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Significant Changes To Canada Temporary Foreign Workes Program

09 Nov 2015


Immigration News

After receiving much media attention as well as public scrutiny, Canada rules as well as policies for admitting as well as processing temporary foreign workers into the nation were recently overhauled. Then, this past summer, the govt has announced news and also potentially tougher penalties for those employers who would violate the new rules. The new penalties will come into effect later this year.

Program Overview

The old temporary foreign worker program has been split into two, the new Temporary Foreign Workers program, under which the employer can apply fill the positions in Canada with foreign workers after receiving a LMIA)  Labour market impact Assessment approval and new set of International Mobility programs under which no LMIA is essential

While new TFWP has focused on addressing the labour shortages in specific sectors or niches of the economy, the IMP is based in large measure on reciprocity and on bilateral as well as multilateral free trade agreements to which Canada is a party.

The labour market opinions which has been provided under the old system has been replaced by the more rigorous LMIA under which employers should indicate the number of Canadian, who have applied job opening as the number of Canadian the employer interviewed.  The employers also need to explain why one or more of Canadians have interviewed for the positions in question were not hired.

Importantly, the number of TFWP employees, an employer might hire are capped. The Employers who employ ten people or more might not have more than 10% of their workforce comprised of low-wage temporary foreign workers who are subject to certain transitional measures.

Starting from 1st  December 2015, the employers who fail to comply with the new TFWP and IMP requirements would be subject to the new sanctions regime. The discretion in applying this broad range of available penalties would be guided in part by

•    Type of violation

•    Employer’s Compliance history

•    Severity of non-compliance

•    The size of the employer’s business

Also, the employers would have the opportunity to voluntarily disclose the non-compliance and potentially receive a reduced consequence, where applicable. The employers would have a chance to respond to a Notice of Preliminary Findings on an alleged infraction.

With both TFWP and IMP rules undergoing broad-ranging changes with new penalties regime about to come into force. The employers should be considering hiring foreign workers must ensure that they have a thorough grasp on new rules as well as potential consequences.

The timely professional advice and guidance in this regard can help mitigate employer’s exposure to potentially severe new penalties for non-compliance. 

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