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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada issued a temporary public policy permitting temporary foreign workers to quickly change employers by creating exemptions from specific requirements.

The new public policy measure allows temporary workers in Canada who require a new employer-specific work permit to begin working in advance of a final decision on their pending work permit application. The measure also exempts eligible foreign nationals from providing biometrics in support of the application.

To be eligible, the following requirements must be met:

  • The foreign worker is in Canada and has valid temporary resident status;
  • The foreign worker held a valid work permit (or was authorized to work without a work permit) at the time of submitting the new work permit application;
  • The foreign worker submitted an application for a new work permit, and a decision is pending;
  • The foreign worker intends to work for the Canadian employer specified in the work permit application;
  • The foreign worker has applied for the public policy exemption; and
  • The requested exemption remains valid until a decision is rendered on the pending work permit application.

If you are a temporary foreign worker who has recently been fired or you are considering changing employers within Canada, or alternatively, if you are a Canadian employer looking to hire a foreign worker in Canada, and want to understand whether this new measure is applicable, please contact Toronto employment and immigration lawyers, Sultan Lawyers, at (416) 214-5111 or via email to mlahert@sultanlawyers.com.