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Updated: Temporary foreign workers faced with vaccination deadline to depart Canada

October 28, 2021  By Western Agriculture Labour Initiative (WALI)

Update: Transport Canada has updated its policies regarding foreign nationals. Those who are not fully vaccinated but arrived in Canada prior to Oct. 30, 2021 may show proof of a valid COVID-19 test at time of travel up until Feb. 28, 2022

Unvaccinated temporary foreign workers may soon have to decide when to leave Canada.

Starting October 30, 2021, all travellers will be required to be fully vaccinated in order to board domestic, transborder or international flights, railways and marine vessels in Canada.


As the Western Agriculture Labour Initiative (WALI) writes, “This new restriction includes temporary foreign workers (TFW) departing Canada, regardless of the re-entry requirements of their home country.”

“Workers who are not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated have the choice to obtain their vaccination,” states WALI. Workers who are not fully vaccinated must provide a negative COVID-19 molecular test 72 hours prior to travelling.

Note: Transport Canada has since stated that foreign nationals who arrived in Canada prior to Oct. 30, 2021 may use the negative COVID-19 molecular test as proof for travel up until Feb. 28, 2022. Previously, it was stated that there would be a short transition period and unvaccinated workers would need to leave by Nov. 30. This is no longer the case.

“It is the employer’s responsibility to assess which workers travel home and when,” writes WALI. “Employers must make sure this new requirement is shared with all temporary foreign workers expected to travel home in 2021.”

The organization also provided links to country-specific requirements for TFW’s returning home:

  • Jamaican workers returning home are required to obtain a negative antigen test 72 hours before travelling and receive approved travel authorization.
  • Workers returning to Barbados must receive a negative PCR test 72 hours prior to returning home. More info here.
  • Mexican workers are required to complete this form before travelling home to Mexico.

More procedures specific to the province of British Columbia can be found on the WALI website. | READ MORE

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