IRCC continues to make changes as it adapts to the inevitable impact of COVID-19 on our mobility and economy. We have compiled a summary of the most recent announcements. For specific questions on how this may impact you, feel free to contact our office.
Family members of Canadian PRs or citizens
The government has expanded its definition of ‘immediate family members’ under the current travel restriction. Parents, step-parents, guardians or tutors of Canadian permanent residents or citizens may now be able to fly to Canada, if otherwise eligible to do so. The previous definition included only spouses, common-law partners, and dependent children (including dependent children of spouses/common-law partners).
Temporary foreign workers and international students
Air travel restrictions have new exemptions for individuals who have already committed to working, studying or making Canada their home. Canada has deemed the following positions ‘essential travel’ for land border restrictions as well:
- – all temporary foreign workers, including seasonal agricultural workers; fish/seafood workers; and caregivers
- – international students who held a valid study permit (or approval for one) on or before March 18, 2020
- – permanent resident applicants who received approval on or before March 16, 2020, but who had not yet travelled to Canada
Modifications for agriculture and food processing workers
Canada has temporarily modified the LMIA process for these employers by waiving the requisite 2-week recruitment period for the next 6 months. IRCC is also increasing the maximum allowable employment duration for low-wage Temporary Foreign Workers from 1 to 2 years.