Covid-19: What measures have been taken in Canada ?

The arrival of Covid-19 and its new measures are shaking up our daily lives. To better understand all of these changes, our Cooptalis teams have a series of questions and answers to offer you relating to the specific situation in Canada in the areas of recruitment, relocation and immigration. 

Confinements Containments & rules

In Quebec, confinement is partial for the moment, but the situation is deteriorating day by day. It may change in a few days. 


  • Stay at home as much as possible and only go out for important reasons (grocery stores, pharmacies or work if it is impossible to work from home). 
  • Stay 1 meter away from individuals.

Foreign nationals

Are they repatriated to their country of origin ?

Foreign nationals remain on the territory and respect the rules of confinement. On March 16, the Canadian government announced the closure of its borders to foreign nationals. 

The exceptions authorized to travel to Canada:

  • Canadian citizens and their families;
  • Permanent residents and their families;
  • Holders of a study permit or whose study permit request has been accepted before March 18, 2020;
  • Holders of a work permit and those with a letter of introduction who have already made arrangements to work in Canada (note, the holder of a letter of introduction for a WHP has no offer may be denied access to Canada);
  • New workers who come to work in essential industries (agriculture, food processing, health, transportation and emergency services);
  • Applicants for permanent residence whose application has been approved before March 18, 2020;
  • The family members of an international student, a temporary worker or a permanent resident applicant, provided they have received written authorization from the Government of Canada.


Do companies continue to recruit despite Covid-19?

Not really, at the moment companies are preparing for the resumption but they are unable to tell us the impact it will have on them. Dans le contexte actuel, quelles sont les principales problématiques dèjà rencontrées par les entreprises en matière d’emploi? 

The majority of them continue to operate their projects, but they are unable to anticipate new needs at this time.

Immigration and administrations

Are administrative services still accessible during the confinement period ?

service Canada is currently unavailable. However, requests for a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) are still being examined. Due to the reduced staff, it is necessary to expect an extension of delays.

Does the current situation lead to an automatic extension of my status in Canada?

it is the responsibility of businesses and foreign nationals to ensure that their status in Canada is still valid and to anticipate license renewal requests.

Visa and work permit

Do the competent authorities still issue visas and work permits ?


  • Work permit applications made online are still being examined by the Immigration Ministry. 
  • Several visa application centers are currently closed, preventing the collection of biometric data and thus blocking the work permit application process. 

In this context, the Department announced an extension of the delay for collecting biometric data from 30 to 90 days. Likewise, the usual period of 30 days to provide additional documents (police certificate, proof of medical examination, etc.) is automatically extended to 90 days. 

Failure to complete certain procedures due to the Covid-19 will not result in an automatic refusal of the request, provided you communicate with the Ministère regarding the impossibility of providing the requested documents.

Permis de séjour

Les permis de séjour arrivant à expiration pendant la période de confinement peuvent-ils être prolongés ?

although immigration offices in Canada are closed, requests for extensions can be made online and will be considered. Note that an extension of the deadlines is very likely.

Residence permit

Can residence permits that expire during the confinement period be extended ?

from March 23, 2020, the Premier of Quebec asked to stop all housing visits until May 13, 2020.

Est-il possible d’annuler ou reporter la date de départ d’un bail déjà signé ?


  • For regular leases (12 months starting July 1), you must normally notify the owner before March 30 if you wish to renew / extend / end your lease. 
  • To postpone the departure date in atypical leases (less than 12 months), you must notify the owner as soon as possible and find a common agreement. 
  • If the tenant wants to leave before the departure date, he must find another tenant to sublet his accommodation until the end of the lease. The tenant takes care of the search and the visits and the owner evaluates the candidate and approves or refuses if there are doubts on the ability of the candidate to pay.

Services and Cleaning companies

Are cleaning companies still able to provide their services ?

to date, some companies offer their services if the accommodation is not occupied during cleaning. This may change soon.


Are schools and crèches still open ?


all schools are closed until May 1, 2020. 

Crèches are only open for workers working in essential services (doctors, nurses, police, etc.). They are closed for other parents until May 1, 2020. There are no other services at the moment. Private schools and some public schools will offer online courses to keep children occupied from March 30, 2020. 

Is it possible to enroll children for the September 2020 school year start, during the confinement period ?


it is not possible to visit or register children. 

School board offices and schools are closed until May 1, 2020. 

There are no alternatives at the moment.


Can we move freely inside the country, and cross the borders? Under which conditions ?


People can get around to the grocery store, the pharmacy and drive-through restaurants. 

It is possible to go outside for air but at a reasonable distance. 

Children’s parks and playgrounds are closed, however, as are all public places. 

You are asked to stay at home as much as possible and keep your distance.


Is quarantine compulsory upon arrival in the territory ?


it is compulsory for 14 days in order to follow the development of symptoms. 

Other public services

Are banks still accessible ?


Banks are still open but have reduced the number of access points to 1 in 4. 

Expatriates are accepted after 14 days of quarantine following their date of arrival in Quebec. 

Health system

Does the local health system cover care / hospitalization for foreigners in the event of COVID-19 ?


if they are covered by the RAMQ (Quebec health insurance plan). 

The French are entitled to the RAMQ from the 1st day in Quebec, in view of the quarantine, they will have coverage only after 2 weeks. 

Cooptalis experts advise companies and expatriates affected by the covid-19 measures anywhere in the world. 

For more information contact [email protected] 

Also discover our articles on the measures taken in France, in Belgium, in Luxembourg, in the Netherlands, in Poland,in Morocco, in Tunisia, in Ivory Coast and in Vietnam

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