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All Points’ COVID-19 Update and Business Continuity

Updated – May 6, 2020

General Updates

  • All Provinces require self-isolation for newly arrived individuals into the country.
    • Some Provinces require self-isolation even for travel between Provinces.
  • Rental Prices ARE coming down for 1 bedroom rentals, anywhere from 1% – 35% year over last across the country. The larger markets that have experienced the biggest drop in rental prices are Ottawa (21%) and Montreal (35%). Prices have started to trend downwards in Toronto but at a slower rate (2%). 
    • One of the biggest drivers of the change of price has been the flood of Airbnb properties onto the long-term rental market. As cities have clamped down on short-term housing options, the Airbnb properties are transitioning into longer-term fully furnished units.
  • Provincial Updates are found below in TABLE format, however some key points to pay attention to;
    • In Ontario, they are continuing to limit which Service Ontario offices are open. This means the few that are open are now very busy during the day. We are encountering more and more locals that are visiting the offices to renew cards (even though this is not required at this time). This means for lengthy time, up to 6 hours, waiting to get into register. In Quebec they have re-opened some of the government offices however they are still off-limits to non-essential workers. We will keep you updated on when we can commence taking your employees to complete registrations. If you have an employee that is an essential worker, please notify us as we may be able to complete the registration at this time.
    • We anticipate there will be a LONG back-log to complete some registrations (namely Drivers Licencing) when offices do start re-opening

Nationwide Update

Service Canada – SIN Registrations

Service Canada has advised us it is unlikely that they will reopen until July. We will continue to keep you updated on the date. The airport locations are closed.

Two Options

  1. Mail In Applications by Service Canada:

  • 20 Day Processing Time but delays possible – note 10 – 20 days is the standard turnaround time
  • Original Work Permit and secondary form of identification may be required. Counselled support to determine best option.
  1. Online Applications

  • We will provide more information once we have verified all of the requisite details and process
  • Available to those with proof of Canadian Permanent Residential Address
  • Original Work Permit, One of the following passport, local Provincial ID or Canadian Drivers Licence, proof of residential address (bill, government letter, school letter or bank letter); official translations of those documents not in English or French required, legal change of name or marriage certificates may be required in some instances when the names on a all documents.

Consulates

Emergency travel/passports in emergency situations if passport is lost in approximately 2 business days at some consulates – varies by consulate and location. Recommending all foreign nationals register with consulate.

Property Viewings

  • Most property managers are prohibiting entry to buildings. This varies by Province – see list below. 
  • Virtual Viewings Only
    • We are coordinating these kinds of viewings with face-time applications
  • In markets where agents/property managers can still show properties, many agents are only showing vacant units and will not work with anyone who has not completed the isolation period
  • Lease applications are taking longer as staff in many locations are limited to approve.
    • Detailed Employment Letters and Contact should be provided to those still looking
  • Some landlords are asking for larger rental deposits or additional security deposits in light of the suspension of evictions.
  • There are still vacant and unoccupied units in all major centres. 
    • We recommend vacant units to avoid issues if the current tenant decides NOT to move out.
  • We do not recommend shared accommodation with unknown parties at this time – fewer shared options on the market.

Provincial Update

Updated – April 20, 2020
As of April 18, 2020, The Canadian government has made it mandatory for anyone travelling within or to Canada to wear some form of non-medical face mask or face covering during travel.

Update – April 14, 2020

The Canadian government has made it mandatory for anyone travelling to Canada from abroad to have a isolation plan. All Points has developed a Template Isolation plan here.

Updated – April 9, 2020

o UPDATED SIN –ONLINE APPLICATIONS (we have spoken with two Service Canada Agents to verify the details below)
o The requirements for the online application is more stringent than those for the mail in application (See SIN below for more information). For instance;
 Proof of local address required
• Options – Bill from utility provider, letter from the government, letter from a bank/financial institution or letter from an educational institution
o As this is a new procedure, the individuals we spoke with advised we can attempt to use emailed proof of address but further “real” mail may be required.
o If the proof online is insufficient, they will direct you online to MAIL the application
o Letter from employer is not sufficient proof of local residential address
o This is in ADDITION to Drivers Licence, Passport or Provincial ID card
o After completing the online application, the SIN is MAILED to the application with the same turn-around time as the mailed in application
o Service Canada agents advised that the ONLINE APPLICATION is best if someone has proof of residential address, without proof of residential address, the mailed in application is the faster way to apply
o Service Canada advises they hope to reopen some locations across the country “soon”

o OHIP will be automatically renewed for a limited time during COVID for those individuals with Work Permits that expired during this period of time provided that the employer remains the same. If the employer changes then a visit to Service Ontario is required to renew the OHIP status.

Updated – March 30, 2020

NEW Updates
o British Columbia halts evictions temporarily
o Alberta halts evictions temporarily
o Saskatchewan halts evictions temporarily
o Service Canada will not process SIN applications in person for any reason

March 26 update

• SIN Offices CLOSED (verified on site). No more in person visits permitted until further notice. Mailed Applications Only. All Points Support available with mail option – see below.
o Note – one location in Montreal may be able to process SIN in person – we will update further shortly
o As of writing, no SIN at Pearson International Airport – staff redeployed
o Wait times for mail in SIN anticipated minimum 21 days but more likely 2 – 3 months
• British Columbia also revising Lease Eviction policies

March 24 update

• SIN Office – All Points has verified in person at Service Canada – NEW SIN Applications in limited locations and hours for WORK PERMIT HOLDERS.
o Important Note: Accepting in person applications for Work Permit Holders IF the employer requires the SIN to start work. Otherwise, mail in applications preferred. Original documentation only: Work Permit and Passport. Limiting visits to 5 per time. Office hours vary. Contact APRS for more information.
o Recommendation: Provide all applicants with letter from Employer to verify SIN is required for work purposes
• Retroactive OHIP for those that applied within the last 90 days verified
Province of Quebec and Province of Ontario have ordered all non-essential businesses to close office locations end of day effectively.
• In Ontario, real estate is listed as “essential”
• In Quebec, real estate is not listed as “essential”
What this means?
• In Ontario, we are still be able to provide virtual / unaccompanied home finding support.
o We are coordinating this with real estate agents and property managers to arrange virtual viewings of unoccupied, preferably brand new suites that have never been tenanted (low risk units).
o Options are limited as some property managers have closed up until April. We anticipate more may join the list today.
• In Quebec, an agreement may be made virtually with no property visit at all. Paperwork must be completed electronically. No face to face contact with an agent or property manager. Updates to follow.
• We are actively discouraging individuals to rent in shared accommodation at this time.
REFERENCE
https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/3/list-of-essential-workplaces.html
“Note that teleworking and online commerce are permitted at all times for all businesses”
https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/health-issues/a-z/2019-coronavirus/essential-services-commercial-activities-covid19/
“It should be noted that all businesses can always engage in teleworking and e-commerce.”

March 21 update

• Ontario waives the 90 day waiting period for OHIP

• SIN offices NO LONGER ACCEPTING NEW APPLICATIONS IN PERSON; Mail In Applications Possible – 20 Day Processing Time but delays possible. All Points now providing Guidance on MAILED IN APPLICATIONS

• Other Government offices that remain open will only see those that have self-isolated for 14 days (most exercising 30 day rules now).

• Some cities waiving Utility Bill Payments for 60 days and suspending evictions – further update on this to come

• Most Provinces are extending automatic temporary renewals for those that cannot get into a government office now to complete a drivers renewal/exchange

As of March 20

I just want to open by saying that we are thinking of your people, making sure they are ok and getting the information they need.
 
In these challenging times, we felt it important to inform our clients that All Points Relocation Service Inc has had a Business Continuity Plan in place for a number of years and we are currently working within its guidelines.
 
All Points has been well positioned to have its staff work from virtual home offices for quite a while now.  Our team is currently working from home offices with complete access to all digital tools regularly required to do their job and phone extensions consistent with their phone extensions when in the office.  We have asked all employees to work from home in efforts to reduce the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
 
Important highlights: (Updates will be made as the situation evolves).
 
• State of Emergency: Nationwide

o Many business, public gathering places and recreation facilities across the country have been closed; gatherings of more than 10 people have been cancelled
o Self-isolation and social distancing requirements have been put in place
o Schools are closed
o Non-essential businesses closed
o Grocery stores and pharmacies remain open
• Returning / arriving to Canada: 14 Day Self-Isolation is now required
o Most non-Canadian nationals are not able to enter the country / exemptions are made for some work permit holders
• Service Canada Social Insurance Number: Mail applications only.
• Provincial health insurance registration:
o Ontario: limited but possible
o Quebec: closed / online only
o Alberta: limited but possible and online
o Other provinces, contact All Points
• Property viewings: Most landlords/property managers will no longer conduct in-person viewings. Remote, face-time viewings possible.

Recommendations

1. Temporary Housing: We recommend that temporary housing stays be extended to 30+ days during this period to allow for the 14 day self-quarantine period. Companies should realize that rental markets may be limited during this period for the reason described above, so temporary accommodations may need to be extended. Temporary accommodations may also be required for those that were ready to leave on assignments and who have given notice to their landlord, but cannot travel to the host country
a. Most temporary accommodation providers are now providing quarantine suites that are cleaned and sterilized between guests. These are specific suites for travelers from abroad.

What All Points can do for you now:
• Airport Pick Up /Drop Off Support
• Destination services after 14 day self-isolation possible
• Groceries and pharmaceutical deliveries during self-isolation
• Remote bank set-up
• Departure support including alternative lodging
• On-going counselling
• Property management for properties that were found on house hunting trips, but are not currently able to be occupied

We will keep you informed during these challenging times. If you have any questions regards to relocation during this time period, please reach me at [email protected] and I will be happy to answer your questions.

Posted on March 20, 2020 in Uncategorized

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