Operational Bulletin 547-B – October 7, 2014

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Extension of Haiti Special Measures for Work Permits

Issue

This Operational Bulletin (OB) provides instructions for processing applications from Haitian nationals for work permits from within Canada. This OB extends the Haiti Special Measures (HSM) on work permits that were set to expire on September 1, 2014.

This OB replaces Operational Bulletin 547-A, dated March 3, 2014.

Background

The HSM on Labour Market Impact Assessment-exempt work permits, which were previously reinstated (see OB 264, OB 345, OB 468, OB 547, and OB547-A), are now being extended until November 30, 2014.

Processing Applications for Work Permits

The HSM will apply to individuals who were issued a work permit under previous HSM and to any Haitian nationals who were legally in Canada prior to January 13, 2011. The applicants do not have to hold a temporary status in Canada to be eligible under these special measures.

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to accompany a work permit application in most cases. Under the HSM, these applicants are to be considered for an exemption from the requirement of an LMIA.

Applications for a new work permit or an extension of a previously issued work permit under the HSM will be accepted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) until November 30, 2014. Work permits issued under these measures shall not exceed six months. Applications received after November 30, 2014, will not be eligible for the HSM.

All applications for a work permit under the HSM will require the standard processing fee of $155. Applicants who did not maintain a temporary status in Canada will not be required to apply and pay for restoration of status.

Interim Federal Health Program

Under the HSM, Haitian nationals who are issued a new work permit or an extension of a previous work permit and who are not eligible for provincial or territorial health insurance will be eligible for health care coverage under the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) until November 4, 2014, in light of a Federal Court decision about the IFHP dated July 4, 2014. The IFHP does not cover services or products that a person may claim under a private insurance plan. With this coverage, beneficiaries will be covered if they need medical attention for a disease, symptom, complaint or injury, including:

  • hospital services;
  • services of a doctor or registered nurse;
  • laboratory, diagnostic and ambulance services; and
  • medications and vaccines only when needed to prevent or treat a disease posing a risk to public health or to treat a condition of public safety concern.

Their IFHP coverage will not include the Immigration Medical Examination.

The IFHP coverage will be valid only until November 4, 2014, or until they no longer require coverage as they have become eligible for provincial or territorial or private health insurance or until they have departed Canada, whichever comes first. The IFHP coverage will also be extended to any dependants (spouses, common-law partners and dependent children) of these applicants, who are currently residing in Canada.

Temporary residents who are applying for a new work permit or an extension of a previous work permit under these measures should be issued a notice informing them that they are eligible to apply for IFHP coverage if they are not receiving provincial or territorial coverage.

Individuals issued work permits before September 2, 2014, will continue to be eligible for IFHP health care coverage until November 4, 2014.

In-Canada Processing

Work permit applications should have "Haiti" written on the outside of the mailing envelope. A written explanation as to how the applicant is directly affected must also be included with the application.

Centralized Processing Region

The fees associated with these applications will not be waived.

As per R183(5), persons who have already submitted an application to extend or change their temporary status prior to their current status expiring will benefit from implied status until notified of a decision on their application.

Special Program Coding

Under the HSM, the following coding is to be used for the issuance of work permits:

  • H24: Haiti Special Measures (Work permit issued to Haitian national under the HSM, no LMIA required).

Expiry of Initiative

This initiative will remain in existence until November 30, 2014.

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