May 31, 2019—Winnipeg, MB – In an effort to protect newcomers from abuse, violence and to help those reunite with family members, IRCC has taken steps to protect those newcomers who are most likely to be exploited.

From June 4th, 2019, migrant workers who are on an employer-specific work permit and are in an abusive employment situation in Canada will have the ability to apply for an open work permit, allowing workers to leave their employer immediately and maintain their status while looking for new employment.

Starting July 26th, 2019, 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 will include a work permit and health care coverage.

The IRCC has also mentioned that they are planning to expedite the process for those in urgent situations of family violence who apply for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

As of September 9th, 2019, IRCC will launch a 2-year pilot project where a person (resettled refugee, was conferred refugee protection in Canada or were themselves sponsored as a spouse, partner or dependent child) who came to Canada can now sponsor undeclared immediate family members.

The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship commented on the new efforts to protect vulnerable newcomers:

“Newcomers who failed to declare immediate family members as they first came to Canada were barred from sponsoring them. Today, we right that wrong. No worker should fear losing their job when they are being mistreated in their place of work. No partner should be more fearful of losing their immigration status instead of escaping abuse. Today, we say, fear no more.”

The Government is committed to protecting vulnerable people so they can leave abusive work or family relationships or reunite with immediate family members.