A new government policy enables temporary foreign employees, who already have a job offer in Canada, to continue working while their application is being processed. The government says that this would significantly reduce a temporary worker's time to start a new job from 10 weeks to 10 business days.
According to a media release, the temporary adjustment is part of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)'s response to Canada's labour market needs during the coronavirus pandemic. Many temporary foreign workers with an employer-specific work permit who lost their jobs this spring and are unable to leave Canada due to reduced flights or restrictions on travel. At the same time, many companies are facing labour shortages in sectors such as agriculture, agri-food and healthcare.
Under the current regulations, to work legally in Canada, temporary foreign employees with employer-specific work permits must apply for a new permit with the name of the new employer. They will wait until the work permit is granted before they can start working in their new job.
Now temporary workers who are lined up with a job offer will apply an application to IRCC for work authorisation. The application will be checked within 10 days, and the worker will be notified by email if approved. They can then begin their work at their new job.
Eligibility for this process
• The workers must be residing in Canada with a valid status at the time of application
• They must have an employer-specific work permit or have worked under an exemption from a work permit and
• They must have applied for a new work permit with a legitimate job offer under either the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program.
However, Employers ought to get a positive Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) labour market impact assessment (LMIA). There is no exemption for the employer in the process of hiring temporary workers. Employers need to submit an offer of employment through the Employer Portal of the International Mobility System for employer-specific LMIA-exempt situations.