Introduction to Special Temporary Immigration Measures

As an employer recruiting for an open position, it’s essential to be aware of various work authorization statuses that potential foreign national applicants might hold. One such status is based on “special temporary immigration measures” or “temporary public policies” often implemented in response to crises like natural disasters, wars, or other significant events. This blog post will provide a high-level overview of these temporary measures, their common themes, and how employers and employees can plan for the future to extend work authorization in Canada.

What are Special Temporary Immigration Measures?

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) implements special temporary immigration measures to support nationals from countries experiencing crises. These measures vary depending on the specific event but generally provide certain benefits to applicants without fees. These benefits can include:
– Open work permits
– Study permits
– Visitor records
– Temporary resident permits (TRP)

Examples of Temporary Measures

A well-known example of these special temporary measures is the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET). This program was designed to assist Ukrainian nationals fleeing the war. Under CUAET, Ukrainian nationals and their immediate family members could apply for expedited temporary travel authorizations, allowing them to enter Canada. They could also receive open work permits, enabling them to work with any employer in the country.

Since the start of the Ukraine-Russia war, over 286,000 Ukrainian nationals have arrived in Canada through CUAET. Many of these individuals are highly educated in fields that are in high demand by Canadian employers, making this measure beneficial for both the newcomers and the Canadian economy.

Planning Ahead: Extending Work Authorization

Future Work Authorization for Employees

A common concern among employers is the future of employees holding work permits under special temporary measures. For example, Ukrainian nationals with work permits under CUAET might need extended work permits as their initial permits approach expiration, especially if they arrived at the beginning of the program in 2022.

For those with Canadian citizen or permanent resident family members who meet certain criteria, there might be pathways to apply for permanent residence. However, if this is not an option, these employees might need to apply for work permits supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). This process can be complex and time-consuming, making early planning and consultation with legal counsel crucial.

 Key Temporary Measures Beyond CUAET

While CUAET is one of the most recognized temporary measures, IRCC has introduced several others in recent years, including:
– Temporary Special Measures to Support Iranian Nationals
– Conflict in Sudan – Temporary Measures for Family Members in Canada
Measures for Haitian Nationals/Passport Holders and Family Members in Canada

These programs offer specific benefits based on the crisis they address, and it’s important for employers to understand the details of each program to effectively manage work permit extensions and permanent residence strategies.


Special temporary immigration measures play a critical role in providing support during crises, but they come with expiration dates. Employers and employees must plan ahead to ensure continued work authorization and explore pathways to permanent residence. By staying informed and working closely with legal counsel, both employers and employees can navigate these temporary measures effectively, ensuring a smooth transition when current permits expire.

If you have any questions or need assistance with these processes, please don’t hesitate to reach out for professional advice and support.

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