In June 2014 the Canadian government announced its overhaul of
the Temporary Foreign Worker Program ("TFWP"),
splitting the TFWP into two distinct programs: those involving
Labour Market Impact Assessment ("LMIA") based work
permits, and those involving LMIA-exempt based work permits.
The TFWP now manages the LMIA based work permits, and Citizenship
and Immigration Canada ("CIC") now manages the
International Mobility Program ("IMP"), or LMIA-exempt
based work permits. At the time of the overhaul, the government
announced there would be changes to the penalties and consequences
for employer non-compliance with either the TFWP or the IMP.
On July 1, 2015, the government released detailed regulations
regarding the new employer penalties and consequences for
non-compliance with the TFWP and the IMP. These regulations do not
come into force until December 1, 2015 and are not retroactive,
however, they have been published early in order for employers to
fully understand the consequences of their non-compliance before
they come into effect.
The existing framework does not provide any proportional range
of consequences to the varying degrees of non-compliance. Under the
existing framework, the only available consequence for
non-compliant employers following an inspection is a two-year ban
from the program. Therefore, in many circumstances employers were
found to have actually been benefiting financially from their
In order to bring a proportionate response to the compliance
framework, Employment and Social Development Canada
("ESDC") and CIC developed a system of Administrative
Monetary Penalties ("AMPs"), warning statements, and
modified the number of years that an employer may be banned from
the program from only 2 years to 1, 2, 5, 10 and even a permanent
ban for those cases of extreme non-compliance.
The AMP system is dependent on the classification of the
"type" and severity of the violation(s) found and on the
total number of points assigned as a result of an employer's
violation of the program. There is a certain level of discretion
provided to the investigating officer to determine the severity of
the violation. As a result, monetary fines will range from $500 -
$100,000 per violation. In the event of multiple violations, the
fine issued will not be more than $1,000,000 for all violations
Further, if an employer's violation is assigned 6 or more
points, depending on the "type" classification, whether
it is a Type A, B or C violation, they may be banned from the
program for 1, 2, 5, or 10 years, or possibly permanently if the
violation is found to be egregious enough.
It should also be noted that in the event of the finding of a
violation, employers will be permitted to provide evidence or
information for the reason for the violation in an effort to reduce
the penalty. Employers may also be eligible for a reduced penalty
in the event of self-reporting their non-compliance with the
program(s). Again, discretion is given to the investigating officer
to make this determination.
What does this mean for you as an employer? It means
proportionate responses to varying degrees of violations. More
specifically, it means more prudence will be necessary on the part
of employers to avoid any of the above penalties. Proportionality
means that seemingly lesser offenses that an employer may have been
able to get away with in the past could very likely
result in a penalty under this new regime.
We recommend that ANY changes in employment for any temporary
foreign worker, whether they are under the TFWP or the IMP, be
discussed with immigration experts, prior to the change taking
affect in order to ensure employers remain compliant and avoid
these new penalties. As a reminder, employers are required to
maintain your records for 6 years, and may be investigated at any
point in that time period.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
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.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).