Workers Can Still Come to Canada
To contain the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada has put several travel restrictions in place. Earlier this month, Canada closed its borders, allowing only certain people to enter via air or land travel.
However, certain travel exemptions have been put in place. International students, workers with visas and temporary foreign workers will continue to be allowed to enter Canada. But all international arrivals have been told to self-isolate for 14 days.
Many people now wonder how immigration programs will be affected by these restrictions. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced changes to immigration programs and procedures with respect to foreign workers.
Workers Can Still Come to Canada During COVID-19
According to IRCC, travel exemptions are in place for seasonal agricultural workers, fish/seafood workers, caregivers and all other temporary foreign workers.
A temporary modification has been made to the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process for agriculture and food processing employers. The required 2-week recruitment period will be waived for the next 6 months.
The maximum allowable employment duration for workers in the low-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program has been expanded from 1 to 2 years. This change has been made to improve the flexibility and reduce the administrative burden for employers, including those in food processing.
The Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Most employers need an LMIA before they can hire a temporary foreign worker. An LMIA confirms that there is a need for a temporary worker and that no Canadians or Permanent Residents are able to do the job.
There are a variety of different application types that are included in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program:
Express Entry: The Express Entry program allows employers to hire a skilled foreign worker to support their permanent residence through an economic immigration program.
Global Talent Stream: The Global Talent Stream allows employers to hire uniquely-skilled talent or in-demand workers in select Information and Communication Technology or STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) jobs to scale up and grow your business.
Academic Positions: Employers can hire an academic at a college, university or degree-granting institution in Canada.
Caregivers: The Caregiver program is for employers who wish to hire an in-home worker to care for children, seniors or persons with medical needs.
Agriculture: Employers can hire a temporary foreign agricultural worker in occupations and activities related to primary agriculture.
Why are workers still permitted to enter Canada?
Allowing foreign workers to enter Canada recognizes their vital importance to the Canadian economy, including food security for Canadians and the success of Canadian food producers.
The arrival of farmworkers and fish/seafood workers is essential to ensure that planting and harvesting activities can take place. There will always be jobs available for Canadians who wish to work on farms and at food processing plants.
For more information, you may find these pages helpful:
Calver and Associates is a leading provider of Canadian Immigration services in Durham Region. We serve clients in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, and beyond. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law and over four years of experience serving those in the Oshawa area.
We can provide assistance with applications for both temporary and permanent residency in Canada. We handle applications for study permits, permanent residency, family class sponsorship, visitor visas, work permits, and Canadian citizenship. We also handle criminal inadmissibility cases by developing remedies for refusal.