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International recruitement to Canada and Quebec despite the obligation of Pre-Covid tests?

Pre-Covid testing is a constraint in the logistics of international recruitment to Canada and Quebec. Foreign workers, employers and international recruitment and immigration agencies are dependent on the choices made by government departments. But some solutions could be put in place in conjunction with IRCC to simplify the process.

Video Content Transcript How do you recruit internationally despite mandatory Covid testing?

This video from Phoenix GMI explains what the pre-covid tests before arriving in Canada or in Quebec have changed for the candidates. Candidates are future temporary foreign workers who have been recruited by a Quebec company as part of an international recruitment process and are waiting to arrive on Canadian soil to validate their work permit.

New travel health measures have been added to the old ones, such as containment. These are the Pre-Covid tests before departure. They will soon be joined by other measures. But in the meantime, this has already complicated the immigration procedures of the candidates, with an impact on the employers, but also on the immigration agencies, which like us, ensure (among other things) the travel procedures.

Before the arrival of health restrictions on travel, we had a fairly simple process. As a reminder, we prepared all the documents the applicant needed in advance. We would email them to him. He would bring them with him on the flight to present them to the customs officer at his point of entry into Canada for validation of his work permit.

Once the candidate had received his work permit from the customs officer, his employer or our team would accompany him to his home and he could quickly reach his workplace and start working for our client employer who had recruited him.

The documents contained in the departure instructions, which we entrust to the candidate for the customs officer, depended on the candidate’s profile, but it could contain for example the EIMT, a CAQ, an employment contract, the CV or any other document necessary to reassure the customs officer at the point of entry on Canadian soil.

However, when in March 2020, the Canadian immigration authorities started to phase in travel restrictions, we adapted our instructions. From now on, the instruction kit that we give to every applicant is divided into two parts. The first part is for departure and boarding. The second part is intended for obtaining the work permit, and contains information on quarantine and its conditions.

The measurement of the pre-covid tests creates additional logistics for our organization and for the worker. For the applicant, it is an added step to an intense situation. They are about to leave everything behind and move thousands of miles away, they have to organize themselves emotionally.

For our organization, it’s also logistics on the ground. For example, we have identified a list of the most reliable and accessible laboratories for each country from which the candidates are leaving.

The candidate must go there, return home and receive the results of the tests, which must be negative, in order to be able to take the plane to Canada. All this within 72 hours of departure. And you have to take into account that they don’t all live in cities and are sometimes 15 to 20 hours away from their country’s international airport.

The time is therefore “timed” and the system had to be completely reorganized accordingly.

At Phoenix GMI, we commend the outstanding work of our teams. They managed to manage, as soon as this new measure was applied, and in record time, all the logistics to ensure the departures that had already been scheduled, and when we could not shift the flight dates. It is definitely certain that the instructions and the follow-ups of preparation require more efforts than the other files that we assemble.

Not to mention that it is an additional financial burden for employers, who have to pay for the medical lab fees, and wait for their temporary foreign worker to be quarantined before coming to their company.

Now, we fully understand the legitimacy of this approach. It was done to limit, if not stop, non-essential travel. And it is there to avoid the health consequences that these trips can cause. On the other hand, it has been imposed in a drastic way, without considering the particular situation of the candidates, who come exclusively for economic reasons.

The state could put in place additional measures for temporary foreign workers after their arrival in Canada.

It has implemented mandatory testing upon arrival in Canada. If the test is negative, workers may be excused from completing their quarantine in containment to go to their workplace immediately.

They arrive on Canadian soil to participate in essential services. Making them wait several days when it is avoidable is not necessarily consistent. While some jobs can be done from the comfort of their own homes, in many sectors, attendance at the workplace is mandatory. Meanwhile, candidates are not helping to revive or sustain our economy.

As long as the pre-departure testing measure is maintained, we believe that Canadian Immigration authorities should work with the Ministry of Transportation. It is really important that with the other ministries, they can establish a complementary measure, which can bring a little more flexibility to these workers who are really not people who “abuse” travel.

Finally, let’s add that since February 22, 2021, travel restrictions have tightened. From now on, anyone arriving in Canada by air must undergo additional tests before and after arrival. They will also have to spend three days at their own expense in a hotel designated by the Canadian government, before completing their 14 days of quarantine at home.

Fortunately, there are exceptions to this new requirement and at Phoenix GMI we guide our clients according to the particularities of their context.

So we are happy to be able to adapt to all these situations with agility to continue to ensure efficient logistics.

But what we have learned from this experience is that, as always, the most important thing in immigration is to :

  • to be organized, while remaining alert and vigilant
  • to have a multidisciplinary team and to be well established in the different employment areas,
  • and to be very forward thinking!

So thank you to the employers and candidates who trust us!

Phoenix GMI offers international recruitment and immigration services for Quebec and Canadian companies, and for candidates wishing to make a life project in Canada.

Our multidisciplinary, rigorous and dedicated team implements concrete and personalized strategies for its clients.

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Selin Deravedisyan-Adam Cofondatrice Directrice de l’immigration et experte-conseil en mobilité internationale

Selin Deravedisyan-Adam


Director of Immigration and International Mobility Consultant

[email protected]
514 903 9959 or
418 476 8381 #312

Selin’s career profile

A pioneer and passionate practitioner, Selin has dedicated her career to international mobility since 1993. Her extensive expertise and excellent reputation are rooted in her family history. As an immigrant herself, she moved from Turkey to France and later from France to Quebec. She was rapidly immersed in an administrative role, social work and linguistics that are specific to professionals who support immigration.

Married in France at the age of 20 to Christian, co-founder of PHOENIX-GMI, she moved to Sherbrooke in Quebec alongside her family in 1999. Later, she collaborated with the University of Sherbrooke’s Entrepreneurship Institute and was invited by the Ministry of Education to teach courses on how to start a business. At the same time, she developed her own company in international mobility, which became PHOENIX-GMI in 2013.

In 2008, Selin became a regulated Canadian immigration consultant and eventually obtained her license for the province of Quebec. She positioned herself as a reference in terms of statuses based on work permits both in Quebec and in Canada. Quebec International, a para-governmental organization working in the Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches region, hired her as an expert consultant, trainer, participant in consultation tables and strategic development agent with its members.

In 2018, she was elected President of the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants for the Quebec region. This new position brought her to work directly with federal and provincial immigration authorities while ensuring that the profession was ethically and effectively represented.

These days, she is continuously motivating her team towards excellence in international recruitment and immigration services, all the while realizing her life ambition of helping people from all over the world to experience a smooth and peaceful immigration and integration into Quebec society.

Christian H. Adam Cofondateur Directeur général et responsable du recrutement international

Christian H. Adam


Managing Director and Head of International Recruitment

514 903 9959 or
418 476 8381 #311

Christian’s profile

Christian’s career path has been remarkable. As a student of Armenian origin, he emigrated from Turkey to France where he pursued studies in chemical engineering. After a few years in the rubber industry, he gained great expertise in the field, started managing laboratories while traveling through Europe. He diversified his activities towards related sectors: automotive, military equipment and health.

In the troubled context of the Kosovo war in 1999 – a conflict which had repercussions throughout the whole of Europe – he chose to immigrate to Quebec with Selin, his wife (and the firm’s co-founder), as well as their children. There he started managing the research and development laboratories of two Sherbrooke-based companies, considered as leaders in the polymer industry. At the same time, he learned about human resources management and personnel administration in a unionized environment. Along with this flourishing career, he developed multicultural approaches then adapted them to specialized training in business launches and coaching of new immigrants.

Committed to support international mobility, Christian cofounded PHOENIX-GMI in 2013 and simultaneously launched a consulting firm in the rubber industry. From this moment onwards, he was solicited by clients throughout Quebec to oversee the recruitment of foreign candidates in various positions, ranging from production to product finishing and quality control measures.

These days, Christian works as an intercultural mediator. Excelling at implementing international recruitment solutions, he allows companies throughout Quebec to address their labor shortage problems, while helping many qualified foreign workers realize their dream of immigrating to Canada.