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What Do I Do After Hiring a Temporary Worker Through International Mobility Program
Process of Hiring a Temporary Foreign Worker to Canada
Are you an employer that has hired a foreign national to work in Canada? Did you do so through the International Mobility Program (IMP)? The International Mobility Program (IMP) lets employers hire temporary workers without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Exemptions from the LMIA process are based on broader economic, cultural or other competitive advantages for Canada and reciprocal benefits enjoyed by Canadians and permanent residents.
In most cases, the employer would need to submit a Labour Market Impact Assessment in order to hire a foreign worker. However, as an employer that hired a worker through the International Mobility Program, you likely did not submit an LMIA, as the International Mobility Program is exempt from that. Instead, you would have had other responsibilities, such as:
- Submitting an offer of employment
- Paying an employer compliance fee
- Use the Employer Portal
- Ensure the worker has a work permit
There may also be other responsibilities in the process towards hiring a foreign worker, as well as specific exemptions to some steps. For full information regarding the steps required in the International Mobility Program and how it applies to your specific situation, ensure that you consult the government website, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (cic.gc.ca).
What is the Employers Responsibility after Hiring a Temporary Foreign Worker?
If you have hired a Temporary Worker and received a positive response back from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, you will still have certain responsibilities. Firstly, you must ensure that you have arranged for the worker to have compensation benefits as well as reliable medical coverage when they come to Canada. When doing so, make sure that you abide by the regulations set by your specific province or territory. Each health coverage system differs per province. You would also need to ensure that your employer has a work permit. This is part of the application, and you would need to confirm that the work permit is valid for the amount of time that you are hiring the worker for. Note that the temporary worker would need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) in order to work in Canada; however, obtaining a SIN number is not proof that they have a work permit. You would need to show the actual valid work permit if asked for proof. As the employer, you are also responsible to ensure that your worker complies with the validity of the work permit. Each work permit is valid for a different amount of time and has different limitations, but you are also legally responsible to ensure that the employee complies with the conditions set out on the permit. Note that this also means ensuring the worker is actually working in the position that was stated in your application and employment offer. Another responsibility for the employer is to ensure that he/she is the employer for as long as the worker is with them. This means the business has to be active and the employer cannot leave the business as long as that specific worker is there. Furthermore, while working, the employer must follow all laws and regulations (whether it be federal or provincial/territorial) regarding recruitment of employees.
The employer also has certain responsibilities to the worker specifically. This includes:
- Ensuring the worker is getting the same wages and working conditions that meet or are better than those that were described in the employment offer
- Ensure the worker is in a workplace with no physical, sexual, psychological, or financial abuse
- Make sure that the workplace complies with federal, provincial, and/or territorial laws
- Finally, the employer must retain any documentation relating to the temporary worker for at least six years after the issuance of the work permit.
Will I be inspected after hiring a Temporary Worker?
In some cases, you may be asked to attend an inspection by an immigration officer. At this time, you will be asked for documentation or information that you will need to truthfully provide. The inspection will either be carried out by an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) officer or an officer from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) / Service Canada who is performing the inspection in place of an IRCC officer. You will not definitely be asked for an inspection; only certain situations may cause an IRCC officer to request one. These situations may be: if there is a reason for the IRCC officer to suspect that you have not adhered to your responsibilities, if you have been non-compliant in the past, or if you are selected randomly.
This inspection is intended to ensure that you, as the employer, are fulfilling your responsibilities (as mentioned above). This is supposed to make sure the foreign worker is protected and not being mistreated while working, as well as to ensure the International Mobility Program is being used honestly (no fraudulent activity).
You can be selected for an inspection anytime from the day the foreign worker starts their employment to six years after the termination of their employment. If you are, you will need to answer their questions honestly and meet the officer at the requested time and location. Any workplace inspections must also be conducted as requested, and any documents requested must be provided. Note that the officer has the right to inspect your workplace and question other workers in the place of employment.
What happens if I was found to be non-compliant?
After an inspection, the officer will make a decision. If you receive a negative decision, this means the officer found that you were non-compliant in fulfilling your responsibilities as the employer. In this case, you will receive a document from IRCC describing what the officer found, how you violated a specific responsibility, and the penalty that you must face. After receiving this document, you will have 30 days to respond if you would like to justify yourself or request an extension for this 30 day period. After this time, you will be given a final decision regarding your non-compliance, with details about your violation and what steps to take.
If you would like to contest your violation, you can respond with a justification for your non-compliance. This can be with reasons such as: a change in law pertaining to the violation, a change in the agreement, an extenuating circumstance, a change in economic conditions that affect your business, etc. If the officer is convinced that you have a legitimate justification, the final decision will likely void the non-compliance.
If you believe that you have been non-compliant with a regulation, you can also voluntarily admit to this. This would require completing a form and submitting it to IRCC, who will determine the credibility of your statement and if an inspection is necessary (or how else to move forward).
What kind of penalties may I face for being non-compliant?
The penalties that you will face are dependent on the type of non-compliance. This is decided based on a point-system that takes into account: the type of violation, your history, the severity, your business, and whether it was voluntarily reported to IRCC or if an inspection was carried out. After this, they will decide on penalties based on your score. These penalties can be anything from a warning, a fine, a ban, or revoking of work permits.
Contact Akrami and Associates
If you have hired a Temporary Foreign Worker and are concerned about how to move forward, feel free to call Akrami and Associates. Our team of dedicated professionals will be able to answer any questions you may have and help you with your immigration-related matters.
With Akrami and Associates, there is always a way!