American presidential elections, the big winner is : Canada!

IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) confirmed this week that its new server would be able to support excess traffic on its site produced by the American elections. This response from the authorities reflects the situation in 2016 following the election of Donald Trump as President, when the IRCC site crashed.

American elections and immigration to Canada: what is the connection?

There is no legal connection: Canada and the United States have distinct and sovereign immigration policies. The election of an American president, known for his strict control on immigration, however, creates an immediate rush of interest in Canada.

Interest: for whom?

Several groups of people will be looking to Canada, depending on the evolution of the situation in the United States, anticipating future immigration policies.

This will be the case first of all for temporary immigrants to the United States, holders of work or study permits, who are fearful of having to overcome more obstacles in renewing their status, or in obtaining permanent residency.

Likewise for American companies looking to recruit international talent due to a lack of labour, and who are worried that the administrative process for obtaining work permits will become more complicated, thus employing and keeping foreign workers, more difficult.

The rush for Canada can also come from candidates for immigration. When choosing their future country of residence, many will be inclined to initiate the process in a country openly welcoming of immigrants. Canada, whose authorities have reiterated their willingness to welcome even more immigrants despite the pandemic, is seen here as a good example.  In this way, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honorable Marco E.L. Mendicino declared in the last Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration:

“Even as we adjust to the extraordinary challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot lose sight of the enormous benefits immigration presents to our prosperity and way of life. Newcomers bring their heritage and culture, but also their talent, ideas and perspectives.

The Honorable Marco E. L. Mendicino, 2020 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration

Is Canada up to the interest provoked by future or current immigrants to the United States?

Of course! The same report also says that immigration to Canada reached new records in 2019 with the admission of 341 000 new permanent residents. As regards temporary immigration, 402 000 study permits and 404 000 work permits were issued. The desire exists with the federal authorities to increase the immigration threshold.

At the same time, Canada has put effective policies in place over the past few years to attract new talent. For example, in 2017, Canada launched its Global Skills Strategy, which allows Canadian companies to employ highly qualified workers using a simplified and accelerated process. The attraction for these companies is even more significant as access to permanent residency for their recruits on a work permit, in Anglophone provinces, is open to a great number of qualified workers after only a year in employment in Canada. Gone are the problems of renewing the work permit!

Express entry offers a direct and quick access for foreign candidates wishing to settle permanently in Canada, if this is their first intention. Based on a points system established according to objective criteria such as age, education, professional experience, it is easy to find out one’s admissibility and to decide whether or not to throw oneself into the adventure. The treatment process, once the application for permanent residency has been made, takes approximately 6 months.

Options therefore exist to immigrate permanently to Canada or to come to work, with an offer from an employer, and to embrace life in North America and to be able to live either in French or in English.

By Natacha Mignon, Partner, Immétis.

Natacha Mignon is a Franco-Canadian attorney specialized in business immigration and international mobility to Canada. She assists foreign workers from around the world on a daily basis with their immigration process.

The present article aims to supply general information regarding immigration, to popularize terms, and can in no way be considered as legal advice.

This article discusses recent news, which is likely to evolve rapidly. Last update: November 5, 2020. To obtain complete legal advice, please contact our professionals.

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Returning to Canada: can you avoid quarantine?

Any person, or almost, presently entering Canada is currently under the obligation to self-isolate for 14 days. What does this obligation, which has triggered any number of articles, entail? Natacha Mignon, immigration attorney and partner in Immetis, separates fact and fiction.

A restrictive order

The Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Mandatory Isolation) no. 4 regulates the new obligations linked to quarantine during a pandemic (the Order). The most restrictive measure of the Order imposes a 14-day period of self-isolation for anyone entering Canada by air or land.

The objective being to stop the spread of the virus, the measure applies whatever the nationality or immigration status (worker, student, permanent resident) of the person. The arrival date in Canada counts as the first day, whatever the time of entry in Canada. Therefore, if you enter Canada on 14th September at 10:00 PM, your quarantine will end on 28th September at midnight.

In effect since 25th March 2020, the quarantine will remain so until 31st October 2020, unless it is further extended.

Is it possible to avoid quarantine?

A question therefore has been tormenting those arriving in Canada over the past 6 months, namely, how to avoid having to self-isolate. We can confirm in the first instance : there are exceptions, but they are limited and controlled. Since it is a question of public health, there is, in addition, a societal responsibility in respecting this quarantine measure.

Before talking about the exceptions, we must set the record straight. Arriving in Canada with a COVID-19 test, being an essential worker, coming from a country which doesn’t impose quarantine on Canadians, or having self-isolated for 14 days before arriving in Canada, does not, by itself, exempt one from the 14-day isolation period.

Provided for in article 6 of the Order, most exceptions cover very specific situations, such as airline crews, members of the Canadian forces, those fighting COVID-19, those in the fishing sector, or members of the medical corps to a certain extent.

In this specific list, article 6(e) leaves room for interpretation and a path to apply for an exemption from quarantine, as it refers to a person entering Canada to supply an essential service.

Does the notion of essential service qualify for an exemption?

The notion of essential service is flexible. The definition is different in different ministries: Public Health Agency of Canada; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada or Employment and Social Development Canada. For exemption from quarantine in the Order, we must turn to the notion defined by the Public Health Agency Canada which notably grants it to:

Technicians or specialists specified by a government, manufacturer, or company, who enter Canada as required for the purpose of maintaining, repairing, installing or inspecting equipment necessary to support critical infrastructure (Energy and Utilities, Information and Communication Technologies, Finance, Health, Food, Water, Transportation, Safety, Government and Manufacturing) and are required to provide their services within 14 days of their entry to Canada and have reasonable rationales for the immediacy of the work and the inability to plan for a 14 day quarantine.

Public Health Agency Canada

It is this latter exemption that is most used by private companies when applying or an exemption as it applies to different functions (technician or specialist) and to essential infrastructures in sectors as varied as  “Energy and Utilities, Information and Communication Technologies, Finance, Health, Food, Water, Transportation, Safety, Government and Manufacturing”.

The application for an exemption is usually made on arrival in Canada with an immigration agent. To satisfy the legitimacy of the application, it is recommended that a complete file be submitted to the agent demonstrating that all the exemption criteria have been fulfilled. We repeat : to work in an essential sector is a necessary condition, but not sufficient.

Documents to be submitted generally include : an invitation from the employer, a description of the on-site mandate, an outline of the epidemiological safety measures in place (eg the worker divides his time only between his home and the work place, and avoids all other outings for 14 days, etc), a list of the worker’s trips over the past 3 months, or even a negative COVID-19 test. Once exempted from quarantine, the person must of course abide by the pandemic prevention measures set out in the Order, namely social distancing and the wearing of a mask.

Please note that it is possible to limit the uncertainty of a quarantine exemption application submitted on arrival and to consult beforehand with the Public Health Agency Canada (PHAC) by email regarding a personal situation. The PHAC can provide an opinion, but will not issue a letter of exemption.

To cover all circumstances, please note that the quarantine, which cannot normally be “broken”, except for medical reasons, can also be the subject of a lifting of the measure, by notably proving that the person does not present a grave danger to public health.

Natacha Mignon, Immigration Attorney and partner at Immetis

The present article aims to supply general information regarding immigration, to popularize terms, and can in no way be considered as legal advice. This article discusses recent news, which is likely to evolve rapidly and jointly with the crisis. Last update: September 30, 2020. To obtain complete legal advice, please contact our professionals.

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Recruiting overseas talent during COVID-19

After several months of uncertainty, overseas recruitment seem to be picking up again. What has been the impact of the crisis on the immigration process?

Not all the programmes have suffered in the same way, if some have been suspended, others have, on the contrary, seen an improvement in their processing, or conditions relaxed during the pandemic. We would like to take this opportunity to assess the situation, enabling you to address overseas recruitment more easily.


Let us start with a reminder: recruiting an overseas worker in Quebec requires, unless exempt, the employer to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), and the worker to obtain the « Certificat d’Acceptation du Québec » (CAQ), before a work permit application can be submitted.

This process, for which there are several possible options, is there to protect the local employment market and to make sure overseas talent enjoys the same conditions as Canadian or permanent resident workers.

Since March, the processing of LMIA and CAQ applications for workers has continued with no real problems and a real improvement in the reception of applications process: Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) is currently accepting submissions via email and is transmitting acknowledgements of receipt in the same way.

As for the MIFI provincial authorities, since 24th July 2020, employers holding a LMIA can use it for another candidate when the initial candidate has not been able to obtain a CAQ or work permit.

Work permit

The crisis has had more of an impact on work permit applications, both for applications after CAQ-LMIA and for those with exemptions, such as intra-group transfers, International Experience Canada or others.

The processing of work permit applications made outside of Canada has been particularly limited; priority has only been given to essential workers.

Programmes such as International Experience Canada – WHP permit, young professional and/or coop internship – have been, and are, suspended. Likewise, the closing of the border has made it impossible to enter Canada to apply for a permit directly on arrival.

Exceptional measures

Luckily, as far as permit applications made within Canada are concerned, the authorities have implemented exceptional measures to make the situation of overseas workers already in the country easier.

One major problem during the pandemic was for overseas workers with employer-specific permits, linked to one employer, who lost their jobs, and could not work, even if they found a new job, as they had to wait for their new application to be processed. These people were without work for several months.

To overcome this problem, the authorities have set up a process allowing workers with employer-specific permits, and who have applied for a new work permit, to start their new job before the application has been processed.

With this aim in mind, the worker just has to apply to the authorities by email for an authorization, which usually takes ten days. This major provision has enabled overseas talents affected by the economic slowdown to find new employment.

Other relaxing: people who have exceeded their statute after 30th January 2020 can have it reinstated, without having to respect the required 90 day delay. Again, if the person has an employer-specific work permit, they can apply for an authorization to work before the authorities rule on their application.

These measures, coupled with a temporary exemption from submitting biometrics in Canada, as the data collection centres are still closed, mean that work permit applications made within Canada progress in spite of the crisis. This demonstrates the priority given by the authorities to facilitating and rectifying the situation of overseas talents already in Canada.

The present article aims to supply general information regarding immigration, to popularize terms, and can in no way be considered as legal advice. This article discusses recent news, which is likely to evolve rapidly and jointly with the crisis. Last update: August 3, 2020. To obtain complete legal advice, please contact our professionals.

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COVID-19 : Continuing to assist you, to inform you, and to ensure everyone’s good health

Communication and transparency with our team, our clients and our partners are fundamental values for Immetis.

Faced with the Covid-19 pandemic, we feel it is very important to notify you of the health measures being taken to protect everyone at Immetis and to keep you informed of the consequences of this crisis on matters of immigration.

Protecting everyone’s health

Our main concerns are for the health of our co-workers as well as our clients.

As such, Immétis has put in place the following measures:

  • Our professionals have the choice to either work from home, or to continue working in the office;
  • As of last Friday, we have chosen to no longer receive clients in our offices;
  • Our legal consultations will take place via video-conferencing;
  • Measures of hygiene and reinforced security have also been put in place internally.

We will continue to update these measures as dictated by circumstances and in accordance with the recommendations of the health authorities.

Continuing to serve our clients

Immetis will continue to guarantee the same level of service for the duration of this crisis.

The technology we use already ensures we can work remotely, with no interruption in communications, wherever our clients are in the world. We will therefore continue to deal with your dossiers throughout the crisis.

Informing our clients of the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak on their immigration dossiers

We are constantly keeping up to date on the health measures taken by the authorities in order to determine the impact on international mobility and be able to keep you informed on the consequences for your immigration dossier.

In concrete terms:

  • We have implemented a daily meeting to analyse the impact of the crisis on our clients’ dossiers;
  • We continue to publish regular updates on the Coronavirus and the consequences for immigration;
  • We will continue to insure the processing of dossiers, even if we are forced to close our offices temporarily;
  • As of now, we are putting in place a specific email: to enable our clients to ask us any questions on the subject;
  • We are organizing webinars to address the consequences of COVID-19 on the different immigration procedures. The dates and times will be announced soon on our social networks.

Immétis will keep up to date with the impact of the pandemic on international mobility, and in particular on immigration procedures. We will of course keep our clients informed of any new information regarding their situation.

Our team hope you, and those close to you, will remain safe and in good health during this crisis. We thank our clients for their continued support and continue to be available at all times.

Last update on March, 16th

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Employers: Should you Talk About the PEQ with your Foreign Employees?

A work permit is by nature temporary. No exception to the rule. After the initial permit or successive renewals, your employees will have to return to their country of citizenship; unless they have initiated an application for permanent residence.

Open your horizons: talk to them about the PEQ.

A common mistake by employers is not to anticipate the termination of work permits of their foreign employees. By learning about the Québec Experience Worker Experience Program (PEQ), employers can save the hassle and expense when their employees’ licenses expire.

Think PEQ

The PEQ is defined on the site of the Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion. It is  an accelerated program for the selection of skilled workers to become eligible for a Québec Selection Certificate (CSQ). This will allow them, in a second time, to apply for permanent residence in Quebec.

The PEQ is open to foreign employees who have occupied a category A, B or O position according to the National Occupational Classification over a 12-month period in the last 24 months.

The foreign employee must also prove a good knowledge of French.

Unless when the candidates can prove that they attended school in French, they would not be required to pass a language test.

This means that the formalities to apply are simplified. As for processing times, they are only three to four weeks!

Extend your work permit with a CSQ

Another advantage is that a qualified foreign worker who holds a CSQ may have his work permit extended with his current employer (or another employer, of course) under facilitated conditions.

The employer in particular does not have to follow the Labor Market Impact Study process to extend it for an additional 24 months, which leaves the foreign national sufficient time to become a permanent resident.

Therefore, I can only recommend employers hiring foreign workers under a work permit for more than six months to encourage them to inquire about their eligibility for the PEQ.

For more information on the PEQ, click here.

Can you Still Start a Business in Quebec When you are a Foreigner?

With the closing of two of the programs for business people until March 2018, foreign entrepreneurs wishing to start a business in Quebec or buy a business are wondering if they have other options.

The « Businessmen » Programs

It should be noted that Quebec usually offers three programs for business people, as it designates them, intending to settle in the province:

  • The Entrepreneurs category (closed)
  • The Self-Employed category (closed)
  • The Investor category

The financial and experience-related criteria for the above programs are summarized in the table below:

Main Criteria Entrepreneurs Self-Employed Investor
Net income lawfully obtained, alone or with accompanying spouse or common-law partner $300 000 CAD $100 000 CAD $1 600 000 CAD

In addition, the signing of an investment agreement of $ 800,000 CAD, with a financial intermediary authorized to participate in the Investor Program.

 Experience required Experience in operating a business for at least two years acquired within the five years prior to the date of application in a profitable and lawful business (agricultural, industrial or commercial) Alone or with the accompanying spouse or common-law partner, at least 25% of the shareholders’ equity. Work experience of at least two years in the profession or trade to be practiced in Québec Experience in management in a licensed agricultural, commercial or industrial enterprise; a licensed professional enterprise whose staff, excluding the candidate, holds at least the equivalent of two full-time positions; an international organization or a government, including any of its departments or agencies.

Each of these programs leads to permanent residence. However, these options have a couple drawbacks: processing times extend out over several years and are open, favouring francophone applicants, exclusively by quotas.

In Quebec, offers are therefore rare to obtain permanent residence in the Business category.

This is all the more the case since the Quebec Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion announced that the Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed category will remain closed until March of 2018 and that a reform of these programs is in progress.

One important point: under the Canada-Quebec Accord, the province of Quebec operates its own program for entrepreneurs. In other words, foreign nationals wishing to operate a company in Quebec will not be eligible for federal programs such as the Business Start-Up Visa.

Working in Quebec

In this context, is there is no hope of operating a business before 2020 in Quebec? Of course, there is; provided you turn to the options available with regards to temporary residence.

What are the options?

With the exception of those with an open work permit and cases where intra-group transfers are possible, most foreign nationals wishing to enter Québec will have to apply for a work permit as an entrepreneur.

As with a conventional work permit, it is generally necessary to obtain a prior Labor Market Impact Assessment (« LMIA ») under the owner-operator category and then apply for a work permit once a positive or neutral LMIA has been issued.

The main criteria of the owner-operator LMIA, without a job posting, have recently been clarified and are now established as follows:

• Demonstrate that the foreign worker holds a controlling interest in the company; • Demonstrate that this temporary entry will result in the creation or maintenance of employment opportunities for Canadians and permanent residents or the transfer of skills to these same Canadians and permanent residents;

• Not be in a position where they could be laid-off.

The entrepreneur, who is the majority stakeholder within their company, may be exempted from the LMIA process if they can meet the requirements of a C11 exemption; demonstrating in particular:

• The profits and economic benefits generated by the company will remain Canada,• The planned work period must be truly temporary,

• The applicant must demonstrate that the business will bring a significant social, economic or cultural benefit to Canada,

• The service must be unique in that it does not compete directly with companies that are already well established in Canada.

A work permit under this exemption may be issued for a maximum of two years and may only be extended upon presentation of proof of selection as an entrepreneur by a province.


A work permit application as an entrepreneur must be rigorously prepared. In particular, a foreign national must be prepared to provide any evidence to demonstrate the prospect of economic success of the project (i.e. a business plan established by an accountant), past experience as an entrepreneur and what makes them an exceptional candidate.

As the owner of the business they want to operate, the foreign national will not be eligible for the Québec Experience Program (QEP) to apply for the Quebec Selection Certificate. If they intend to remain in Canada upon the expiry of their status, the entrepreneur will be smart to start the process of applying for permanent residence, if they are eligible, within the first few months of receiving their work permit.

The eligibility of the candidate to be selected by a province is easily measurable in advance, even in advance of any project. Think about it!

Hiring a Foreign Worker: A Path Full of Pitfalls?

You have just found the ideal candidate: they have the training, experience and personality you are looking for. You are ready to hire them; however, they are neither a Canadian citizen, nor a permanent resident.

Apart from very large companies with in-house international mobility services that are well-versed in the various recruitment programs for foreign workers, many employers may choose not to hire a foreign worker due to their lack of knowledge concerning immigration in Canada. It would be a pity for your company to deprive itself of a talented candidate, due to such a lack of knowledge, when there are many opportunities for obtaining a work permit in Canada.

The purpose of this column is to establish a base knowledge on the topic of admission into Canada of a foreign worker, to eliminate certain preconceived notions, and to contribute, both to employers and candidates, in developing a better understanding of temporary immigration.

With the above in mind, here are four points to consider when considering hiring a foreign worker.


Is a work permit always necessary?

Just about! The notion of « work » is understood in a very broad sense, including any « activity that gives rise to the payment of a salary or commission, or that competes directly with the activities of Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the labor market in Canada « . This may even extend to an unpaid internship or volunteer activities. It goes without saying that an employer must not allow a foreign worker to perform any job-related testing or training until they have their work permit in hand.


What work permit to get?

The employer often refers to the idea of ​​ »sponsoring » a candidate for a work permit. This analogy is of interest because most work permits (excluding open work permits) are established on the basis of an offer of employment in Canada. However, a simple job offer received from a Canadian employer is generally not sufficient to allow a foreign national to work in Canada.

An application for a work permit involves following a well-established process, which may take a few hours to several weeks, depending on the case. Does this mean that we should give up? Absolutely not. But the employer must know the different programs available and choose the one best suited to the job they are proposing and the foreign worker they wish to hire.

A common concern among employers is that they have to go through the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process. The main concern of employers is that they must first obtain permission to hire a foreign worker after having demonstrated to the authorities that this hiring will not have a negative impact on the labour market in Canada. This usually includes a national job posting and a transition plan.

Fortunately, there are many exceptions to this process.


Also, be aware of the fact that there are many positions that can be the subject of a simplified LMIA process in Quebec (therefore exempt from posting the position nationally); which includes several in the field of communications, marketing, Web, IT, video games and VFX. To find out which of these positions qualify for streamlined processing (in French), click here:

Similarly, there are frequently candidates who would benefit from international mobility programs such as the Young Professionals or intra-company transfer programs, for which a LMIA is not required. These LMIA exemptions make the work permit process much quicker and smoother.


Here is the information you need to know, to determine which program will be the most appropriate for an application to obtain a work permit in Canada:


  • Nationality of candidate
  • Age
  • Completed Diplomas
  • Current and past work experiences
  • Salary, title and duties of the position being considered in Canada

What happens if a work situation does not work out?

When employing a foreign worker, a perceived barrier to employers still depends on the belief that they are required to secure employment for the duration of the work permit, even if the employee-employer relationship deteriorates. This is a misconception. A foreign national, in the same way as a Canadian, may be dismissed or let go from their job, in accordance with the labour laws applicable in Quebec and / or Canada. The possibility of this reality must also be taken into consideration by the foreign worker, who must bear in mind that a work permit does not guarantee their employment. Moreover, since most work permits are restricted to an employer, the termination of employment raises the question of whether the foreign national will be eligible to stay in Canada for the remainder of their issued work permit.

Can a work permit be extended?

A work permit can be issued for a period of a few days up to 36 months. The work permit can then be extended, however, depending on the job offered, the extension may be limited to a number of years. This temporary status implies, according to the immigration laws in Canada, that the foreign worker will leave Canada at the end of their authorized stay.

Therefore, in order to avoid a large amount of uncertainty, we recommend that the issue of « post-work permits » be addressed in the first few months of employment, in order to leave sufficient time for the application to be processed. For example, if the foreign worker expresses his / her intention to settle permanently in Québec, the foreign worker may be guided in particular by the Québec Experience Program (« PEQ »), which allows a qualified foreign worker to obtain their “Certificat de Selection du Québec (« CSQ »)” fairly easily. The CSQ will most likely allow them to extend their work permit until they become a permanent resident. One of the conditions of this program is to have a good knowledge of French. Again, anticipating in advance, the candidate can take language courses to meet the criteria, if necessary.


The conditions of access to this program can be found here:


Manager – HR Management: How to Reduce your Costs of Hiring Foreign Workers?

Most employers are aware that in almost all situations a foreign national must first obtain a work permit to be authorized to work.

However, a work permit is by definition temporary and does not automatically renew itself. Action must be taken before it expires to keep the employee employed. This is where difficulties can arise.

As professionals, we are regularly consulted dealing with a request for a renewal at the extreme limit of validity of an employee’s work permit.

Some forget, others believe that their spokesperson will automatically take care of it. Having questioned an employee and his employer about the reasons why they consulted me so late, the employee replied that he believed his employer would take care of the renewal and the employer thought his employee had already become a permanent resident.

What are the consequences?

The consequences of not leaving enough time to renew the foreign worker’s work permit can be very costly.

By not anticipating the application for the renewal of a work permit, the candidate may no longer be eligible for certain programs that are easier to apply for and are less expensive to apply for because they are exempted from the LMIA process. For example, a holder of a CSQ for a skilled worker can renew their two-year work permit by following a much more simplified process.

A renewal requested online at the last minute will also deprive the employee, during the processing time of their application, of the possibility of leaving Canada, in order to maintain their status as an implied status worker. The loss of profitability and the induced disorganization are also consequences for the employer of an employee who will likely have to travel to and stay in Montreal for several weeks!

In emergency situations, the lower cost solutions that we as lawyers can offer; such as reviewing renewal application packages and alternative billing methods, are not available when faced with renewing a work permit that expires the same day.

Other consequences can easily be imagined: employee uncertainty, stress, spouse’s status etc.

What can be done to overcome these situations?

The answer is a single word: anticipation! All employers should know the status of their foreign workers and have a copy of their permit. Creating a simple table with the following elements can avoid many disappointments:

  • Name of employee
  • Date of issuance of work permit
  • Work permit expiry date
  • Program (intra-group transfer C12, EIMT, EIC-young pro …)
  • Salary conditions
  • Position Title
  • Update (possible steps of permanent immigration of the employee, PEQ …)

This type of table will also make it possible to ensure that the working conditions offered to foreign employees are indeed those declared to the authorities and that they have not changed, thus justifying an application for the modification of their permit.

In addition, it is recommended to note in your professional schedule to discuss the renewal of the work permit with your employee three months before its expiry date. If you do not know how to proceed, take advice. A consultation might be all that is needed to guide you in your next steps.

Take advantage of the advice from this article to take a look at the work permits of your employees or ask them for a copy of their permits if you do not already have copies!


Employment of Foreign Workers: When an Inspection Occurs

As an employer of foreign workers, you are likely to be faced with an inspection by the authorities to verify that the salary conditions offered are the same as those declared when applying for the permit. What are the best practices to adopt in these cases?

A frequent source of consultation with a lawyer on temporary immigration by employers is the receipt of a letter from Service Canada (LMIA) or Immigration or from Refugees and Citizenship Canada (exempt from a LMIA), notifying the employer that they will be subject to a compliance review for one of their foreign workers.

The receipt of this type of letter should not generate any particular fear. Indeed, at this stage, the authorities do not necessarily suspect fraud. Many checks are carried out as part of a random verification of compliance, as provided for in section 209.5 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

The first recommendation is to ensure that the requested deadline is met. If you find the time limit too short, we suggest that you contact the authorities and explain why you need more time.

What are the authorities looking for?

The primary purpose of a compliance review is to ensure that the employer offers the foreign worker the conditions they declared to the authorities when hiring. They are not looking to trap or trick you.

Type of information typically requested:

  • Proof of payment of the declared hourly wage;
  • Respect for social benefits (insurance, pension fund, holidays, etc.) set out in the work permit application;
  • Work assignments assigned to the foreign worker (must be in accordance with the statement submitted in support of the LMIA application or work permit);
  • Evidence that the business has been and remains an active business.

To this effect, the following documents are most often required:

  • Copies of pay stubs;
  • Proof that the worker was able to take their vacation;
  • Copy of the worker’s insurance coverage (if applicable);
  • Proof of payment of any performance-based compensation (i.e. bonus)


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