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Foreign workers in 10 occupations get faster access to work in Canada

Posted on April 13, 2020
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work in Canada

Despite the Coronavirus pandemic that has affected most countries in the world, some countries are still hiring immigrant workers. Canada is one of them. Even if the country has imposed a temporary travel ban as part of its efforts to contain the spread of Coronavirus, it is determined to continue its immigration programs which will help Canadian employers to hire foreign workers for occupations that are most in demand across industries.

In keeping with this demand, the Canadian government has accelerated the process to hire foreign workers to work in food processing, agriculture and trucking fields.

Employers looking to hire foreign workers in farming, food manufacturing, and trucking jobs will now be exempt from a time-consuming step in the work permit process.

The Canadian government has also waived the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) advertising provision in some high priority occupations.

In most cases, to acquire an LMIA, employers need to show that there was no Canadian willing to take a vacant position before offering it to a foreign worker. They do this by advertising the job role for up to three months across various platforms in certain cases.

The government has waived the minimum recruitment requirements in the LMIA applications for now and the future in the following ten occupations:

  • Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers-retail and wholesale (NOC 6331)
  • Transport Truck Drivers (NOC 7511)
  • Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers (NOC 8252)
  • General Farm Workers (NOC 8431)
  • Nursery and Greenhouse Workers (NOC 8432)
  • Harvesting labourers (NOC 8611)
  • Fish and seafood plant workers (NOC 9463)
  • Labourers in food, beverage and associated products processing (NOC 9617)
  • Labourers in fish and seafood processing (NOC 9618)
  • Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers (NOC 9462)

As you can see most of these occupations belong to the agriculture, agri-food and food processing sectors. This is a step towards helping farms and other food-related businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), which handles LMIA applications under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, says it is giving priority to ‘farming and agri-food occupations.’

Other steps adopted by ESDC include waiving the minimum standards for recruitment until at least 31 October 2020.

It has also increased the validity of LMIAs from six to nine months, and as part of a three-year pilot doubled the period of employment for employees in the low-wage sector from one to two years.

Foreign workers coming to Canada for such jobs usually come a on a Temporary Foreign Worker permit. They are exempt from the travel restrictions announced by the Canadian government due to the Coronavirus pandemic. However, they will have to clear Coronavirus tests before their departure. Once they land in Canada, they will have to be in compulsory self-isolation for 14 days.

These measures are an attempt by the Canadian government to help the agricultural and agri-food sectors in the country because the occupations which have been selected for fast-track processing belong to these sectors.

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