485,000 next year and 500,000 in 2025.
Throughout the world, Canada has visa offices in more than 50 locations in Canadian embassies, high commissions, and consulates.