New Employer Immigration Compliance Obligations Effective September 26, 2022 – Fasken

The Government of Canada recently passed legislation to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, which will be effective on September 26, 2022. Some of these amendments expand existing program policies and will enhance the protection of foreign workers by setting new employer requirements and conditions and improving the ability to hold employers accountable for non-compliance with immigration laws.
With the growing labour shortage across Canada, employers are turning to foreign workers more and more in an effort to fill record-high level of job vacancies in numerous sectors across the country. Since April of 2022, the Government of Canada has implemented a number of facilitative measures to various immigration programs to help employers bring in more foreign workers to meet their operational needs and help alleviate the sustained labour shortages. Following the implementation of these facilitative measures, the government has now announced new regulatory amendments to the existing employer immigration compliance regime to enhance the protection of foreign workers against abuse and exploitation.
The regulatory amendments include the following new employer immigration compliance obligations:
Since most provincial health insurance regimes impose a waiting period of a few months prior to foreign workers becoming eligible for public health coverage, it is important that employers make the necessary arrangements to provide private health coverage for emergency medical needs when planning for the arrival of the foreign worker or, in certain circumstances, when renewing a work permit under the TFWP. Employers are prohibited from recovering these costs from the foreign workers in any form, including through pay deductions or charge back clauses in their employment agreements.
The amendments also specify that employers must ensure that any recruiters they use do not charge or recover the above mentioned fees. As such, global mobility teams need to be aware of the new requirements for their relocation expense clauses.
It is important to note that it is also prohibited to recover government processing fees for a Quebec Acceptance Certificate when hiring a temporary foreign worker for a job located in Quebec.
Employers must be aware of these new employer immigration compliance obligations when deciding to hire temporary foreign workers to mitigate risks in the event of an immigration audit or inspection. Employers are also encouraged to consider how these regulatory amendments will interact with their existing HR and global mobility policies. If you have any questions regarding how the new employer immigration compliance obligations may apply to your company, please contact the authors or your regular Fasken lawyer if you have any questions.
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