Posted on - May 04, 2015

By Catherine Sas, Q.C.

Catherine Sas Q.C.

Canadian employers have been challenged to fill pressing labour shortages for many years and the projections are that these shortages will continue for years to come. Notwithstanding all the various opinions as to the best way to resolve our shortage of workers, immigration is universally recognized as being essential to address Canada’s immediate and long term labour force needs. For employers seeking to resolve their labour shortages, it is becoming essential to navigate Canada’s immigration programs in order to keep your workforce strong and your business thriving. Here’s what you can do to master the immigration game!


Hot Tips for Employers


CONSIDER THE PROS AND CONS OF CANADA’S TEMPORARY VS. PERMANENT IMMIGRATION PROGRAMS

Generally the temporary processes are quicker and allow you to transition your workers to permanent residence status later.

BECOME FAMILIAR WITH SERVICE CANADA’S APPLICATION PROCESS FOR LABOUR MARKET IMPACT ASSESSMENTS (LMIA)

If you aren’t up for navigating the process on you own – work with a skilled immigration professional:  a licensed immigration lawyer or consultant.

TREAT SERVICE CANADA LIKE YOU WOULD REVENUE CANADA!

Be aware of the compliance measures for employers in Canada’s immigration program. Penalties for non-compliant employers can be severe.

DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU ARE GOING TO DO!

Employers are legally obligated to honor the provisions of their offers of employment to employees made to Service Canada in LMIA applications and to CIC in work permit applications. Failure of an employer to comply with offered terms of employment may result in heavy fines and prohibition from employing foreign workers for a period of 2 years.

DEVELOP AN IMMIGRATION STRATEGY AND CREATE WRITTEN INTERNAL POLICIES FOR ALL FOREIGN WORKERS

Employers are now required to keep all immigration records for both Service Canada and CIC regarding ALL foreign workers for a period of six years. Both Service Canada and CIC may ask any employer to demonstrate that they have complied with the offered terms of employment for any foreign worker at ANY time. Employers need to have a system in place to be able to respond to a Compliance Audit request!

WORK WITH REPUTABLE RECRUITERS

Know that both Service Canada and CIC deem employers to be responsible for the actions of the recruiters that they work with whether in Canada or overseas. Recruiters are prohibited from charging individual workers for finding them an employer in Canada!

CONSIDER THE WORKER PROVISIONS OF CANADA’S INTERNATIONAL TRADE AGREEMENTS:

Canada presently has international trade agreements with five countries (and is negotiating with many more!) Learn what types of occupations are covered under these agreements that allow for speedier processing.

EMPLOY INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS ON A PART TIME BASIS WHILE STUDYING AND FULL TIME AFTER GRADUATION:

Many international students are able to work part time while studying and are eligible for open work permits after graduation for up to three years. There are also Permanent Residence options after gaining at least one year of work experience.

EMBRACE THE NEW “EXPRESS ENTRY” PROGRAM FOR FINDING WORKERS

Canada’s “Express Entry” selection system is designed to match employers with suitable workers. Be sure to register as an employer when the JOB BANK matching program becomes operational in summer 2015.

KNOW YOUR IMMIGRATION PROFESSIONAL!

Canada’s immigration laws stipulate who can provide immigration services for a fee. Only a lawyer licensed with a Canadian law society, a Notary in Quebec, or an Immigration consultant licensed with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) are lawfully permitted to provide paid immigration services in dealing with the Government of Canada. Employers are responsible for complying with these rules even with foreign overseas immigration advisors.


Catherine Sas, Q.C. is a Vancouver immigration lawyer at Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre in Vancouver, BC Canada. Catherine has been practicing law for over 25 years, and has been voted Vancouver’s Best Immigration Lawyer by the Georgia Straight newspaper for 6 consecutive years.

To learn more about immigrating to Canada, becoming a permanent Canadian resident or bringing your family to Canada, email Catherine Sas or call her at 1-604-689-5444.

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