Canada: Amendments to Select Work Programs for Foreign Nationals

September 30, 2022 Jessie Butchley

This article was originally published on 22 September 2022 and was updated on 30 September 2022 to reflect new information.  

Key Points    

  • Canada introduced amendments to the Temporary Foreign Worker program and the International Mobility Program aimed at protecting foreign national workers   

Overview   

The government of Canada introduced amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations that will take effect on 26 September 2022. The amendments will impact the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP) and aims to provide new protections for foreign national workers in Canada. Some of the most notable amendments include:  

  • Employers must ensure that workers are informed of Canada’s worker rights with copies of this information provided in French or English on or before the employee’s first workday.  
  • Employers must ensure that employees have easy access to worker’s rights information without requiring assistance from the company's human resources department throughout the duration of the employment period.     
  • Employers will be responsible for providing foreign nationals employed under the TFWP or IMP with a signed copy of their employment agreement. The agreement must be in an official language of Canada, signed by both the employer and employee, and include the occupation, wages, and working conditions at a minimum. 
    • Employers of IMP workers must ensure that the offer of employment is signed prior to the submission of the employer compliance application via the Employer Portal since the employer will be required to attest that they have already provided the foreign worker with an employment agreement.  
    • Employers must continue to meet all conditions and terms defined in the provided employment agreement.  
  • Amending the definition of work “abuse” to include “reprisal” made against foreign national employees.  
  • Employers will be responsible for ensuring that employees injured or who become ill at work are provided reasonable access to healthcare services.  
    • Employers of TFWP workers must provide or pay for private health insurance that covers medical expenses for foreign workers who fall ill or are injured throughout the duration of the employment period, including obtaining and paying for private health insurance that covers emergency medical care for foreign workers for any period during the period of employment where they are not covered by the applicable provincial/territorial health insurance system. 
  • Employers are not able to charge or recover fees directly or indirectly from a foreign national for the provision of services related to a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), employer compliance fee, and fees related to recruitment. This also relates to the recruiters that the employer uses. Specifically, recruiters cannot charge or recover those fees, directly or indirectly, either before, after or during the period of employment. 

The government of Canada will also increase its oversight of employers responsible for temporary foreign workers. This will include taking additional steps to assess workers’ wages compared to the prevailing wage and performing additional compliance checks. The authorities will also be permitted to suspend the processing of a LMIA request if there is reason to suspect that the employer is non-compliant with certain labor conditions.  

For additional information on these amendments, check here.    

What are the Changes?    

The government of Canada released new rules for foreign nationals employed under the TFWP or IMP programs. According to the government, the amendments aim to better protect foreign national workers in Canada and ensure that employers comply with all labor requirements in Canada.       

Looking Ahead    

Continue to check the government of Canada’s website and Envoy’s website for the latest updates and information.   


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Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an attorney at one of the two U.S. Law Firms working with the Envoy Platform or another qualified professional. On non-U.S. immigration issues, consult an Envoy global immigration service provider or another qualified representative.

About the Author

Jessie is Envoy's Global Immigration Writer.

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