COVID-19: temporary foreign workers, seasonal workers and international students will soon be able to cross the Canadian border
IRCC update on travel in Canada effective March 23, 2020.
Workers, students and permanent residents whose applications have been approved, but who have not yet arrived, should not travel. We have announced exemptions, but they are not in place. Travel restrictions are still in place for these groups.
Only Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada, as well as certain foreigners travelling from the United States, who have lived in the U.S. for at least 14 days and are symptom-free, may enter Canada by air at this time.
This update follows the restrictions regarding the travel ban imposed by the Government of Canada on March 20, 2020.
Please find the list of the impacted temporary residents below:
- Temporary Foreign Workers;
- Seasonal Agricultural Workers;
- Workers in the fish and seafood industry;
- International Students (with approved study permits or valid study permits);
- Permanent Resident applicants for which the permanent residency application has been approved but had not yet travelled to Canada.
Attention: The aforementioned people exempted from the travel ban must not yet enter Canada. Further announcements are expected at the beginning of the coming week regarding the matter.
The travels of the people mentioned above will thus be considered essential travel in regards to the new travel ban into Canada.
Please note, however, that all travellers arriving from abroad must undertake health screening protocols before their arrival into Canada and must isolate during 14 days following their arrival to Canada. Companies will be responsible for enforcing the 14-day isolation period among seasonal agricultural workers who will join their business in the coming weeks.
The aforementioned persons are therefore added to the pre-existing exemptions to the travel ban announced at the beginning of the week, as listed below:
- Foreign nationals travelling at the invitation of the Canadian government for a purpose related to the containment of COVID-19;
- Close family members of Canadian citizens;
- Close family members of permanent residents;
- A person who is authorized, in writing, by a consular officer of the Government of Canada to enter Canada for the purpose of reuniting immediate family members;
- A person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act;
- Accredited diplomats and family members (including NATO, those under the United Nations Headquarters Agreement, other organizations);
- Air crew;
- Any foreign national, or group of foreign nationals, whose entry would in the national interest, as determined by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Minister of Public Safety;
- Members of the Canadian military, visiting forces and their family members;
- Transiting passengers.
Recruitment relief regarding the Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA): The required 2-week recruitment period in the agriculture and food processing industry will be waived for the next 6 months. This temporary measure will reduce the processing time for this type of application.
Temporary Foreign Workers in the low-wage stream: The maximum duration allowed will go from 1 year to 2 years.
Many businesses were awaiting temporary foreign workers to face the new challenges and the growing pressures on our agricultural industry will definitely require additional Seasonal Agricultural Workers this year. Our team remains available to these businesses to help ease the process of obtaining the required work permits for their employees.
Please do not hesitate to one of our team members for any additional information.