ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 547-A – March 3, 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.

This document has expired. Please refer to OB 547-B for current information.

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 March 1, 2014.

This OB replaces Operational Bulletin 547, dated August 30, 2013.

Background

The recovery from the January 12, 2010, Haiti earthquake has been slow and compounded by various additional challenges. As a result, Haitian nationals in Canada may reasonably be expected to continue to remain in Canada and require work permits to support themselves. Therefore, the HSM on Labour Market Opinion-exempt work permits, which were first reinstated on January 19, 2011, (see OB 264) and subsequently extended until September 1, 2012, (see OB 345), and until September 1, 2013 (see OB 468); and again until March 1,2014 (see OB 547) are being extended again until September 1, 2014.

Processing Applications for Work Permits

This extension of the HSM on work permits will allow in-Canada applications for a work permit from Haitian nationals who are otherwise unable to support themselves. The HSM will apply to individuals who were issued a work permit under previous HSM and to any Haitian national who was in Canada prior to January 13, 2011, who is on temporary status and is unable to support him or herself.

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations require a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) to accompany a work permit application in most cases so that an officer can determine if the job offer is genuine and if the employment is likely to have a neutral or positive effect on the labour market in Canada. Under the HSM, the Minister has approved a public policy exempting these applicants from the requirement of an LMO.

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 September 1, 2014. Work permits issued under these measures shall not exceed six months. Applications received after September 1, 2014, will not be eligible for the HSM.

Haitian nationals who are in Canada must have a valid status to be eligible for a work permit under the HSM. Individuals whose status has expired may make an application to restore their status within 90 days after losing their temporary status. Those who are out of status for longer than 90 days must first apply for a temporary resident permit and then a work permit.

All applications for a work permit under the HSM will require the standard processing fee of $155.

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). 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 until the expiration date on their work permit, up to six months, 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 letting them know they are eligible to apply for IFHP coverage.

Individuals issued work permits before March 1, 2014 will continue to be eligible for IFHP health care coverage for the duration of the applicant's work permit or for one year, whichever is shorter.

Only applications received by September 1, 2014, will be eligible for the IFHP coverage.

In-Canada Processing

Work permit applications should have "Haiti" written on the mailing envelope. A written explanation as to why the applicant needs a work permit to support themselves in Canada must also be included with the application.

CPC–Vegreville

Temporary residents who are applying for a new work permit or an extension of a previous work permit must ensure that they maintain their temporary resident status. This is accomplished by applying for a new work permit or applying to extend a previously issued work permit before their current status expires. 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 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: Work permit issued to Haitian national under the HSM, no LMO required.

Expiry of Initiative

This initiative will remain in existence until September 1, 2014.

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