Last Updated on April 20, 2020
Canada has recognized the importance of Temporary Foreign Workers by putting a number of special measures in place since the outbreak of COVID-19.
On this page candidates and employers can find all the important Temporary Foreign Worker Program information relating to the new coronavirus.
As changes are made by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), this page will be updated.
COVID-19: Special Measures Relating to Temporary Foreign Worker Program
- TFWs can continue to travel to Canada. As of March 26, 2020, they are among the exemptions from travel restrictions announced by the IRCC. They must pass a health test before travelling and self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.
- Canada has announced a $50 million fund to help employers of Temporary Foreign Workers who are required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Agriculture and agri-food employers are to receive $1,500 per Temporary Foreign Worker, provided isolation requirements are fully met.
- Canada is currently prioritizing Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and work permit processing for the following occupations that are crucial to the food supply chain:
- NOC 6331 – Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers – retail and wholesale
- NOC 7511 – Transport truck drivers
- NOC 8252 – Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
- NOC 8431 – General farmworkers
- NOC 8432 – Nursery and greenhouse workers
- NOC 8611 – Harvesting labourers
- NOC 9463 – Fish and seafood plant workers
- NOC 9617 – Labourers in food, beverage and associated products processing
- NOC 9618 – Labourers in fish and seafood processing
- NOC 9462 – Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers
- The two-week recruitment requirement for LMIAs in key agriculture and agri-food occupations has been waived until October 31, 2020.
- The maximum duration of employment under LMIAs has been increased from one to two years in the low-wage stream.
- Employers are not required to submit minor administrative changes to an LMIA that would not change the terms and conditions.
- Employers applying under the Agricultural stream or Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program can submit a previously valid Housing Inspection Report (HIR).
- The process for employers wishing to change the name of a foreign worker, for reasons related to COVID-19, has been expedited.
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