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Foreign nationals allowed to come to Canada for work despite coronavirus measures

March 27, 2020

Canada has pulled back on some coronavirus measures to allow entry to work permit holders

Work permit holders are now allowed to enter Canada even if they were approved after the government issued a travel ban to stop the spread of coronavirus.

In an earlier version of the ban, it appeared a number of people would not be allowed to travel to Canada if their permits were approved after March 18.

Now work permit holders, even those outside the U.S., are allowed to fly to Canada as long as they are not presenting coronavirus symptoms. Travelers who do present symptoms may still be able to enter by land but must self-isolate.

It is now mandatory for all travelers to self-isolate for 14 days after entering Canada from abroad. The only exception to this rule is for truck drivers who regularly cross the Canada-U.S. border to maintain the flow of goods.

Canada has also implemented some temporary modifications to the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process for agriculture and food-processing employers. The required two-week recruitment period will be waived for the next six months. They will also increase the maximum allowable employment duration for workers in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program low-wage stream from one to two years.

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will not close or refuse any application in progress due to a lack of documentation. They will also not decline applicants who are unable to complete certain steps in the process such as giving biometrics or completing a medical exam.

Extending temporary resident status once in Canada

Temporary residents in Canada can apply to extend their status online and are allowed to remain in the country until a decision is made on their new application.

If their initial temporary residence status expires while they are waiting for that decision, they are still allowed to stay in Canada but will be on “implied status.”

Traveling to a port of entry to apply directly to a border services officer is not considered “essential travel,” and applicants will be denied service.