News Release — New rules to strengthen the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Ottawa, March 24, 2011 — Temporary foreign workers will be better protected after new safeguards take effect April 1, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney said today.

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

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 Minister Kenney. “These regulations respond to that need and with the information being made available today, employers and workers will clearly know what is expected of them.

The regulatory improvements 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;
  • a 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; and
  • 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,” added Rick Dykstra, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Member of Parliament for St. Catharines. “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 regulatory improvements, please 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.

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For further information (media only), please contact:

Alykhan Velshi
Minister’s Office
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Ryan Sparrow
Minister’s Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Media Relations
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada


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