COVID-19: A guide for temporary foreign workers travelling to Canada

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Section 1: How to stop the spread of COVID-19

Vaccination

Evidence indicates that vaccines are effective at preventing serious outcomes due to COVID-19, such as severe illness, hospitalization and death.

COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada are free of charge. They are available to everyone eligible, including temporary foreign workers.

Learn more about Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Prevention and risks

Additional measures

As efforts continue across Canada to increase overall vaccine coverage and lower community transmission, public health measures remain the foundation of the pandemic response.

You should follow all local public health measures regardless of your vaccination status. Recommendations for some measures are expected to change over time in response to the current COVID-19 situation.

Learn more about Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Prevention and risks 

Section 2: What you need to know before leaving your country

Travel arrangements

Before making travel arrangements, verify with your employer (or your Ministry of Labour if you are with the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program [SAWP]) that your job is still available. Also, read the email that you received from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and follow their advice.

Enhanced border measures

There are different testing and quarantine requirements upon arrival depending on which country you are travelling from and whether you are fully vaccinated.

Check if you qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller and learn about new border measures for air travel.

You must use ArriveCAN to provide mandatory travel / quarantine information on and after your entry into Canada. Please review the Government of Canada’s pre-entry testing and ArriveCAN requirements.

Section 3: What to know for your arrival

Testing, quarantine, and isolation

You should learn about arrival tests along with quarantine or isolation requirements. When you arrive, the border officer at the airport will give you further instructions.

Using ArriveCAN

You must use ArriveCAN to provide mandatory travel / quarantine information on and after your entry into Canada. Please review the Government of Canada’s pre-entry testing and ArriveCAN requirements .

Section 4: What to know for the rest of your stay

Your rights

For information about your rights, please visit the Foreign Worker Rights web page.

COVID-19 income support measures

Your employer cannot end your contract if you are sick with COVID-19. You may be eligible for COVID-19 benefits and services if you become sick and miss work due to COVID-19. You may be entitled to either paid or unpaid sick leave, depending on your employment contract and the relevant federal, provincial or territorial employment standards.

Changing jobs

If you are changing jobs or employers and need a new employer-specific work permit, please consult the Work in Canada Temporarily page.

Migrant Worker Support Organisations

The Government of Canada is funding community organizations to support workers affected by COVID-19. These organizations can provide advice and support, interpretation, workshops, opportunities to build community connections, and more.

Finally, you can visit the Migrant Worker Hub to find useful resources. Although some information is specific to British Columbia only, most is applicable regardless of where you work and live in Canada.

Reporting abuse

Note: If you are in danger please call 9-1-1 immediately. This is a free call from any Canadian telephone number.

All workers in Canada are protected under Canadian law.

Canada takes the abuse of temporary foreign workers (TFWs) very seriously. Employers who abuse workers could face a penalty or be banned from the program.

For information on abuse and how to report it by phone, in person, or by regular mail, please consult How to report abuse of temporary foreign workers.

To report abuse online, you can use the multi-lingual Online form to report abuse of Temporary Foreign Workers.

You can also notify the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, local law enforcement, and local health authorities.

Open work permit for vulnerable workers

If you think you are being abused, or at risk of being abused by your employer, you may be eligible to apply for an open work permit for vulnerable workers. For more information, please visit IRCC’s page for vulnerable foreign workers who are victims of abuse.

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