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Canada facilitates access to CERB for temporary residents

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The Government of Canada is waiving the condition requiring temporary foreign residents to provide proof of a valid work permit or renewal of an expiring permit by email to receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

The new measure, which took effect this week, was announced in the form of a directive sent to Employment and Social Development Canada officials who are tasked with reviewing and approving CERB applications. Government agents will no longer have to get proof of a valid work permit by email, verbal confirmation from claimants will now be sufficient, according to the National Post.

This change shows that the federal government is prepared to accommodate immigrants and provide as much support as possible to foreign workers and international students during this difficult time to encourage them to stay in Canada.

With this new measure, the application process for benefits will be simplified and accelerated so that immigrants who find themselves in difficult financial circumstances due to the COVID-10 pandemic can receive the help they need.

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In recent weeks, the government of Canada has made a multitude of funding announcements to help Canadians deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Temporary residents, such as international students and temporary workers, have been included in the provisions put in place.

For instance, temporary residents may be eligible for government income support, such as Employment Insurance or the new Canadian Emergency Response Benefit.

To qualify for emergency benefits, offered by the Canadian government, temporary foreign workers and international students must meet the same criteria as Canadians.  In addition, temporary residents are required to be living in Canada and have a valid Social Insurance Number.

The federal government has launched the CERB to provide income support to those in Canada who have been negatively affected by COVID-19.

The CERB offers $500 per week for up to 16 weeks to eligible workers. International students who meet the CERB’s eligibility criteria may also benefit from this income support.

Maya Dura, a spokeswoman for the office of Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen, told the National Post that those who are claiming the CERB “may be asked to provide additional documentation to verify their eligibility at a future date.” ​

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