Canada Accelerates CERB Application Process for Temporary Residents
The federal government recently announced it would streamline the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) application process for international students and temporary foreign requiring financial assistance during this time of uncertainty.
For those unfamiliar, the CERB provides temporary income support to Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and temporary residents who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the National Post, the new measure for temporary residents was announced via a directive sent to the Employment and Social Development Canada officials in charge of reviewing and approving CERB applications.
Under this new measure, government officials will no longer be required to request that claimants provide proof of a valid work permit by email, as verbal confirmation from claimants will now be sufficient.
This applies to any CERB claimants with a “900-series” social insurance number – including international students, refugee claimants, temporary foreign workers, and executives transferred from other countries – that meet CERB requirements.
This essentially means that going forward, the government is waiving the condition that required temporary foreign residents to provide proof of a valid work permit or renewal of an expiring permit to receive CERB payments.
Prior to the measure being put in place, temporary residents were required to email Employment and Social Development Canada an image of their valid work or work/study permit, or a confirmation that they applied to renew an expired one.
The change was made in an effort to support temporary foreign workers and international students facing financial hardship during the pandemic by simplifying and accelerating the CERB application process and enabling them to stay in Canada.
Maya Dura, a spokeswoman for Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, told the National Post that by May 18, 39,319 international students had applied for CERB and 30,645 have received payments.
Dura also told the National Post that temporary residents applying for CERB “may be asked to provide additional documentation to verify their eligibility at a future date,” adding that “The Government of Canada will, whether it be in the upcoming weeks or at tax time next year, reconcile accounts and make sure people did not defraud the CERB.”