After hiring a temporary worker

After you have gone through the hiring process and the temporary worker’s application for a work permit is approved, you have certain responsibilities and conditions you must meet.

When the temporary worker arrives in Canada

The temporary worker will receive an authorization letter, known as a letter of introduction (LOI) when their work permit has been approved. The actual work permit is issued to them when they arrive in Canada. The temporary worker must show the LOI to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer at the point of entry into Canada.

The authorization letter does not guarantee that the temporary worker will be allowed to enter Canada. The CBSA officer may refuse to issue a work permit and may refuse to allow the temporary worker to enter Canada on criminal, security, medical or other grounds.

Your responsibilities

As an employer of a temporary worker, you must

  • arrange for workers’ compensation benefits and medical coverage for the temporary worker when they arrive in Canada, as required by your province or territory;
  • make sure that the temporary worker has the necessary work permit (the Social Insurance Number [SIN] that a temporary worker is given is not proof that they have a valid work permit);
  • comply with the conditions and time limits outlined in the temporary worker’s work permit; you are legally responsible for ensuring that these conditions are met, so make sure you are familiar with them;
  • remain actively engaged in the business that submitted the offer of employment for as long as the temporary worker is employed;
  • comply with all federal, provincial and territorial employment laws, including laws about recruiting workers;
  • provide the temporary worker with a job in the same occupation that was listed in the offer of employment;
  • provide the temporary worker with wages and working conditions that meet or are better than those listed in the offer of employment;
  • make reasonable efforts to provide a workplace that is free of physical, sexual, psychological and financial abuse;
  • keep any documentation related to the hiring and employment of the temporary worker for a period of six years after the work permit is issued; and
  • attend any inspection and provide all requested documentation or information.


You may be subject to inspections by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) or Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) acting on behalf of CIC. These inspections verify that you are meeting all the conditions set out for employers in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). If you have been selected for an inspection, you must

  • report at the specified time and location to answer questions;
  • provide requested and required documents; and
  • attend an on-site inspection.

If an officer finds you non-compliant following an inspection, you may face a penalty. In serious cases, you may face a criminal investigation and prosecution.

Note: If you do not provide documents and information requested during an inspection, you will be

  • found non-compliant; and
  • banned from hiring temporary workers through the International Mobility Program (IMP) and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) for a period of two years.

If you have allowed an authorized representative to submit offers of employment on your behalf, you are still responsible for complying with all inspection activities and requests. Following an inspection, you will need to submit a Use of Representative [IMM 5476] form with all other requested documents.


Note: On December 1, 2015, new regulations for employers that are found non-compliant will take effect. These new regulations will include monetary penalties and bans from hiring temporary workers for varying lengths of time. More information will be made available closer to December 1, 2015.

Currently, if you are found to be non-compliant, you will not be able to hire temporary workers through the TFWP or the IMP for a period of two years. You will also be added to the list of non-compliant employers.

The information on this page relates to employers who have hired a temporary worker under the IMP. Find out more about the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).

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