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March is Canada Immigration Fraud Prevention Month. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) works to raise awareness about the different types of immigration fraud, how to recognize scams and fraudulent websites, how to properly choose an immigration or citizenship lawyer and how to report fraud.
“Canada welcomes hundreds of thousands of immigrants and refugees each year. Many rely on professional immigration consultants and lawyers to help guide them through the application process,” said the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. “Unfortunately, immigration fraud continues to be a serious issue.
Many people are aware of cases of marriage fraud, international students who are victims of fraud, or trusting newcomers who taken advantage of. What many people fail to realize is that many big and small businesses are also victims of immigration fraud.
Business Immigration Fraud
Unfortunately, many people wrongly think immigration fraud only happens to individuals, while in reality immigration fraud also happens to businesses and experienced immigration professionals. Last year headlines across North America carried the story of dozens of foreign workers who were hired as seasonal workers at popular resorts in Canada's Banff National Park and used an outside staffing agency to recruit and hire foreign workers, which didn't properly vet and verify the workers, resulting in dozens of deportations, staffing shortages - and
- untrained, inexperienced, unlicensed or even fraudulent immigration consultants, recruiters and staffing agencies
- document fraud or misrepresentation where immigrants present fraudulent paperwork, often when an Individual may fraudulently claim to be a Canadian citizen
- applicants providing false or incorrect information on an application
How Businesses Can Avoid Immigration Fraud
Employers and businesses can avoid immigration fraud when hiring foreign workers by proactive decision-making:
1. Proactive Decision Making
With the current labour shortage, Canadian employers need to recruit and hire foreign workers and there are government programs in place to make this possible. To ensure compliance with immigration law, it is important for businesses to hire experienced immigration lawyers or qualified, licensed consultants who understand the regulations. Proactive decision-making is key when bringing foreign workers into Canada; this includes performing due diligence to ensure the legitimacy of immigration consultants and recruiters. Unethical individuals have taken advantage of foreign workers in the past, so it is important to be aware of any scams or red flags. Following these steps will help employers avoid potential immigration problems when hiring foreign workers.
2. Implement HR Compliance Procedures
IRCC imposes strict requirements for businesses to adhere to immigration regulations, and sanctions for non-compliance can include financial penalties, work suspensions, and potential imprisonment. It is illegal to provide false documents or information to IRCC officials. Audits and inspections are conducted by IRCC to ensure compliance.
3. Hire An Exoerienced Immigration Lawyer
Consulting with an immigration lawyer can safeguard your business and ensure that you are adhering to the necessary regulations. Even businesses with internal HR divisions and processes for handling foreign employees find it difficult to remain up to date with the countless immigration regulatory and compliance demands and modifications. Investing in a professional immigration lawyer who specializes exclusively in immigration law is the best way to protect your business and act promptly on any potential difficulties or issues.
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We Can Help You Hire Foreign Workers and Avoid Immigration Fraud
We exclusively practice immigration and and with over 50 years of combined experience, Ackah Business Immigration Law provides immigration legal services and foreign worker compliance and employment law services for businesses. Our Compliance Audit Services can prevent problems before they occur and assist employers in preparing for an IRCC Compliance Review/Inspection and ensure that your organization complies with IRCC’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (LMIA) and the International Mobility Program (LMIA exempt) requirements. With offices in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver, contact Ackah Law Today at (403) 452-9515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.