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Regulatory changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, in consultation with stakeholders, worked collaboratively to develop amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. These changes will help strengthen the integrity of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and provide further protections for temporary foreign workers while alleviating temporary labour shortages.

As a result of these amendments, there are important changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program that affect employers and temporary foreign workers starting on April 1, 2011.

Highlights of the changes include:

1. A more rigorous assessment of the genuineness of the job offer;

– The genuineness of a job offer to a foreign worker, including a review of four factors for all work permit applications processed

  • The employer is actively engaged in the business;
  • The job offer is consistent with needs of the employer;
  • The employer is reasonably able to fulfill the terms of the job offer; and
  • The employer has complied with federal/provincial/territorial laws regulating employment in the province/territory where the worker will be employed.

2. A two-year prohibition from hiring temporary foreign workers for employers who have failed to meet their commitments to workers with respect to wages, working conditions and occupation;

– Workers are advised to protect themselves by consulting CIC’s employer ineligibility website prior to entering into or extending an employment agreement to determine if the employer they are planning to work for has been deemed ineligible to use the TFWP.

– Temporary foreign workers cannot enter into an agreement, or an extension of an existing agreement with an employer who has been deemed ineligible to use the TFWP. Doing so will result in the worker’s loss of temporary resident status in Canada.

3. A limit on the length of time a temporary foreign worker may work in Canada before returning home.

– The cumulative duration regulation establishes a maximum allowable duration of four years that a temporary foreign worker can work in Canada, followed by a period of four years in which the worker would not be eligible to work in Canada. It takes effect April 1, 2011 for all TFWs; therefore, the earliest date that a TFW could reach the four-year cumulative duration is April 1, 2015.

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