Work permits issued to seafood-processing workers

All in-Canada visitor record, study permit and work permit applications must be submitted electronically, with some exceptions. See the list of programs that are exempt from the in-Canada mandatory electronic application requirement.

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

These program delivery instructions (PDIs) establish processing procedures, including timelines, requirements and work permit issuance details, for seasonal workers who are coming to work at Canadian seafood-processing plants (fish plants) for up to 180 consecutive days.

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Labour Market Impact Assessment applications for seafood-processing workers

Employers are permitted to submit 2 Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications per work location. One of these LMIAs maximizes the number of foreign nationals permitted, under the low-wage cap, and is typically for a duration longer than 180 consecutive days. Work permits should be issued for the validity that is specified in the LMIA. The other LMIA allows access to an unlimited number of workers but limits the work duration to a maximum of 180 consecutive days. Employers are allowed to apply for either or both regular and cap-exempt LMIAs for fish-plant workers. Only the cap-exempt workers (180 consecutive days or less) are subject to the processing commitment in these PDIs.

Timeline requirements

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada commits to processing complete applications expeditiously, within 30 days, for seasonal fish-plant workers. This commitment applies to applications made inside or outside Canada. The following requirements must be met:

  • submission of a complete application package, as outlined in Section C of the “Family Information” form [IMM 5645 (PDF, 1.6 MB)] or [IMM 5707 (PDF, 1.8 MB)]
  • applications submitted in paper form
    • to a visa application centre, for applicants outside Canada
    • to the Case Processing Centre in Edmonton (CPC‑E), for in-Canada applicants, at the following address:

      Case Processing Centre Edmonton
      Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada
      c/o Seasonal Fish-Plant Workers Station 999
      55-9700 Jasper Avenue Northwest
      Edmonton, AB  T5J 4C3

Applications are bundled together and labelled “Seasonal Fish-Plant Workers”, on the outside of the box (as best as possible). This ensures that the visa office or the CPC‑E can easily identify applications.

  • The offer of employment clearly outlines the time period the applicants will be working for the company.
  • Employers have provided a list of employees, including the following information:
    • unique client identifier (if available)
    • name
    • passport number
    • passport expiry date
    • amount of fees paid
    • occupation
    • employment location
    • any additional comments

Requirements for all applicants

All applicants must

  • include a completed application for a work permit from either
  • include a completed “Family Information” form [IMM 5645 (PDF, 1.6 MB)]
  • submit a “Schedule 1 Application for Temporary Residence” form [IMM 5257 Schedule 1 (PDF, 533 KB)], if applicable
  • provide full payment upfront to expedite processing and issuance
    • applications that do not include full payment are rejected and returned
  • include a copy of the LMIA
  • submit evidence (if applicable) of
    • previous travel
    • travel and work experience in the field of employment

Considerations for applicants outside Canada

In addition to the basic requirements, applicants who are outside Canada may also need to

Other visa offices may also have certain requirements for workers, based on local conditions and considerations. The onus is on the applicant to ensure that any other applicable requirements are met.

Work permit issuance

Before issuing work permits, officers must check the list of LMIAs that are approved for expedited processing and the 180-day cap to ensure Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has included the name of the employer. These instructions do not apply to employers who are not on the list.

Work permits cannot exceed 180 consecutive days (6 months) from the date of entry to Canada and are restricted not to exceed the dates indicated on the LMIA.
Visible remarks should be entered on the work permit by officers to ensure the duration is not exceeded. The remarks should mirror what is found in the “ESDC Comments” field of the employment validation tab, in the Global Case Management System.
Sample remarks:
The seasonal term of employment should not exceed 180 days in duration, from the date of entry to Canada, with work beginning no earlier than Month date, 20XX, and ending no later than Month date, 20XX.

Employees recruited from the Philippines

Employment offers must be approved by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, and there are compulsory pre-departure orientation sessions for overseas Filipino workers.

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