Changing immigration law, together with the constant international mobility of staff, have created a world where immigration issues are no longer separate from business. As such, the successful transfer of international talent, while eliminating the risk of non compliance with immigration laws, is a key consideration for many HR professionals seeking to hire foreign workers.
Ensuring the seamless transfer of international talent—and keeping them here—means creating a corporate immigration policy that addresses the company’s needs.
Set out the company’s short- and long-term goals to determine its staffing needs both in Canada and abroad. The greater the need for workers, the more structured your immigration policy should be. It is important to consider HR’s capacity to handle an increase in work and the important role it will play in implementing a successful immigration policy.
Several factors should be considered when hiring a foreign worker. corporate plans. project deadline ns. immigration rules and the risks of non compliance-including the impact on future immigration applications.
Every HR professional should understand the immigration rules and procedures for each region. Whether you hire a lawyer or other immigration specialist to assist in preparing work permit applications for foreign workers, it is important that HR be familiar with types of work permits available and the procedures involved with each, This helps explain the process to the employee and managers and establishes an appropriate time frame to ensure the foreign national is authorized to enter Canada and work in accordance with company plans and project deadlines.
Once a policy has been developed. the first step in bringing a foreign national into Canada is to determine whether a work permit is required. HR should conduct initial assessments to determine if the foreign national will be entering to perform work, or if they may enter Canada as a Business Visitor. A work permit is almost always required if the work can ordinarily be performed by an individual currently present in the Canadian labour market.
Once you’ve determined that a work permit is required, establish where the application will be submitted, and determine what documentation is needed prior to the employee’s transfer. Incomplete applications will always result in unnecessary delays, potentially losing the foreign worker or even client contracts. Key considerations at this stage include whether the foreign national requires a Temporary Resident Visa to enter Canada in addition to the work permit; if medical exams must be conducted;and if additional forms must be completed or documentation secured.
Regardless of the scale of your immigration needs, a corporate immigration policy is a must for any company seeking to hire foreign workers. Be sure to establish a single point of contact within the HR department for both the employee and the management team, and the road to securing top international talent for your team will be as easy as 1,2,3.
JANET L. BOMZA AND MELODIE J. HUGHES
HR PROFESSIONAL, APRIL/MAY 2009
For further information with respect to US and Canadian immigration or to find out if you or a company employee is eligible for temporary or permanent relocation to Canada or the US, we invite you to contact our experienced immigration lawyers and attorneys by contacting the Bomza Law Group at:
1-800-993-9971 or by clicking here: “Contact Us”.