They qualified for Canada’s special immigration program — only to learn they won’t be able to work as they’re processed

Hard to understand the policy rationale:

Canada’s new immigration pathway was supposed to be a recognition of migrant workers who had worked through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Little did some applicants know they would need to stop working to make it through the process.

Typically, under regular, skilled immigration programs, applicants whose work permits expire while their applications are being processed can get a bridging permit, to allow them to keep working while the paperwork is done.

The bridging open work permit — or BOWP — ensures their employment is not disrupted.

But it turns out that’s not the case with the new pathway, a special program launched in May to grant permanent residence to 90,000 migrant workers and international graduates.

The immigration department confirmed to the Star that no bridging work permits will be issued to new pathway applicants.

“This initiative was designed as a one-time pathway recognizing the incredibly unique circumstances of the ongoing pandemic,” said a department spokesperson.

“As it has not been designed as a traditional permanent economic program, individuals are not eligible for a BOWP.”

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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