ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 567 – February 14, 2014

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

This document has expired. Please refer to the appropriate Program Delivery Instructions for current information.

Protecting foreign nationals from the risk of abuse and exploitation


This Operational Bulletin (OB) provides information and operational instructions to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in regards to the Regulations introduced on December 31, 2013, that will prevent employers in businesses that offer, on a regular basis, striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages, from employing foreign nationals in any capacity.


In July 2012, in order to protect foreign workers from the risk of abuse, exploitation, and trafficking, the Minister of CIC instructed officers to no longer process work permit applications from foreign nationals intending to work in businesses where there were reasonable grounds to suspect a risk of sexual exploitation such as strip clubs, erotic dance and massage parlours. When these measures were introduced, the Ministers of CIC and Employment and Social Development Canada announced that the Government will take future actions, including making regulatory changes, as part of Canada’s National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking.

The regulatory changes have been finalized and came into force on December 31, 2013. The new regulations prohibit all foreign nationals (that is, visitors, students and workers) from working for these businesses, regardless of how they are authorized to work (e.g., work off campus, work without a permit, have an open work permit).

New regulations

Section 183 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) imposed conditions on all foreign nationals entering Canada by operation of law. The relevant portion of subsection 183(1) has been changed to the following:

183. (1) Subject to section 185, the following conditions are imposed on all temporary residents:

(b.1) if authorized to work by this Part or Part 11, to not enter into an employment agreement, or extend the term of an employment agreement, with an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages;

Subsection 200(3) provides for situations where an officer shall not issue a work permit. The following situation has been added to this subsection that is relevant to this OB.

200. (3) An officer shall not issue a work permit to a foreign national if

(g.1) the foreign national intends to work for an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages; […]

Processing instructions

Work permits shall be refused for any foreign national applying to work in Canada in any occupation for a business that provides striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages on a regular basis.

These instructions apply to all foreign nationals entering or already in Canada. Foreign nationals are prohibited from working in any capacity (e.g., janitor, cook or dancer) for any business in Canada that offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages on a regular basis. Foreign nationals entering Canada as work permit exempt or on open work permits are prohibited, as per the new regulations, from entering into employment with employers who offer these activities.

Employment Agreement” is any arrangement which creates an employment relationship or a contract for individual services where the contractor renders direct service to a Canadian business (e.g., direct hire or performing artist contract). It is any situation where the Canadian business has the right to direct and control the type, manner and timing of the employee’s work (e.g., the business is responsible for scheduling when, where and how the contractor will provide their services).

Business offering striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massage on a regular basis” for the purpose of determining whether a business meets this description, an officer may wish to consider:

  • Are these activities the ‘normal’ form of entertainment or services provided by the business? Yes or no.
    • If yes, the work permit should be refused as per R200(3)(g.1).
    • If no, consider the following questions:
      1. Is it the business that is offering these services as opposed to the business simply hosting the event (e.g., strip club or bar presenting an entertainer, or a hotel renting out a conference room)?

        Note: if the venue is not the ‘host’, then the employer would be whoever signed the contract (employment or services) with the foreign national.

      2. Where the business is offering the services, are these services offered regularly such as once or more a week/month (as opposed to periodically such as once a year)?

If the answers to questions 1 and 2 is yes, then the work permit should be refused as per R200(3)(g.1) that the employer is a business that offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massage.

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