Frequently Asked Questions for temporary foreign workers and employers

This document is intended to complement existing guidance to employers as well as the information provided for travellers to Canada.

What documentation do temporary foreign workers need to bring with them when travelling to Canada?

There are document requirements for all travellers entering Canada, including those listed below. For a current list and more information, please see the Flying to Canada requirements checklist page

  • a valid passport (and visa if applicable)
  • a valid work permit or a port of entry letter of introduction issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada that shows the worker has been approved for a work permit.
  • telephone number and email address so that Canadian officials can contact the worker
  • employer’s contact information

Will workers receive health care coverage while they are in Canada?

Temporary foreign workers should receive coverage equivalent to other residents of Canada. For workers in the low-wage and primary agriculture streams, including the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, if provincial/territorial health care is not provided from the first day the worker arrives in Canada, equivalent private health insurance must be provided by the employer until the worker becomes eligible for the provincial/territorial plan

Can an employer prevent a worker from leaving their housing or worksite?

  • Limiting a temporary foreign worker’s movement may be considered abuse under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations and a violation of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program’s conditions. Examples may include:
    • imposing policies or agreements – whether oral or written, coerced or mandated by the employer – that restrict a worker’s ability to leave their housing or work location (including situations where a worker may feel compelled to agree to and/or abide by a policy or request out of fear of reprisal)
    • physically confining a worker to their housing or worksite without a legal authority (such as government or court issued order)
  • The Temporary Foreign Worker Program does not provide employers with the right to limit the free movement of workers, such as movement off the property where temporary foreign workers live and/or work. Like all workers, temporary foreign workers are free to run errands, access services, and enjoy their time off work when not in quarantine, self-isolating, or otherwise restricted from doing so as per government laws and orders, such as those relating to states of emergency or public health