With the rising number of Coronavirus patients, the Canadian government will still process temporary foreign worker applications. They have also stepped up the process to ensure that businesses impacted by the border crossing closures for non-residents and restrictions on travel into and out of the country.
Canada relies on many temporary foreign workers in certain occupations, such as, agriculture, agri-food, food processing, and trucking. Other occupations may also be considered on an as needed base. According to CIC News, Canada will prioritize LMIAs (Labour Market Impact Assessments), for employers that rely on foreign workers in the above job classifications and others. They have streamlined the process to include new technologies and services previously unavailable. They have also extended certain provisions within their guidelines to help employers and temporary foreign workers during this global pandemic.
What Service Canadian Operations Is Doing to Help During Coronavirus Restrictions
The new guidelines provide new LMIA applications to be valid for 9 months, instead of 6 months, like they are now. New applicants that come from the SAWP (Seasonal Agriculture Worker Program), and those others having to do with agriculture will be valid until December 15, 2020. They are also extending LMIAs by three months to those with existing LMIAs.
No New Compliance Reviews
The Service Canada Operations Department has a policy of doing both onsite and paper- work based inspections. During this time, they will not be doing any new reviews. This means no onsite visits and no direct contact with employers or temporary foreign workers. However, the department will act on critical functions that could harm the public or workers. Also, depending on availability, inspections that are already in the paperwork process may continue.
Flexibility for Canadian Employers
Employers are required by the Service Canada Operations Department report layoffs and changes like wages and hours worked by all foreign temporary workers. Administrative reporting requirements will be relaxed during the COVID-19 crisis.