Tighter controls placed on employers of temporary foreign workers in Canada

New legislation imposes greater penalties on businesses that violate regulations

TORONTO, Aug. 24 /CNW/ - Employers with temporary foreign workers (TFW) in Canada now face greater government scrutiny, greater penalties for certain regulation violations, and shorter work permits due to new regulations imposed by the Canadian government, says Egan LLP.  Egan LLP is a business immigration law firm allied with Ernst & Young.

"Businesses in Canada need to understand the impact of these new regulations in order to maintain access to the global labour market," says Jonathan Leebosh, immigration lawyer with Egan LLP. "These changes affect all temporary foreign workers in Canada, from general labourers to executives, and current and future employees."

Although the new regulations are now law, businesses have until April 1, 2011 before they come into full effect. There are several critical changes to the Canadian work permit scheme including:

  • Shorter stay periods: TFWs are limited to work on a permit for a period of no more than four years. Previously, there was no defined limit.  Any permit extensions for TFWs who have been working in Canada for a cumulative period of four years will not be granted. Exceptions include TFWs performing work that creates significant social, cultural or economic benefits for Canada or performing work pursuant to an international agreement (e.g., NAFTA).
  • Significant penalties for violations: Employers face a two-year ban of hiring any temporary foreign workers if found in violation of breaking commitments to current TFWs or if found not to have a genuine job offer. The hiring ban would affect new hires and relocations to Canada, as well as short-term workers (e.g., consultants and employees with cross-border responsibilities), and would impact those already in Canada seeking extensions to their permits.

"Employers must review their current immigration policies and procedures, and develop well-planned strategic approaches to their non-Canadian worker usage," says Leebosh. "Businesses need to be diligent about immigration compliance across their operations. Under these new regulations, a single violation can see a company banned from accessing the global labour market, which few businesses can afford during the ongoing war for talent."

Egan professionals are available to explain the new Canadian immigration regulations changes, as well as discuss how businesses can amend their current policies and procedures around temporary foreign workers.

About Egan LLP, Business Immigration Lawyers

Egan is a Canadian business immigration law firm, allied with Ernst & Young.  Egan works along side Ernst & Young's worldwide network of immigration professionals providing visa and immigration assistance to businesses operating globally.  For more information, please visit eganllp.com.

About Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 144,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities to achieve their potential. For more information, please visit ey.com/ca.

SOURCE EY (Ernst & Young)

For further information: For further information:

Melissa Prince    Brooke Morris    Julie Fournier
melissa.prince@ca.ey.com  brooke.morris@ca.ey.com  julie.fournier@ca.ey.com
416 943 3474                              604 899 3597     514 874 4308

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