The Prime Minister Trudeau announced on last Monday, March 16 to close border to most of foreigners since March 18 with some exemptions. Right after that, questions related to what exemptions are, whether foreigners who are holding study permit, work permit and who with confirmation of permanent resident (COPR) but need a landing to activate their status can enter Canada were raised by medias to ministers without a clear answer.
Yesterday, March 20, Canada updated more details on exemptions to this air travel restrictions to response to concerns of many foreigners. The exemptions include:
- seasonal agricultural workers, fish/seafood workers, caregivers and all other temporary foreign workers
- international students who held a valid study permit, or had been approved for a study permit, when the travel restrictions took effect on March 18, 2020
- permanent resident applicants who had been approved for permanent residence before the travel restrictions were announced on March 16, 2020, but who had not yet travelled to Canada
- foreign nationals travelling at the invitation of the Canadian government for a purpose related to the containment of COVID-19
- close family members of Canadian citizens
- close family members of Canadian permanent residents
- a person who is authorized, in writing, by a consular officer of the Government of Canada to enter Canada for the purpose of reuniting immediate family members
- a person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act
- accredited diplomats and family members (including NATO, those under the United Nations Headquarters Agreement, other organizations)
- air crews
- any foreign national, or group of foreign nationals, whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Minister of Public Safety
- members of the Canadian military, visiting forces and their family members
- transiting passengers
In addition, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) has also made some changes to support foreign workers as well employers hiring foreigners.
The required 2-week recruitment period will be waived for the next 6 months as a temporary modification on the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process for agriculture and food processing employers.
The maximum allowable employment duration for workers in the low-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker will be increased from 1 to 2 years.
IRCC will announce early next week when mentioned exemptions are in place.
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