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Episode 9: Immigration Compliance Audits and Portals

Podcast posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Compliance and HR Audits and Compliance Audit Services

Episode 9: Immigration Compliance Audits and Portals

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Be Prepared!

We are finding that more clients - both businesses and individuals - are receiving random Canada immigration compliance audits to confirm that salary, hours, benefits, etc. are accurate and consistent with what was referenced when the initial compliance portal was completed - and we want you to be ready.

IMMIGRATION MOBILITY PROGRAM EMPLOYER COMPLIANCE INSPECTIONS
Fact Sheet

With the International Mobility Program (IMP), the government introduced an Employer Compliance Fee in the amount of $230 per work, as well as the mandatory requirement for the employer to complete and submit an Offer of Employment.

The Offer of Employment requires that the employer declare the wage, benefits and working conditions the foreign national would be working under. As well, the Offer of Employment requests background information of the employer (company legal name, Canada Revenue Agency number, number of employees, gross annual income, etc…), the job title, duties, requirements for the position and the location of work.

Any employer named on a work permit issued to a foreign national on or after December 31, 2013, may be selected for a compliance inspection. Triggers for an inspection are:

  1. Known for non-compliance
  2. Random selection; or
  3. Reason to suspect non-compliance

The Case Management Branch (“CMB”), Investigation and Exceptional Cases Division initiates the inspection. The CMB may request that ESDC or Service Canada conduct the compliance review on behalf of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada or conduct the review themselves.

Pursuant to the Immigration, Refugee Protection Regulations 209.4 the Employer must make reasonable efforts to meet the conditions and cooperate to the greatest extent possible. The following conditions may be inspected at any time within six years of the issuance of the work permit naming the employer.

  1. The Employer must remain actively engaged in the business as noted in the Offer of Employment
  2. The Employer must comply with the Federal and Provincial/Territorial laws that regulate employment in the province in which the foreign national works
  3. The Employer must provide the foreign worker with employment in the same occupation as set out in the Offer of Employment with wages, working conditions that are substantially the same as, but not less favourable than those in the Offer of Employment
  4. The Employer must make reasonable efforts to provide the worker with a workplace that is free from abuse, specifically:
    1. Physical abuse
    2. Sexual abuse
    3. Psychological abuse; and
    4. Financial abuse.
  5. The Employer must be able to demonstrate that any information provided in the Offer of Employment was accurate
  6. The Employer must retain any document that relates to compliance with the conditions

CONSEQUENCES OF NON-COMPLIANCE

Employers found non-compliant are subject to a range of consequences that are determined on a points system. When determining the severity of the consequence the following are considered:

  • The type of violation
  • Compliance history
  • The severity of non-compliance
  • Size of the business (for financial penalties only); and
  • Whether information was voluntarily disclosed about possible non-compliance before an inspection was initiated.

Possible penalties may include:

  • Warnings
  • Monetary penalties ranging from $500 to $100,000 per violation, up to a maximum of $1 million over one year
  • Ban of one, two, five, ten years or permanently from hiring a foreign worker
  • The employer company’s name and penalty published on the list of employers who failed to comply with the conditions (when issued a monetary penalty and/or a ban)
  • Work permit applications associated with the business being refused; and
  • Previously issued work permits associated with the business being revoked.

Ackah Business Immigration Law Compliance Audit Services can assist you to prepare for a Compliance Review/Inspection and ensure that your organization complies with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (LMIA) and the International Mobility Program (LMIA exempt) requirements – before you receive a call from the government – Be Prepared.

After an exhaustive process, you finally have the skilled workforce your business needs. Now the Canadian government is implementing an aggressive compliance regime that could include reviews and inspections at your place of work. Compliance reviews will be focusing on the attestations and declarations made on the LMIA forms under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program as well as the Offer of Employments made under the International Mobility Program. You need to ensure your business remains in compliance with the terms of the programs at all times. If you are selected for a Compliance Review, are you prepared?

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Evelyn Ackah

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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We found Ackah Law to be diligent and knowledgeable in advising our firm on foreign worker options. We were impressed with their hands-on approach to ensure personnel were properly briefed and supported prior to and at the time of entry.

– Rolf Wentzel, COO

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