Canada Defines Group Of Workers Exempt From Travel Restrictions
According to the IRCC guidance exempt work permit holders can enter Canada. New applications are continued to be processed by the IRCC. Canada has given more detail in a news release today about how exempt employees can enter the country while travel restrictions on coronavirus remain in effect.
Canada has had the limitations in effect since March 18 to stop the COVID-19 from spreading. The existing travel restrictions end on June 30th. Work permit holders are among those excluded from travel restrictions as long as their travel to Canada is for necessary purposes.
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has published this guidance to further clarify what defines essential travel for its staff and work permit holders.
Temporary workers exempt from travel restrictions
IRCC states that there are two instances under which a temporary foreign worker (TFW) who is traveling outside Canada can enter the country for non-optional reasons:
- Foreign nationals who hold a valid Canadian work permit.
- Foreign nationals who received a letter of introduction from IRCC on a work permit application but whose work permit is yet to be issued. Such individuals should present a copy of the letter of introduction to their air carrier before boarding their flight to Canada.
Critical occupations are prioritized
IRCC officers will continue to optimize work permits for foreign nationals looking for entry to Canada for professions that are essential for purposes of health, safety, and food security.
Such persons are not subject to travel limitations, and most individuals entering Canada may not be subject to the compulsory 14-day quarantine period currently in effect.
Critical occupations include the following:
- Emergency service providers ( e.g., firefighters and medical workers) working to protect property or lives;
- Students who come to Canada to practice in the health sector and seek written confirmation from the body governing their profession
- Marine transportation workers
- Workers delivering, repairing or repairing medically required equipment
- Workers entering Canada for the medical delivery of cells, blood and blood products, tissues, organs or other parts of the body necessary for patient care
Scenarios of non-optional travel (you can come to Canada)
IRCC presents multiple scenarios when a foreign individual will be exempted from the travel restrictions and allowed to enter Canada:
- Scenario 1:A foreign national has a legal work permit and lives in Canada at this time. Even if you don’t have a job in Canada at this time, you can still enter the country as Canada is your primary residence.
- Scenario 2:A foreign national has an invitation letter for an open work permit, has a valid job offer, and will be able to work in that position when they reach Canada.
- Scenario 3:Likewise, a foreign national has an introductory letter for an employer-specific work permit, with a legitimate job offer, which they will accept when they reach Canada.
Scenarios of optional travel (you cannot come to Canada)
The following two situations presented by IRCC are for people unable to enter Canada because the travel is described as optional:
- Scenario 1:Spite of having an introductory letter for an open work permit, the foreign national wants to come to Canada to find employment.
- Scenario 2:Although the individual has a letter of introduction for an employer-specific work permit, the COVID-19 pandemic currently shuts the company.
Also, there are occasions when officers of the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) take disciplinary decisions depending on the individual case of a foreign individual.
CBSA officers should weigh variables such as the existing connections of the foreign national to Canada, whether they will work in an important occupation and other reasons for traveling to Canada, such as whether a person will come to look after their children.
Only some IEC work permit holders can enter Canada
As of May 8, only applicants from International Experience Canada (IEC) can come to Canada if they have a letter of introduction and a valid job offer with a currently operating employer.
This applies to all IEC work permit holders under the three IEC categories (Working Holiday; Young Professionals; and International Co-op).