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As we all know since last March, Canadian borders remain closed for any travel deemed non-essential. Considered temporary, this measure is subject to periodic review. Recently, authorities confirmed that the borders would remain closed until September 30, 2020. And of course, the measure could be extended after that date. Again…
But concretely, what are the criteria to distinguish essential trips from non-essential ones? How do travel restrictions affect the search for the best talent in a context that is both economically difficult and of labor shortage? Furthermore, new federal and provincial measures prioritize processing times of those professions deemed essential. How to navigate these different policies subject to change at all times and even seemingly contradictory?
Firstly, any potential recruiter should familiarize himself with the section on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website dedicated to the impact of Covid 19 on the processing of various applications: https://www.canada.ca/fr/immigration-refugies-citoyennete/services/coronaviruscovid19.html.
On this page, you will find more details on:
Secondly, an employer who wishes to hire a TFW in the province of Quebec will consult the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) page dedicated to a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application for one of the essential occupations listed here: https://www.canada.ca/fr/emploideveloppement-social/services/travailleurs-etrangers/quebec.html.
Processing these applications will be prioritized and the delays will be considerably reduced. You will note that this list does not replace the list of occupations that may be the subject of simplified processing, since certain essential occupations will still need to be the subject of recruitment efforts by potential employers.
Thirdly, in some cases, employers could take advantage of changing the conditions of an LMIA including extending the validity of that document from 6 to 9 months and changing the name of a TFW on a positive LMIA.
Lastly, any employee who requests a new work permit will be able to obtain permission from the IRCC to start the new job pending the completion of processing of their application. The delay to be granted it is approximately 10 working days and the TFW must wait for the communication of the IRCC in order to start his new job.