On Wednesday, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair officially announced that Canada would be keeping its borders open for foreign workers and international students. This will apply to any foreign worker who currently has a visa. It is expected that all workers and students entering the country will respect the rule to self-isolate for 14 days.
Spring is the time of year that many foreign workers flock to Canada, primarily from Mexico and the Caribbean. Quebec agriculture alone employs more than 16,000 foreign workers annually. Across the country, there are more than 140,000 foreign workers supporting Canada’s economy.
Agriculture workers have been growing increasingly concerned as borders begin to shut down. Without the supply of foreign workers, many worried the entire season would be compromised. Recognizing the critical role of foreign workers in the agricultural sector, the federal government made the decision to continue to allow them to enter the country.
Exemptions for air travel to Canada will apply to all foreign nationals who have already committed to working, studying, or moving to Canada permanently, and their entry will be considered essential travel, permitting them to cross land borders as well.
The IRCC has released a list of exemptions related to the travel bans. Those who fall under the following categories may still be granted entry to Canada:
as well as:
Additional processing changes:
The IRCC has stated that those affected by these exemptions should not try to travel to Canada immediately. They will announce when the exemptions are officially in place.
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