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Immigration Compliance Changes – Are you Ready?

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Special thanks to Sarah Adler, Immigration Legal Counsel, and Simran Nandha for their assistance with this blog.

Further to the increased compliance requirements from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on all employers which commenced on September 30, 2022 (Government of Canada strengthens protections for temporary foreign workers as new regulations come into force – Canada.ca), IRCC has now incorporated these requirements in its regular audits on employers engaging in the Temporary Foreign Work Permits program in Canada.  In particular, the audits are focused on employees’ rights and program compliance.

Specifically, these changes to regular audits are requesting certain documentation that has not previously been asked of employers, including:

  • Proof that the employee received a copy of the pamphlet entitled International Mobility Program: Get to Know Your Rights While working in Canada. See the following link:  International Mobility Program – Get to know your rights while working in Canada – Canada.ca
    • A copy of the pamphlet must be provided to the employee in their official language of choice on or before the first day or work, and proof of provision of the pamphlet must be provided upon request.
    • The pamphlet must also be readily available within the workplace in both official languages.
  • Proof that the company is compliant with recruitment law in the applicable Province (if applicable);
  • Copy of the employment agreement signed by the employer and the foreign worker prior to the submission of the foreign worker’s work permit application (which is indicated in the attestation section of the Offer of Employment filing);
    • Note that IRCC is currently recognizing that Employment Agreements between the foreign worker and the Canadian company are not always applicable, for example in the case of intermittent travellers, and are currently reviewing their position on this. In the meantime, we recommend that applicants at least have an assignment letter from the company confirming the terms and conditions of their employment in their home office remains applicable.
  • Copies of policies and procedures that address situations of abuse in the work force, and a description of the mechanism to resolve situations of abuse;
  • Proof of training within the last two years provided to employees and supervisors to recognize and address abuse.

In particular these compliance requirements are being implemented to better protect temporary foreign workers from potential reprisal by employers for bringing forward reasonable complaints and prohibiting employers from charging recruitment fees to workers.  Also, there is an increased focus on providing temporary foreign workers with reasonable access to health care services.

Should you have any questions regarding the above, please feel free to reach out to the Employment or Immigration teams here at Baker McKenzie.

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