An HR professional's guide to Canada's new immigration act

Changes include the new offence of counselling a misrepresentation — a potential danger for HR practitioners
By Howard D. Greenberg
||Last Updated: 04/10/2003

After many years of study and discussion, changes to Canadian immigration laws have reached the final state of implementation. This long process is the culmination of government studies, cross Canada consultations and a review process, which has been managed by at least two ministers responsible for citizenship and immigration.

The result is a well-organized legislative and regulatory regime that presents traps and liabilities for the unwary. For HR professionals there is a need to develop a corporate immigration strategy to address various hiring scenarios and ensure maximum benefit and minimal liability from the new legislation.

This new act and its regulations come into effect on June 28, 2002. Misrepresentations will have serious consequences, as will the contravention of status in Canada. Comprehensive procedures should be instituted by corporations to implement a due diligence process that addresses the employer's requirements, the employee's obligations and an orderly application process, whether it be for a work permit or permanent resident status.