New rules to Temporary Foreign Worker Program in effect

More rigorous assessment of job offer among changes
||Last Updated: 04/06/2011

Changes to the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program came into effect April 1. The new safeguards are designed to better protect temporary foreign workers, said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) will ensure the program continues to be fair to employers and maintain its focus on alleviating temporary labour shortages, said Kenney.

“We saw a need for clear regulations to better protect workers from poor treatment and to ensure that the Temporary Foreign Worker Program continued to address short-term labour and skills shortages,” said Kenney. “These regulations respond to that need and with the information available, employers and workers will clearly know what is expected of them.”

The regulatory changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program include the most significant changes to the program in many years. There are three major elements:

•A more rigorous assessment of the genuineness of the job offer.

•Two-year period of ineligibility for hiring temporary foreign workers for employers who fail to meet their commitments with respect to wages, working conditions and occupation.

•A four-year limit on the length of time some temporary foreign workers may work in Canada before returning home.

“We know that the vast majority of employers treat foreign workers with respect and we recognize the importance of temporary foreign workers to employers in certain industries,” said Rick Dykstra, the minister’s parliamentary secretary. “That’s why we have also identified some workers who will be exempt from the four-year limit, such as workers who come to Canada through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program and play such a critical role in the harvest across the country.”

For more details on the changes, see Protecting Temporary Foreign Workers and Four-Year Limit for Foreign Nationals Working in Canada.

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program is driven by employer demand and aimed at filling identified labour shortages where no suitable Canadian workers or permanent residents are available. It is jointly managed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.

Webinar on changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

For more information on the changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, view the webinar Canadian HR Reporter hosted with Howard Greenberg, partner with Greenberg Turner in Toronto and a certified specialist in immigration law and past chair of the Citizenship and Immigration Law Specialization Committee of the Law Society of Upper Canada. You can view an archived version of the webinar for $69 at

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