On a work permit in Canada and lost your job during Covid-19 outbreak?

We all know how the coronavirus outbreak has put millions of jobs at risk in the global economy and Canada is no exception. Canadian Citizens and residents have already applied for all sorts of unemployment benefits and emergency support services. The outbreak of pandemic has also disturbed a lot of foreign workers who were earlier working in Canada, and have now lost their job because of the virus. A majority of overseas workers are feeling vulnerable and have been experiencing the real threat of losing their immigrant status in the country.

It is important to know that Canada values immigrants and foreign workers. Canadian employers are  permitted to bring temporary foreign workers into the country, provided these workers self-quarantine themselves for 14 days, and employers in return must ensure the health and safety of Canadians as well as these workers.

Below are some of the ways through which you can stay in Canada while also maintaining a legal immigrant status in the country.

Learn and understand about your work permit

To begin with, you should learn about the type of work permit you currently have. A closed work permit allows foreign nationals to work in Canada, but with specific conditions. Whereas an open work permit lets foreign workers work under any employer, in any position, and anywhere in Canada.

Get familiar with the work permit law

As per section 41 (a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, “a person is inadmissible for failing to comply with the IRPA. In the case of a foreign national, through an act of omission which contravenes, directly or indirectly, a provision of the IRPA.” The law applies to foreign nationals who continue working in Canada despite the expiry of their visa status in the country. Therefore, foreign workers need to learn about their visa options before their status becomes invalid in the country.

Know about your visa options

Don’t panic if you have lost your job in Canada, there are still various ways to extend your visa status and feel secured as an immigrant. You can apply for a new work permit or simply switch your immigrant status as a visitor or a student.

What if your work permit is still valid?

Well, in that case- get your status renewed and do it as early as possible. If you apply to renew or change your visa status, you’ll be given an implied status in Canada before a final decision is made on your application. In this way, you will be permitted to live in Canada and allowed to continue working in the country until any decision.

What if your work permit has been expired already?

Don’t worry. You still have various options to choose from even if your current status has been expired. It is advised to apply for a restoration status within 90 days of your status becoming invalid. Remember, you are not allowed to search for jobs or even continue studying in Canada until any decision is made.

If you have applied for a permanent residency status in Canada

Depending upon the type of Canada PR visa you have applied for, you can choose to go for a Bridging Visa. A bridging visa is basically an open work permit which permits you to work in Canada while you wait for the decision on your permanent residency application.

Immigration is a key to Canada’s recovery and success post Covid-19 pandemic

Canada’s immigration minister, Marco Mendicino recently shared some immigration updates where he admitted that, “Immigration will absolutely be key to our success and our economic recovery”. He said that, “We continue to rely on immigration, it will be an economic driver and this will be the North Star of our policy going forward.”

This means that Canada is not likely to reduce its immigration intake or close its doors to immigrants. So, Canada immigration hopefuls- whether students, temporary workers, skilled workers, or investors, the country is still welcoming towards immigrants and will take every possible step to ensure a seamless flow of migrants into the country despite the virus pandemic.

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