I’m a temporary foreign worker. What are my rights?

Temporary foreign workers are people who have a work permit through the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. This lets you come to Canada to work for a certain amount of time. And it gives you temporary resident status in Canada during that time.

Temporary foreign workers are also called migrant workers.

There are many types of temporary foreign workers, including:

For more information about specific types of workers, read:

Work permits

All temporary foreign workers must sign an employment contract before coming to Canada. And the Canadian government must agree that the employer can hire someone from outside Canada.

To get a job, you need a work permit. Most people must apply for a work permit before they come to Canada. The 2 types of work permits are:

  • closed work permits
  • open work permits

A closed work permit tells you:

  • the name of the employer you can work for, and
  • how long you can work for them.

An open work permit allows you to work for almost any employer who will hire you, unless they:

Most work permits are closed work permits. This means you can only work for the employer named in the work permit, unless you get a new one.

If you quit your job, you can stay in Canada for only as long as your work permit says you can. See Step 4 for more information about how you might be able to continue to work.

Get help and support

If you think your employer is not following the law, here are some places that may be able to give you information and help:

You can also complain to Service Canada's tip line at 1-866-602-9448. It's available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You don't have to give your name.

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