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Hiring a Foreign Worker—5 Mistakes That Can Spell Trouble for Canadian Employers

Hiring a Foreign Worker—5 Mistakes That Can Spell Trouble for Canadian Employers

Canada has been facing a shortage of skilled worker for a long time now and the pandemic has merely complicated matters further. The smartest and easiest way to solve this problem is to hire a foreign worker for your Canadian business.

Expanding the pool of potential employees to include foreign workers can offer significant advantages and benefits for your business.

    • You need not compromise on skills, qualifications, or experience and can focus on finding the right and best candidate for the position.
    • A foreign worker will bring in new ideas and work practices and will boost productivity as well as cultural diversity in your business.
    • Your business can access a wider pool of potential customers since a foreign worker symbolizes a mature and forward-thinking business.

While there are many benefits of hiring a foreign worker, it’s important to keep in mind that all procedures and regulations must be followed to the last letter to avoid complications and issues. Here are four minor mistakes that can result in non compliance and spell trouble for you and your business.

Variations in Job Offer Letter

To hire a foreign worker, you need to register with the Job Portal and submit details of the job offer including info about business information, foreign worker, job details, and wages.

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Further, the candidate too will have to be issued a job offer letter to enable him or her to apply for a work permit. There should be no variations in the terms and conditions of the job offer letter submitted in the Job Portal and the one issued to the candidate.

Even a minor variation can result in rejection of the application and can even raise doubts on your eligibility to hire a foreign worker.

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Inadequate Documentation

The rules specifically state that employer must retain all records relating to LMIA application, the conditions related to LMIA approval, and conditions set out in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations for a period of six years from the date of issue of the work permit.

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This means even misplacing a document or accidentally destroying a document before this period can result in significant complications in event of an inspection or audit.

Violating The Conditions of LMIA Approval

Canada immigration rules make it very clear that employers cannot replace Canadian workers with low-cost foreign workers.

The rules impose a limit on the number of low-wage LMIA approvals an employer can receive. In case of high-wage LMIA positions, approvals are issued subject to the condition that the employer will either train native Canadian citizens or permanent residents for the position or help the foreign worker become a permanent resident.

The employer must prepare a detailed transition plan along with the LMIA application and will be held accountable if the plan is not executed.

This means simply making a commitment to facilitate transfer of skills without doing anything about it can invite penal action. Apart from fines and penalties, you may even end up being blacklisted from applying for LMIA approvals and from hiring foreign workers.

Transferring Worker to a Different Business

Immigration rules are very specific and precise, which means any change in the terms and conditions of the foreign worker must be made with careful planning and preparation.

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Simply transferring the employee to a different business owned by the same employer may result in violation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

Such variations should be done only after careful assessment of the procedural formalities involved. It does not matter whether these changes were beneficial for employees or whether the foreign worker was in agreement with your decision.

What matters is whether the rigid rules related to hiring a foreign worker were complied or not. This is why it makes sense to work with an experienced immigration attorney as soon as you decide to hire a foreign worker.

With a business to run, you cannot be expected to analyze each and every decision from the viewpoint of immigration rules. Working with a professional with thorough understanding of the rules is the obvious solution.

Penalties for violation of rules include fines of up to CAN$100,000 along with revocation of past LMIA approvals that may have been issued. This means even a seemingly minor infraction can lead to significant business consequences.

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