Earlier this week, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marco E.L. Mendicino, announced a new public policy that is set to make it easier for workers to apply for a work permit amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new temporary policy will allow foreign workers who are currently in Canada and have a valid job offer to apply for an employer-specific work permit without having the leave Canada. The changes went into effect on August 24, when the policy was announced.
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada department stated its hope that the change will benefit Canadian employers who have faced difficulties finding workers, as well as temporary residents looking for employment.
According to the federal government, limited international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for temporary residents to leave the country, while other foreign workers had to change their status to ‘visitor’ because their work permit was expiring and they didn’t have a job offer to be able to apply for a new work permit.
“We have heard from employers who continue to face challenges recruiting and hiring the workers they need during the pandemic. At the same time, some visitors in Canada may be able to contribute their skills where there are labour shortages,” said Mendicino. “This exemption from the normal temporary work permit requirements is aimed at removing barriers to create a more agile workforce that leverages visitors with the skills and experience to accelerate our economic recovery.”
The temporary policy allows applicants who meet certain criteria and who had a valid work permit in the past 12 months to begin working for their new employer before their work permit application has been fully approved. This includes workers who entered Canada as part of a Global Skills Strategy work permit exemption.
To be eligible for the temporary public policy individuals must:
- have valid status in Canada as a visitor;
- have been in Canada on August 24, 2020 and remained in Canada;
- have a job offer;
- submit an application for an employer-specific work permit that is supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment no later than March 31, 2021 and;
- meet all other standard admissibility criteria.
The government has not provided a timeline as to how long the temporary policy will be in place.
Photo via Burst