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Are Canadian Foreign Workers Entitled to Employment Insurance and CERB Benefits?

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Temporary Foreign Worker Program, Temporary Foreign Worker - LMIA and Coronavirus

Are Canadian Foreign Workers Entitled to Employment Insurance and CERB Benefits?
Hermie Abraham

Are you an immigrant living or working in Canada who has been hurt by the economic fallout? At Ackah Law, we are committed to helping Canadian immigrants and employers of foreign workers #PivotAndThrive during this unprecedented period. My colleague Hermie Abraham, Owner and Principal Employment Lawyer of Advocation Professional Corporation, offers some information about the rights of Canadian foreign workers, and their eligibility criteria for benefits that Canadians and permanent residents receive.

Individuals who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents (like TFWs - Temporary Foreign Workers) can receive the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). They simply have to meet the CERB eligibility requirements, which are:

  • Residing in Canada and at least 15 years old;
  • have stopped working because of reasons related to COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits or have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular or fishing benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020;
  • Had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application. This income does not have to be earned in Canada; and,
  • Who have not quit their job voluntarily.

If a temporary foreign worker has lost employment for reasons unrelated to COVID he/she is eligible to receive Employment Insurance (EI) benefits provided that they meet EI eligibility criteria:

  • employed in insurable employment;
  • lost a job through no fault of his/her own;
  • without work and without pay for at least seven consecutive days in the last 52 weeks;
  • has worked for the required number of insurable employment hours (between 420 and 700 hours of insurable employment) in the last 52 weeks or since the start of the last EI claim, whichever is shorter;
  • is ready, willing and capable of working each day;
  • is actively looking for work.

Learn More:

How Can Ackah Law Help Your Business Thrive?

If you have questions about your immigration application during the coronavirus restrictions or for post-lockdown business, contact Ackah Law today at (403) 452-9515 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email contact@ackahlaw.com.


Evelyn Ackah

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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My sincere thank you to the Ackah Law for helping me to become a Permanent Resident here in Canada. I feel like I'm your family too because every time I feel down and hopeless, you guys are very supportive and always encouraging me that everything will be fine, that life is very beautiful ... you treat me not as a client but you treat me like a family and you showed it to me and I am very thankful that Ackah Law Team have a good heart... And you made it happened ... you work very professionally and I feel the confident working with you! Special thanks to Alicia and Evelyn for all the effort and knowledge you shared to me... you guys are awesome!

Hope you will continue to help other people like me and again, from my heart, I want to say thank you!

– Jaysen R

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