As of March 20, 2020, Employment and Social Development Canada is expediting the processing for employers to hire foreign workers in a number of occupations vital to the Canadian food supply system.
This represents a quick response by the federal government to ensure that it still reaches its annual immigration targets despite the COVID-19 pandemic, while also meeting its more immediate food security needs arising from the pandemic.
Specifically, the government has expedited processing by waiving the minimum recruitment requirements for the following ten occupations in the agriculture, food processing and trucking industries:
NOC 6331 - Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers-retail and wholesale
NOC 7511 - Transport Truck Drivers
NOC 8252 - Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
NOC 8431 - General Farm Workers
NOC 8432 - Nursery and Greenhouse Workers
NOC 8611 - Harvesting labourers
NOC 9463 - Fish and seafood plant workers
NOC 9617 - Labourers in food, beverage and associated products processing
NOC 9618 - Labourers in fish and seafood processing
NOC 9462 - Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers
Normally, in order to obtain a Labour Market impact Assessment (LMIA), an employer must demonstrate that they have advertised and searched within the Canadian labour market for a required period of time, and that there are no Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are qualified to fill the position.
The waiver of the recruiting requirements for the above occupations means that as long as a genuine offer is made (i.e. the temporary foreign worker is qualified for the position, the employer can demonstrate they operate a genuine business, and the wage offered meets the prevailing or normal wages for that occupation), then the employer does not need to demonstrate that they advertised and searched within the Canadian labour market. Rather, the employer can apply directly for the LMIA.
The minimum recruitment requirements are waived for these occupations for both pending and future LMIAs until October 31, 2020. Further, the applications will also be eligible for LMIAs of a two-year duration, whereas they were previously only eligible for a one-year duration.
If you have any questions about applying for an LMIA in the above-noted occupations, please contact one of the lawyers at Battista Smith Migration Law Group at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-203-2899 ext. 30.
Our office is currently open for phone or webcam consultations and appointments from 9:00am to 5:00pm from Monday to Friday.
For more information, please see: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/foreign-workers/median-wage/high/requirements.html#h2.6