Temporary Resident Permit for Victims of Human Trafficking

Temporary Resident Permits play a crucial role in ensuring that survivors of human trafficking have secured legal status. This security allows survivors to access their rights and options, gives them time to recover from trauma and seek medical treatment if necessary, confers access to social support, and helps to foster a legal environment in which the survivor can make informed decisions about his or her future. In our work with survivors of trafficking who do not have legal status, the temporary resident permit is the foundation remedial tool that opens up access to essential assistance and support.

– Ai Li Lim, Staff Lawyer and Executive Director at West Coast domestic Workers’ Association

A foreign national who is in Canada without legal immigration status may apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) for potentially trafficked persons.

If an immigration officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a person may have been trafficked, CIC can issue a TRP. This initial TRP has no fee and gives the trafficked persons up to 180 days in Canada and access to health care, counselling, a work permit and provincial income assistance in some cases.

A TRP is intended to give a trafficked person a period of time to recover, reflect and make choices. They may wish to return home, apply to stay longer in Canada, or consider reporting to the police. Trafficked persons are not required to assist in any criminal investigation or to testify against their trafficker(s) in order to apply for or receive a TRP.

A trafficked person may be eligible for a subsequent TRP in certain circumstances. Applications for subsequent TRPs must be made to CIC and a fee is usually charged. A trafficked person who has been granted an initial TRP that has been successfully renewed for several years may be eligible to apply for permanent resident status in Canada.

Links and Resources:

More information from CIC about the TRP and work permit is available at the Protection and assistance for victims of human trafficking webpage.

The Canadian Council for Refugees has written a report on their perspectives of the TRP (Temporary Resident Permits: Limits to Protection for Trafficked Persons)


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