Compliance inspections for Employers of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program during a pandemic
On this page
- New amendments in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations
- Virtual Inspections in a pandemic
- More information
New amendments in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations
On April 20, 2020, new amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) came into effect.
Under the IRPR, we have the right to verify that you comply with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). This includes during the mandatory period of quarantine when the TFWs’ arrive in Canada.
Please note the requirements for TFWs to quarantine
As an employer, you must:
- help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and
- protect your Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) from contracting COVID-19
It is your duty to follow your Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and the IRPR conditions.
We still conduct onsite inspections during the pandemic. Our inspectors are trained in proper COVID-19 safety protocols and in reducing cross-infection between sites.
If there is an outbreak or workers are in quarantine, we inspect virtually.
Virtual Inspections in a Pandemic
Your inspector will tell you the date and email address to send your documents. These times will be tight, so please ensure that you respond promptly.
Launching an inspection
We select employers for inspections when:
- an employer has hired a TFW who is subject to an order, and who has had to isolate due to the Quarantine Act or Emergencies Act, or
- we find a disease such as COVID-19 at the worksite
Preparing for temporary foreign workers (TFWs)
- tell us when TFWs arrive at your worksite by emailing: ESDC.ISB.QUARANTINE-QUARANTAINE.DGSI.EDSC@servicecanada.gc.ca
- the email must include:
- subject: Arrival of TFWs (name of your business)
- body: names, date and arrival and time of TFWs to your worksite
- contact details for the TFWs, if you have them
- your contact details, including mailing address
- please include the name of a second contact person for your business
- understand your responsibilities:
- during the worker’s initial 14-day quarantine period, you must ensure that:
If you provide living-quarters, you must also ensure:
- newly-arrived TFWs isolate away from workers not isolating or under quarantine:
- TFWs in quarantine at the same time must be able to stay at least 2 metres apart
- there are cleaning products ready for TFWs to clean and disinfect
If the TFWs develop any COVID-19 signs or symptoms during the period of employment, you must ensure that they:
- live away from other TFWs, and
- have private beds and baths
Information required for the inspection
When selected for an inspection, an inspector will contact you by phone and email. You must cooperate in a timely manner with the inspector’s requests. This includes emailing documents. Failure to do so may result in penalties and/or a ban from the program.
You must show that you provide the following:
- proof of wages paid (for example, pay stubs, deposit forms)
- photos of living spaces that show physical distancing for TFWs in quarantine. This includes:
- sleeping quarters with beds 2 metres apart. Photos must show the tape measure
- dining areas with chairs 2 metres apart using tape measure, and
- kitchen and washroom facilities
- photos of private isolation space if TFWs need to be in separate living spaces, and
- proof of an adequate supply of cleaning products for TFWs to clean and sanitize their living areas
You may have to provide a virtual tour of the living spaces.
Inspectors will interview TFWs via phone or video conference.
When responding to requests for documents, please remove details that could identify people, such as:
- social insurance numbers
- banking information, or
- medical information
If we detect COVID-19, we will report this to local public health officials for action.
Penalties for non-compliance
Penalties could include:
- a warning
- fines of up to $100,000 per violation, to a maximum of $1 million per year
- a permanent ban from the TWFP and IMP for the most serious violations
- publishing your business name and address on an IRCC website with details of the violation(s) and/or consequence(s)
- suspension or revocation of previously-issued LMIAs
We will send you all Notices of Preliminary Findings (NOPF) and Notices of Final Determinations (NOFD) by e-mail and registered mail.
You have the right to a judicial review of the NOFD, if you do not agree with the final result.
COVID-19 continues to evolve. Please consult TFW Program compliance for the latest information.
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