The new rules will allow temporary foreign workers to start working 10 days after applying for a new job.

The new government policy allows temporary foreign workers who already have a job offer in Canada to start working while processing their application.

The government says it will drastically reduce the time it takes for a temporary worker to start a new job from 10 weeks to 10 working days.

The temporary change is the reaction of the IRCC to labor market needs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Many temporary foreign workers with work permits lost their jobs this spring and cannot leave Canada due to reduced flights and travel restrictions. At the same time, many employers in sectors such as agriculture and health are facing labor shortages.

According to existing rules, temporary foreign workers with work permits must apply for a new permit with the name of the new employer in order to legally work in Canada. They need to wait for a work permit before they can start a new job.

Temporary workers can now apply to the IRCC for a new work permit. The request will be reviewed within 10 days, and if approved, the worker will be notified by email. Then the worker can start working in a new place.

There are three main eligibility criteria:

  • Workers must be in Canada with a valid status;
  • They must have a work permit for a specific employer or they have worked with an exemption from a work permit;
  • They had to apply for a new work permit under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or International Mobility Program.

The role of the employer in the process of hiring foreign workers does not change. Employers should receive a positive LMIA.

In special situations where the LMIA is not needed, employers must submit a job offer through the International Mobility Program Employer Portal.

How can a foreign worker change his employer under the new rules?

  1. Temporary foreign workers must first apply for a new work permit. Most people can apply online, however if they cannot because of problems with the online application or because of disability, they can apply on paper.
  2. Upon application, the IRCC asks applicants to complete a web form that facilitates communication between applicants and the IRCC. More information can be found on the government website. The process will differ depending on whether the worker is exempted from the work permit or not.
  3. Once this is done, the IRCC will send an email confirming that the job applicant can start working for the new employer while they process his/her application.
  4. The letter will be sent within 10 business days. This may take longer if the application was made on paper.