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New measures help newcomers sponsor family members

New measures will help with family reunification, allowing immigrants to sponsor undeclared family members.

Every worker in Canada is entitled to a safe and healthy work environment where their rights are respected, but some migrant workers with employer-specific work permits end up enduring mistreatment, fearful of workplace punishment, as well as fear of losing their job.

Starting June 4, migrant workers who have an employer-specific work permit and are in an abusive job situation in Canada can apply for an open work permit. This will allow migrant workers to leave that employer immediately, maintain their status and find another job.

Nobody should have to stay in an abusive situation, but some individuals fear jeopardizing their immigration status more than an abusive spouse or partner.

Starting July 26, newcomers experiencing family violence will be able to apply for a fee-exempt temporary resident permit that will give them legal immigration status in Canada and includes a work permit and health care coverage.

When a person applies to immigrate to Canada, they are required to declare all of their family members. The consequence for failing to declare a family member is a lifetime bar on the principal applicant being able to sponsor that family member in the future.

As of September 9, under a two-year pilot project a person who came to Canada can now sponsor undeclared immediate family members.

A few quick facts:

  • When an application is approved for an open work permit for a vulnerable worker, the employer will also face an employer compliance inspection. To date, more than 160 employers have been found noncompliant and received a monetary penalty and/or a ban on hiring foreign workers. Cases that involve potentially criminal behaviour are referred to Canada Border Services Agency or the appropriate police force.
  • The expedited temporary resident permit process for victims of family violence is only available to foreign nationals in Canada who have not yet obtained their permanent residence and whose status in Canada is dependent on their abusive spouse or partner. It is not available to foreign nationals outside Canada.
  • The pilot project for sponsorship of previously undeclared family members will last two years – from September 9, 2019, to September 9, 2021. Applications that are already in process will also benefit from this pilot project.


Photo credit: Burst.com

Posted: Jul 3, 2019

November 2019

Centennial College

Immigration Peel Canada

© CanadaBound Immigrant 2016