Work Permits for Vulnerable Workers

13th Jun 2019 Comments Off on Work Permits for Vulnerable Workers

Section 207.1 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the “IRPR”) states that (modified for ease of reading):

207.1 (1) A work permit may be issued under section 200 to a foreign national in Canada if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the foreign national is experiencing or is at risk of experiencing abuse in the context of their employment in Canada and if they

(a) hold a work permit; or

(b) previously held a work permit, have applied for a renewal of that permit and are authorized to work in Canada under implied status.

Family member of vulnerable worker

(2) A work permit may be issued to a foreign national in Canada who is a family member of a person described in paragraph (1)(a) or (b).

In other words, temporary foreign workers in Canada who are experiencing, or have experienced abuse, can apply for open work permits.   People who have engaged in unauthorized work or have not complied with employment conditions are not excluded from the program.

The objectives of IRPR r. 207.1 are to:

  • provide migrant workers who are experiencing abuse, or who are at risk of abuse, with a distinct means to leave their employer;
  • mitigate the risk of migrant workers in Canada who are leaving their job and working irregularly (that is, without authorization) as a result of abusive situations
  • facilitate the participation of migrant workers who are experiencing abuse, or who are at risk of abuse, in any relevant inspection of their former employer, recruiter or both; and
  • help migrant workers in assisting authorities, if required (noting that this is not required for the issuance of the open work permit),

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