Canada’s federal government has moved to slash the time it takes for temporary foreign workers to be allowed to start a new job to help employers during the coronavirus crisis.
Under a new public policy, published on Tuesday, May 12, foreign workers already in Canada with a new job offer backed by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) can get approval to start the job while their work permit application is processed.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) says the move will reduce a process that often takes 10 weeks down to 10 days.
The new policy aims to free TFWs who have lost their jobs in Canada due to COVID-19 to work in industries where there are shortages.
A lack of workers in agriculture, food processing and health care could harm Canada’s food security and health-care service capacity.
“The new policy we are announcing will allow Canadian businesses to recruit the workers they need and help unemployed workers contribute to the Canadian economy during this pandemic,” said Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino.
To qualify, the TFW must:
- Be in Canada with valid status
- Have an employer-specific work permit or have been working under a work permit exemption.
- Have submitted an application for a new work permit with a valid job offer under either the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) or the International Mobility Program.
The applicant must then send a request to IRCC, which will be reviewed in 10 days and, if approved, will mean they are able to start working.
IRCC made clear there is no change to the role of the employer in the process for hiring foreign workers.
An employer needs a valid positive LMIA, name the worker in a position on the LMIA, and notify Service Canada. For an employer-specific, LMIA-exempt situation, an offer of employment must be made through the IMP.