Requirements when TFWs Decline Employer-Provided Accommodations under the Agricultural Stream

The purpose of this email is to confirm and remind employers of program requirements under the Agricultural Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program when a worker declines or chooses to leave employer-provided accommodations in favour of private accommodations arranged at their own cost.  

To protect the well-being of workers during their stay in Canada, TFW Program housing requirements address instances where a worker declines or chooses to leave employer-provided accommodations. Program policies in this area seek to ensure proper safeguards are in place, so that workers are not being housed in overcrowded, unsafe and/or unhealthy living conditions.  

When a worker opts to live in a private accommodation in lieu of employer-provided accommodation, the employer is required to document this change in working conditions (i.e., housing) and must be prepared to fully demonstrate that: 

·     the worker is aware that the employer is required to provide accommodation that meets all norms and standards in the jurisdiction where the accommodation is located;  

·     the worker decision to decline employer-provided accommodation is informed and voluntary; and, 

·     the worker knows that there is always the option to return to employer-provided accommodations.  

Service Canada has a private housing attestation form that can be used to document such a decision. Please also note that this information must be kept by the employer for a period of six years.     

It is also important to note that even in instances where private accommodations are being used, the employer is still required to meet overarching TFW program housing requirements, which includes a requirement for the employer to provide housing to the worker. The submission of an attestation form where a worker has chosen their own housing does not exempt the employer from providing housing to the worker. Employers must ensure that sufficient housing will be made available for all temporary foreign workers per approved accommodation, from the date of arrival to the date of departure. This policy is meant to protect workers over the course of their stay should their circumstances change.  

 The Government of Canada recognizes the vital role that workers play in many sectors of the economy and is committed to protecting them while they are in Canada. To this end, ensuring workers have access to safe and secure housing for the entire duration of their stay in Canada is of paramount importance to the TFW Program. 

You are encouraged to share this communication throughout your respective networks, and with any colleagues or peers who may need to be aware of this information.  

If you have questions on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, please visit or communicate with the Employer Contact Centre.  

Thank you for your continued collaboration. 

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program 

Employment and Social Development Canada 

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