The government has implemented temporary processing changes for visa and work permit applications in order to focus on critical services.

Key Points:

  • Those applying for a work permit from outside Canada must do so online.
  • If the work permit is approved, temporary foreign workers must have the following before traveling to Canada:
    • Work permit approval letter.
    • Confirmation that the job is still valid and the employer is still operating and not subject to the mandatory closure of non-essential businesses.
    • Self-isolation plan, which must cover the mandatory self-isolation period of 14 days and must be a credible (i.e., how they will get to their residence/accommodation from the airport without using public transport, as well as how they will obtain groceries).
  • Those applying for a study permit from outside Canada must do so online.
  • IRCC will continue to process study permit applications to the extent possible.
  • IRCC has suspended processing of non-essential visitor visa applications (including transit visas) and some electronic travel authorization applications.

Analysis & Comments: Employers are advised to continue to apply for work permits for key foreign workers, and support permanent residence applications. Applications for temporary work permits for those providing essential services may be prioritized, and applying now will enable employers to have key foreign nationals in place when business fully resumes.

This alert was prepared by de Lint LLP, an independent immigration law firm, allied with Deloitte LLP in Canada.