On April 1 2011, Citizenship and Immigration Canada implemented changes announced in 2010 which constitute a significant increase in the level of scrutiny that applications in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) will be subject to. Officials reviewing applications, including HRSDC; CIC; and CBSA, now have more power and obligation to evaluate the job offer, the employer, the and the employer’s history in the TFWP.
When an offer is made to a foreign national, officials must assess the following factors:
(1) the genuineness of the job offer, including whether or not the employer is continuously and actively engaged in commercial activities in Canada; whether the position offered is credible in the light of the business in which the employer is engaged; and whether or not the employer is capable of fulfilling the terms of the offer of employment.
(2) the employer’s history of compliance with requirements of the TFWP and of providing “Substantially the Same” wages, conditions, and responsibilities to the foreign national as were approved by the Canadian government officials (STS).
(3) the consistency of the request with agreements established with the various provinces and territories and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Applications can be refused if the above are not consistent with program requirements, and employers could potentially be prohibited from benefiting from the services of a foreign worker for a 2 year duration if they are found to have failed to comply with STS requirements.
Foreign nationals may also now be required to adhere to a 4 year maximum duration of work in Canada. After a cumulative duration of 4 such years, it would be necessary for a period of 48 months to pass prior to which the foreign national would become eligible for work in Canada in the TFWP again. Exemptions to this rule do exist, which may include candidates admitted pursuant to international treaties (e.g., NAFTA), candidates admitted in certain high skill occupations, and those contributing a significant benefit to Canada.