Ottawa urged to crack down on immigration employment scam
The Federal Government works to prevent employers from immigration employment scams and from charging fees to temporary foreign workers under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). However, some workers are still being exploited and made to pay large sums to secure jobs in Canada.
Immigrants pay to get a Canadian employer to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which is needed for a work permit. Scams involving LMIA fraud are known, but the Government has taken steps to guard employees against them.
Some foreign workers pay to stay in Canada and get semi-skilled LMIA jobs to settle in the country. The TFWP has led to profiteering by unscrupulous employers and immigration consultants. Last year, the Federal Government changed regulations to ensure temporary foreign workers are not charged for their recruitment.
Details of the immigration employment scam
Ottawa is being urged to crack down on an immigration scam in which people looking for work in Canada are forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars to potential employers – as well as a charge to immigration experts – in order to obtain work.
Last year, the federal Immigration Department updated procedures to try to prevent firms from charging people money to work in Canada through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, which is designed to replace occupations where no Canadians or permanent residents are available.
However, immigration experts claim that, despite Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada’s crackdown, some temporary foreign workers are still being exploited and forced to pay large sums to acquire a job in Canada.
The Globe and Mail spoke with immigration consultants, attorneys, and immigrants who are concerned about a scam in which would-be immigrants pay a Canadian business to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), a document indicating the necessity for a temporary foreign worker. The worker can apply for a work permit after his or her company obtains the LMIA from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
The Immigration Department informed The Globe and Mail that it was aware of LMIA fraud scams, but that it had taken efforts last year to protect against them through regulatory reforms.
“Sectors identified as high risk for LMIA fraud receive an enhanced assessment to validate the employer’s business operations and the human resource needs,” the IRCC stated in a statement.
What is a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)?
Before hiring a foreign worker, a Canadian business may be required to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). A positive LMIA will demonstrate that a foreign worker is required to fill the position. Additionally, it will demonstrate that no Canadian citizen or permanent resident is qualified for the position. A confirmation letter is another name for a positive LMIA. LMIAs are used to fill a wide range of openings, including unskilled occupations in the catering, hotel, and retail industries, as well as semi-skilled and skilled positions.
The worker can submit a work permit application after the employer receives the LMIA.
Applicants for work permits must meet the following requirements:
- a job offer letter,
- a contract,
- a copy of the LMIA, and
- the LMIA number
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