New government policy is allowing temporary workers, who are having a job offer in Canada, to start working while their application is being processed. The government says this will substantially reduce the time it takes for temporary foreign workers to start new jobs from Ten (10) weeks to Ten (10) business days.
The temporary change is part of Canada’s immigration ministry response to the labour market needs during the coronavirus crisis, according to a media release. Many temporary workers with employer-specific work permits were laid off this spring and are unable to leave Canada due to travel restrictions.
At the same time, many employers in industries such as agri-food, agriculture, and healthcare are facing labour shortages.
Under the existing rules, temporary workers with employer-specific work permit have to apply for a new permit with the name of the new employer in order to legally work in Canada. They need to wait for the work permits to be granted before they can start working at their new jobs.
Now temporary foreign workers who have a job offer lined up can lodge a request to IRCC to have the authorization to work. The request will be reviewed in Ten (10) days, and if approved, workers will be notified by email. They can then start working at their new jobs.
There are three key eligibility criteria:
- workers must be residing in Canada with a valid status;
- they must have an employer-specific work permit or a work permit exemption; and
- they must have lodged an application for a new work permit with a valid job offer under either the International Mobility Program or the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
There is no change in the roles of employers in the process of hiring temporary foreign workers. Employers are required to get a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). They need to name the worker in a position on the LMIA and inform Service Canada.
For employer-specific LMIA-exempt situations, the employer needs to lodge an employment offer through the International Mobility Program Employer Portal.
Steps to change employers
Temporary workers must first apply for a new work permit from inside Canada and they must apply online, however, if they can not due to a disability or because they are encountering difficulties with the online application, it is possible to apply on paper.
After applying IRCC asks candidates to fill out the web form, which facilitates communication between candidates and the Canadian immigration department.
More information can be found on the government’s website. The process will be different depending on whether the temporary worker is work permit-exempt or not.
Once this is achieved, IRCC will send an email confirming the applicant can begin working for their new employer while they process the complete application.
The email will be sent in about Ten (10) business days. However, It may take longer if the application was done on paper.