On May 12, 2020, the Canadian government announced a fast-track

work permit application process for foreign workers already in

Canada. The new and temporary policy has been implemented as a

response to the labour market challenges caused by the COVID-19

pandemic.

Under the new policy, foreign workers already in Canada will be

able to apply for a work permit with a new employer and quickly

receive the authorization to begin work via email while the work

permit application is under processed. This fast-track process will

drastically cut processing times from 10 weeks or more to just 10

days or less.

Employers are still required to follow the standard process to

hire foreign workers. For employer-specific, LMIA-exempt

situations, employers must submit an offer of employment through

the International Mobility Program Employer Portal. Otherwise,

employers must have, or apply for, a valid positive Labour Market

Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development

Canada, name the worker in a position on the LMIA, and notify

Service Canada.

To be eligible, workers 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

    or the International Mobility Program

Foreign workers who have lost their jobs during the pandemic

will benefit from the fast-track work permit process. Likewise, the

policy will alleviate labour shortages in essential sectors, such

as agriculture, healthcare and food processing.

Originally published Fakhoury, May 2020

The content of this article is intended to provide a general

guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought

about your specific circumstances.

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