Canadian Immigration News
Businesses Push for Canadian Work Visa Extension
Thursday, August 23, 2012
471 businesses in Whistler signed a petition pushing Canada to expand the work visa program for temporary foreign workers.
The petition was sent to the Whistler Chamber of Commerce to push for changes to the current rules of the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. The petition asks Canadian Chamber of Commerce to make it a lobbying priority at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) this September.
The current rules set quotas for the number of nationals of each country wishing to enter Canada. Foreign workers who have employment under Canadian one-year visas must compete with others outside Canada in order to extend their stays. Extending their visa is not possible after the quota is reached.
"We applaud the initiative that Kosuke Homma and his group have shown in assembling their petition in support of our advocacy work on the International Experience Canada (IEC) Program," said Whistler Chamber president Fiona Famulak.
According to the Chamber president, the petition emphasizes the key role of the Program in the Whistler business community. Both Canadian employers and foreign workers would benefit from the expansion. Employers would retain proven foreign workers longer while non-Canadian workers would gain more work experience. She added that the Chamber would press the Harper government to extend the duration of work visas under the IEC Program to a minimum of two years.
The program needs to be approved by the British Columbia (B.C.) Chamber of Commerce and then the Canadian Chamber of Commerce before reaching parliament. The Whistler Chamber is currently working with the B.C. Chamber to move the issue forward to the national level in 2013.
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