With the growing number of coronavirus patients, the Canadian government will continue to process requests for temporary foreign workers. They also accelerated the process to ensure businesses are affected by the closure of non-resident border crossings and travel restrictions to and from the country.
Canada relies on many temporary foreign workers in certain occupations, such as agriculture, agri-food, food processing and freight transportation. Other professions can also be considered if necessary. According to CIC News, Canada will give priority to LMIAs (Labor Market Impact Assessments), for employers who depend on foreign workers in the above job ratings and others. They streamlined the process with new technologies and services that were not previously available. They have also expanded some of the provisions of their guidelines to assist employers and temporary foreign workers during this global pandemic.
What Service Can Canadian Operations Help During Coronavirus Limitations
The new guidelines ensure that new LMIA requests are valid for 9 months, instead of 6 months as they are currently. New applicants for the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) and those dealing with agriculture are valid until December 15, 2020. They also renew the three-month LMIAs for those who already have them.
No new conformity assessments
Service Canada’s Operations Department has a policy that conducts on-site inspections and paperwork. During this time, they will not perform new exams. This means no site visit and no direct contact with employers or temporary foreign workers. However, the ministry will act on essential functions that could harm the public or employees. In addition, depending on availability, inspections already in the process of formalization can be continued.
Flexibility for Canadian employers
According to Service Canada’s Operations Service, employers are required to report layoffs and changes, such as wages and hours worked by all temporary foreign workers. Administrative reporting requirements will be relaxed during the COVID-19 crisis.
EIMT allows email entry
For the moment, registrations to the EIMT are authorized by e-mail. This is due to service restrictions within Canada Post (postal service). They also anticipate that more mail centres will be closed due to COVID-19.
Service Canada is still working on the details of the email entry process. They will update their website later next week when the details are completed.
Employers can use the online process
Employers are allowed to use the LMIA online to process new requests for temporary foreign workers. This helps reduce wait times and speeds approvals for critical professions.
Improvement and maintenance of service standards
Service Canada Operations is still trying to fill in all the details of the new LMIA rules and regulations. They will work around the clock trying to deliver and deliver all of their schedules on time. The current wait time for new LMIA requests is 10 days.
They will also seek to streamline the name change process for foreign workers registered on the LMIA. They will now speed up these changes from a five-day processing time to reverse one-day service.
With Canada and the world undergoing many changes as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic, Service Canada Operations will do its best to adapt to the changes needed to keep employers and employees at work.