How IRCC checks if your offer of employment is genuine

Asheesh Moosapeta
Published: May 19, 2024

An offer of employment can be a substantial support to a Canadian immigration application.

Offers of employment and gaining Canadian work experience are often prerequisites for eligibility to many economic immigration pathways. Additionally, having a Canadian offer of employment can help secure a work permit, which in turn can allow individuals to live and work in Canada before receiving permanent residence (PR) status.

However, offers of employment can also be vehicles for fraud and scams—with newcomers particularly vulnerable to this deception.

To better determine whether an offer of employment is genuine Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has developed a framework to better understand document validity. When evaluating an employment offer in support of a work permit application, IRCC assesses whether:

  • The employer offering the job is “actively engaged” with the business;
  • The job offer is consistent with the reasonable needs of the employer;
  • The job offer has terms that the employer can reasonably fulfill; and
  • The job offer is from an employer or authorized recruiter who has shown past compliance with federal and provincial regulations for employment in the province/territory where the applicant will be employed.

IRCC also notes that an employer’s contact details must be present on the offer of employment.

Schedule a Free Work Permit Consultation with the Cohen Immigration Law Firm

Is the employer actively engaged in the business?

Under this condition, IRCC looks at whether the organization offering employment legally exists, and whether they can provide stable employment to the applicant. To determine this IRCC assesses whether the organization:

  • Has an operating business;
  • Provides a good or service; and
  • Has a physical work location in Canada where the applicant will work.

After this, IRCC officers then assess the “engagement” of the employer in the business by looking at said employer’s:

  • Business start date;
  • Type of business;
  • Number of employees;
  • Gross income; and
  • Principal activity.

Officers will conduct a more in-depth review if:

  • Business information raises concerns about active engagement (such as the business being one year old); and/or
  • There is little to no publicly available information about the organization (through means like an internet search).

Is the employment offer consistent with the employer’s needs?

IRCC officers must be convinced that the employment offer is reasonable within the business of the employer. The job an applicant is being hired for should be one that can be reasonably expected within the organization’s sector/industry.

In addition, employers (if contacted by IRCC) must be able to explain the job that they are hiring for, how it covers a reasonable employment need in terms of both occupation (why a professional of this kind is needed at this business) and operation (what the job offered will involve to meet needs of the employer).

Can the employer reasonably fulfill the terms of the employment offer?

Employers must be able to show that they can reasonably fulfill the terms written within their employment offer letter—including the hours of work, wages, and any benefits included. They must also be able to provide working conditions that are indicated within the offer, which must additionally be up to provincial and territorial standards.

If the reviewing officer requires more information, they may request to access various legal and tax documentation from the employer directly. This can include employer T4 slips, a worker’s compensation clearance letter, business contracts, and more.

Does the employer comply with laws around employment and recruitment?

IRCC also must assess whether the employer complies with regulations around employment and recruitment both federally and within the province or territory that the organization operates out of.

Any previous or current violation of Canadian federal and provincial laws will be considered at this stage.

IRCC will also assess (if a recruiter was used in the hiring of a foreign national) whether recruitment professionals within the hiring process were licensed at the time that the offer of employment was issued.

Any employers who do not comply with a request to provide information IRCC can also result in an application being refused.

To find out more information about obtaining a Canadian work permit, find our dedicated webpage here.

For more information on what IRCC considers when assessing an offer of employment as part of a work permit application, find the department’s webpage here.

Schedule a Free Work Permit Consultation with the Cohen Immigration Law Firm

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