Temporary Foreign Worker Program – COVID-19

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Temporary Foreign Workers are being allowed to continue travelling to Canada. As of March 26, 2020, the travel restriction exemptions that were announced by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada are in place.

Allowing foreign workers to enter Canada recognizes the vital role these workers play in supporting food security and other industries critical to the Canadian economy.

Like all Canadians, Temporary Foreign Worker Program employers and workers are expected to follow the latest public health and safety requirements and/or guidance from the Government of Canada and their provincial/territorial and local authorities to help prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19.

The Government of Canada is working with employers, workers and stakeholders to ensure that they are aware of their obligations to comply with public health requirements in the context of COVID-19. The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, and the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, have shared a joint letter with employers outlining the Government of Canada’s expectations. Further information can be found on the Temporary Foreign Worker compliance page of Employment and Social Development Canada.

Service Canada continues to process Labour Market Impact Assessment applications (LMIAs).

Special measures for employers who seek to bring in workers through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Since March 2020, the Government of Canada has taken measures to improve flexibility and reduce the administrative burden for employers, including but not limited to the following:

For details of the above and other special measures, please visit the Temporary Foreign Worker Program website.

Note: Due to COVID-19 employers were temporarily given Housing Inspection Report (HIR) flexibility.  This flexibility now only applies if the employer can prove that the appropriate authority is unable to conduct an inspection. For more information see the program requirements for HIRs for the Agricultural stream or SAWP.

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For immediate assistance with your LMIA application, please contact the Employer Contact Centre from Monday to Friday, between 7:00 am and 8:00 pm, Eastern time:
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