August 20, 2010

Rule Changes from April 2011 Emphasize Employer Compliance 

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has recently announced important amendments to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. These changes will have a significant effect on both employers and foreign workers currently accessing the program. The changes will not take effect until 1 April 2011.

The changes focus on strict immigration compliance for Canadian employers and limit the duration of many work permits to four years.  The new rules are designed to protect the Canadian labour market as well as the rights of foreign workers.

Key points of the changes, which come into effect on April 1, 2011, include:

  • Compliance Requirements: A two-year prohibition from hiring temporary foreign workers for employers who fail to meet their commitments to workers with respect to wages, working conditions and occupation; and
  • Limit on Duration: Subject to some exceptions, a limit of four (4) years on the length of time a temporary foreign worker may continuously hold a work permit; and
  • A more rigorous assessment of the genuineness of the job offer.

Compliance Requirements

Employers seeking to hire temporary foreign workers, including live-in caregivers, will now be assessed against past compliance with program requirements before authorization can be granted. Employers found to have violated worker rights may be refused authorization to hire a foreign worker and subject to a two (2) year ban from accessing the program.

REMINDER: End to Facilitated Process for IT Workers

Additionally, Pro-Link GLOBAL would like to remind our clients that on 30 September 2010, the simplified entry process for Information Technology (IT) specialists will come to an end.  We originally alerted our clients about this back in June – you can access that Global Brief here.

In summary, applications for IT specialists from 1 October 2010 will require Labour Market Opinions (LMOs).  This will add considerable administrative time and effort to the process and we urge any affected readers to review our original June Global Brief and contact us with any queries.

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS 

Note that new, more restrictive rules on employing temporary foreign workers will be introduced from 1 April 2011.

From 1 April 2011, unless exempt as described above, work permits for temporary foreign workers will be limited to 4 years.  Pro-Link GLOBAL is happy to advise on options for affected employees on a case by case basis.

Remember that the simplified entry process for IT specialist comes to an end on 30 September 2010.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader 

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification.

Pro-Link GLOBAL worked with our PLG|KGNM correspondent office in Canada to provide this Global BRIEF alert to you.