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I'm a temporary resident in Canada and I have a work permit corresponding to a 3-year project. I am employed at a university. Each year, employment insurance is deducted from my salary.

I see that there are a number of employment insurance benefits. However, the linked page says that those are available to Canadians. Considering that I am paying for employment insurance, what benefits can I get, under what circumstances, as a temporary resident?

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The use of the word "Canadian" appears to be shorthand for "person legally employable in Canada", rather than citizen or permanent resident.

The applying for employment insurance benefits page makes clear "you can apply for EI benefits if you have paid into the EI account and you are unemployed.".

As part of the application process, they require "your Social Insurance Number (SIN). If your SIN begins with a 9, you need to supply proof of your immigration status and work permit."

So, there's a specific case (the temporary SIN beginning with 9) where you need to show a work permit, which a citizen or permanent resident would not have. This indicates that it's available to temporary residents, in the same way as for permanent residents, with the same benefits, with just the additional immigration and work permit documents required.

The big question is: would your work permit still be valid if you lost the job?

  • Emphasizing your last line. OP may be eligible to unemployment and/or disability benefits, but if his Canadian stay ends together with his job than effectively he's still paying for something he can never use. – Freek Wiekmeijer Jun 4 '14 at 8:28

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