Global Alerts

New Fast-Track Process for Temporary Foreign Workers Currently in Canada

On May 12, 2020, the Canadian government announced a fast-track work permit application process for foreign workers already in Canada. The new and temporary policy has been implemented as a response to the labour market challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the new policy, foreign workers already in Canada will be able to apply for a work permit with a new employer and quickly receive the authorization to begin work via email while the work permit application is under processed. This fast-track process will drastically cut processing times from 10 weeks or more to just 10 days or less.

Employers are still required to follow the standard process to hire foreign workers. For employer-specific, LMIA-exempt situations, employers must submit an offer of employment through the International Mobility Program Employer Portal. Otherwise, employers must have, or apply for, a valid positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada, name the worker in a position on the LMIA, and notify Service Canada.

To be eligible, workers must:

  • be in Canada with valid status
  • have an employer-specific work permit or have been working under a work permit exemption
  • have submitted an application for a new work permit with a valid job offer under either the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program

Foreign workers who have lost their jobs during the pandemic will benefit from the fast-track work permit process. Likewise, the policy will alleviate labour shortages in essential sectors, such as agriculture, healthcare and food processing.

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