COVID-19: Synthesis of the immigration measures

July 22, 2020

Find relevant information on the immigration measures taken by government authorities, which affect temporary foreign workers and their families in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.

Travelling to Canada

From any country except the United States

  • Foreign nationals seeking entry to Canada from a country other than the United States may travel if they :
    • Do not have symptoms of COVID-19;
    • Do not seek to enter Canada for optional or discretionary purposes, such as tourism, recreation or entertainment; AND
    • Are covered by one of the exemptions from travel restrictions provided for in the Order, such as:
      • Immediate family members of a Canadian or permanent resident, including their spouse or common-law partner, dependent child or parent.
      • Temporary foreign workers who have a valid work permit or a letter of introduction from IRCC.
      • Temporary foreign workers who will be coming to work in a critical field such as agriculture and food processing, health, transportation and emergency services.
      • Foreign students who hold a valid study permit or a letter of introduction from IRCC issued before noon, March 18, 2020, and who are registered at a designated educational institution in Canada.
      • Foreign nationals whose application for permanent residence has been approved and who were eligible to travel to Canada for admission as permanent resident on or before March 18, 2020.
      • Foreign nationals who are immediate family members of a foreign worker, foreign student or foreign visitor who has received written authorization from an IRCC officer or an employee of Global Affairs Canada for the purpose of family reunification.
  • For more details, please refer to the Order and IRCC guidelines.
  • All persons, with certain exceptions, entering Canada must comply with the 14-day isolation requirement beginning on the day of entry into Canada and must be checked for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 during this isolation period. It is mandatory that you provide an isolation plan upon your entry into Canada.
  • We recommend that any foreign national who intends to travel to Canada during the period of restrictions put in place by the Government of Canada take reasonable steps to ensure that they are concerned by one of the exceptions to the travel restrictions to Canada, and travel with all required documentation. If necessary, consult a lawyer, notary or immigration consultant who will be able to assist you.

From the United States

  • Foreigners seeking to enter Canada from the United States may travel if they:
    • Do not have symptoms of COVID-19;
    • Can demonstrate that they will be able to meet the quarantine requirement; AND
    • Do not seek to enter Canada for an optional or discretionary purpose, such as tourism, recreation or entertainment.
  • For more details, please refer to the Order In Council.
  • For example, a temporary foreign worker who is travelling to Canada and who has his or her usual place of residence in Canada and a valid work permit or may begin employment in Canada after obtaining a letter of approval for their work permit may be considered as travelling for non-voluntary or non-discretionary purposes.
  • All persons, with certain exceptions, entering Canada must comply with the 14-day isolation requirement beginning on the day of entry into Canada and must be checked for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 during this isolation period. It is mandatory that you provide an isolation plan upon your entry into Canada.
  • We recommend that any foreign national who intends to travel to Canada during the period of restrictions put in place by the Government of Canada take reasonable steps to ensure that they are concerned by one of the exceptions to the travel restrictions to Canada, and travel with all required documentation. If necessary, consult a lawyer, notary or immigration consultant who will be able to assist you.

Work permit applications

From outside Canada

  • It is still possible to apply for temporary residence online through MyCIC.
  • Visa Application Centres (VACs) are gradually reopening, although some remain closed or operate with reduced staff. There may be delays in the processing of applications.
  • It may be difficult to complete a medical examination prior to submitting an application. As needed, IRCC will invite applicants to contact a designated medical practitioner during the processing of the application.
  • You do not need to provide your biometric data until the collection site reopens, even if your letter of instructions for collection states that you have 30 or 90 days to comply. The deadline for providing your biometric data is automatically extended without you having to contact IRCC.

From within Canada

  • All temporary residents (workers, students or visitors) must ensure that they maintain their valid status by applying for an extension of their stay online via MyCIC.
  • You are advised against going to the Canada-US border to obtain immigration services, including “flagpoling”.
  • Foreign nationals who have applied or are applying for temporary residence (visitor, work, study) from within Canada are exempt from providing their biometric data as part of the processing of their application, until further notice.
  • Temporary foreign workers who have applied for a work permit with a new employer or for a new job can now request an authorization to IRCC to begin working in their new job while their work permit application is pending. For complete eligibility criteria and instructions on how to benefit from this option, visit the IRCC website.
  • Foreign nationals whose work, study or residence permits expired after January 30, 2020, will now have until December 31, 2020, to apply for restoration of their temporary resident status in Canada instead of the usual 90-day period. In some cases, a foreign national who has applied for restoration of status as a temporary foreign worker may be issued an interim work authorization. For complete eligibility criteria and instructions on how to benefit from these options, visit the IRCC website.

LMIA and CAQ applications

  • Service Canada and the MIFI continue to process Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and Québec Acceptance Certification (CAQ) applications, however in some cases reduced staffing may cause delays.
  • Employers are invited to submit their complete LMIA applications by email: QC.PTET.INFO-INFO.TFWP.QC.ESDC@servicecanada.gc.ca  
  • The time limit for Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) to apply for a work permit based on a positive MTIP has been extended to 9 months, rather than 6 months.

 

*The information contained in this publication does not constitute legal advice and does not take precedence over immigration laws, regulations or decrees in force. Montréal International recommends that you refer to an immigration attorney or consultant for a legal opinion.

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