As the lockdown is being lifted, businesses are gradually reopening. Until then, let’s take a look at some questions that have come up about temporary foreign workers.
Here are answers about frequently asked questions for organizations that have hired temporary foreign workers (TFWs) or planned on hiring TFWs.
I hired a TFW before the crisis and he’s still in his home country. What can I do until he arrives in Canada?
First off, contact your future employee as soon as possible to make sure they still plan on coming to Canada. If that’s the case, reassure them that the job they were hired for will still be available when they get here.
If possible, set a potential arrival date and coordinate travel logistics between his home country and Canada. You can also request to extend the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to give your employee more time to travel to Canada.
The goal is to maintain trust with your TFW and guarantee that they will be available when you need them.
I temporarily laid off TFWs who were working for me. What can I do to help them until business reopens?
Once again, communication is key. Keep in touch with your employees and keep them informed of your plans to eventually reopen. Since the borders are closed, your TFWs cannot return to their home country and they must continue to cover their needs during the unemployment period.
Let them know they’re eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and refer them to the website where they can submit their applications. This will ensure that your TFWs can cover their needs during the crisis and remain available when business resumes.
I want to rehire my TFWs after the crisis. How can I make sure they’re legally allowed to stay in Canada until then?
As mentioned above, your TFWs should stay in Canada during the unemployment period. So, they must maintain a legal status throughout their stay. If their work permit is about to expire, you have two options:
- You can apply for a work permit extension for employees;
- You can change their status to a visitor status.
In all cases, your TFWs must have a valid permit allowing them to stay in Canada.
I want to withdraw the job offer for which I had hired a TFW before they arrived in Canada. What’s the process?
Inform the TFW as soon as possible so they can make the necessary arrangements. Contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) to withdraw their work permit application.
In certain cases, if the work permit application hasn’t been processed, you could be eligible for a processing fee refund. Lastly, inform Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to have your LMIA application withdrawn.
Be proactive and establish clear and open communication with your TFWs. That way, you’re making sure your employees are informed of your decision and are available to come back to work as soon as possible, if needed.
Regardless of your situation, we recommend that you speak with an immigration expert who can help you make the right decisions and guide you throughout the process.