As of the date/time of this update, there is still no agreed upon definition/criteria as to who and what constitutes “essential work”. We expect more on this to come, possibly as early as later today. The Prime Minister has announced that the new US Canada travel restrictions at the border will likely take effect as soon as midnight on Friday March 20, 2020.
For the first time I am now hearing about consideration being given to possibly suspending the processing of new applications for work and study permits at the POE when the new travel restrictions come into effect at the border. I am actively pressing for clarification on this from the CBSA. However, as of the date and time of this update, the CBSA has advised that it remains business as usual in this regard. If in fact the CBSA as an Organization does take measures to suspend work and study permit application processing at the POE, I will seek clarification if any exceptions will be made for those who can meet the definition/criteria to qualify as “essential work” once the same is agreed to and announced publicly by both US and Canadian administrations.
Unfortunately, today’s update did little to bring clarity to this situation, and possibility added to the overall confusion that remains. However, the US and Canada seem to be experiencing some difficulty on defining essential work and so I believe this may be contributing to the current uncertainty. I continue to monitor this from my end.
More updates to come.
Stay safe and healthy. All the best.
Eddie H. Kadri, BA, JD, Esq.
Kadri Law Professional Corporation