Minister of Immigration, Chris Alexander, continues to make the
hiring of foreign workers difficult for Canadian employers. On
February 21, 2015 Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
introduced new rules that require employers hiring foreign
nationals under the International Mobility Programs, such as
intra-company transferees and international experience class
workers, to complete a new form and pay a $230 fee per worker as
part of a new employer compliance program.
Canada has two programs available to employers to hire foreign
workers: the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the
International Mobility Programs (IMP). The TFWP is intended to be
used by employers as a last resort when they are unable to fill
labour shortages in their workforce with qualified Canadian
citizens or permanent residents. The IMP, on the other hand, allows
employers to hire foreign workers under various international
mobility agreements that Canada has signed with other nations.
In the last several years, significant changes have been
introduced to the TFWP to ensure that employers are not abusing the
program or the foreign workers they hire. Employers hiring workers
under the TFWP are required to make legally binding declarations
that they will respect all the terms of their offer of employment
to a foreign worker and comply with all applicable employment laws
in the province or territory where they operate. They must also
agree to be audited through program inspections to verify that they
are meeting their legal obligations.
The new changes announced by CIC on February 21 extend the TFW
compliance measures to the IMP by requiring employers to submit
information about their company and the details of the prospective
employee's job offer before a work permit will be issued. A new
$230 fee is also imposed upon employers for IMP work permits to
provide funding to make ongoing inspections for employer compliance
with the job offers they are making to foreign workers. All of
these changes mean that now ALL employers hiring foreign nationals,
whether under the IMP or TFWP, are subject to inspections to
determine whether they have been compliant with the terms under
which they were allowed to hire a foreign worker. Non-compliant
employers may face financial penalties, public bans from hiring
foreign workers, or even criminal prosecution in the most serious
The changes announced to the IMP should come as no surprise.
These changes are consistent with the government's recent trend
of introducing tougher new rules for all employers and stiff
penalties for those who break them. Last year, the government
introduced new regulatory changes to enhance measures to prevent,
detect and respond to employer non-compliance, as well as
increasing penalties to punish bad employers and repeat offenders.
Specifically, the government is seeking to introduce monetary
penalties of up to $100,000 for each infraction in serious cases of
non-compliance, taking into account the size of the business and
whether the employer has a prior record of non-compliance. Under
the proposed changes, even if an employer has committed only one
violation, it could be fined multiple times for non-compliance if
the violation affects more than one foreign worker. For example, if
a violation affects five foreign workers, it could result in a
separate fine being made against the employer for each of them!
Now more than ever, employers must be diligent to keep full and
accurate employee records for foreign workers. Employers could be
the subject of inspections and be asked for detailed employee
records up to six years after a foreign worker has stopped working
with them. Employers are recommended to keep employee records for
at least six years, with a focus on pay statements to satisfy
immigration authorities that they were compliant in providing their
foreign workers with the exact employment terms they offered,
including hours of work and the payment of wages and benefits. In
the new world of inspections and compliance, employers now face
significant monetary and reputational risks when hiring foreign
October 12th, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 21st round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 44th overall, inviting 1518 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 484.
October 19th, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 22nd round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 45th overall, inviting 1804 applicants for permanent residence, the largest number ever. The lowest CRS score was 475, a decline from the previous draw.
September 21st, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 20th round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 43rd overall, inviting 1288 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 483.
A unique feature of the new Canada express entry immigration system is that candidates can improve their comprehensive ranking score while in the express entry pool, without submitting a new application. We review important strategies.
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