Canadians Working Abroad Invited to Return with Pilot Project

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Canada looking for health care and academic professionals living abroad


Image source from mollypop on flickr

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced a pilot project that would encourage Canadian workers that are living abroad to return to Canada to work in Ontario.

“It’s a reverse brain drain,” Kenney explained. “We’re making it easier for Canadians abroad to bring their skills home and contribute to the Canada of tomorrow.”

Normally, when a Canadian living abroad returned home to work, their non-Canadian spouse, common-law partner or dependent children would have to be become permanent residents before they could work.  That process could take between half a year to a year.

Now, the government is appealing to Canadians who work in the health care and academic sectors who are currently living abroad to return to work in Canada by allowing their immediate non-Canadian family members to get temporary work permits immediately after arriving in Ontario.  The permits will allow them to accept any job with any employer anywhere in the province.

The health care and academic sectors have experienced severe labour shortages, so those fields were chosen for this pilot project.

“By encouraging highly-skilled workers to come back to Canada, we are laying the foundation for long-term economic growth,” Kenney added.

Project to attract Canadians abroad began last November

The pilot project was devised during the 2008 Temporary Foreign Worker agreement between the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario.  It began on November 22 last year, and will remain on a trial basis until May 22, 2012.  At that point, the government will evaluate how effective the project is.

Family members of Canadians working abroad must be sponsored

The sponsoring spouse or parent must have submitted an application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada to sponsor their family member to be eligible for this project.  The non-Canadian applicant living abroad must have an application underway to immigrate to Canada through sponsorship in the family class.

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