Unauthorized Work and Misrepresentation
A foreign national cannot work in Canada unless they have the proper authorization to do so (e.g. a valid work permit). Further, it is an offence for a corporation to employ a foreign national in Canada in a capacity in which the foreign national is not authorized to be employed. An allegation of unauthorized work in Canada may arise where a foreign national performs work in Canada after they have been granted admission to Canada as a business visitor and they do not hold a valid work permit.
If a Border Services Officer merely suspects that a foreign national intends to work in Canada without proper authorization, they may assign an information alert to, and enter a notation in, the foreign national’s profile in their Global Case Management System (GCMS). The GCMS is a central database used by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (Immigration Canada) to collect and store personal information to administer and enforce Canadian immigration laws.
The information alert and notation will remain on the foreign national’s profile in GCMS for 10 years unless it is removed sooner. Generally, it is extremely challenging to have the information alert and notation removed from the foreign national’s profile in GCMS even in circumstances where it was unwarranted. If an information alert is assigned to, and a notation is entered in, a foreign national’s profile in GCMS then the foreign national will likely be directed to Secondary Screening each and every time that they seek to enter Canada for the foreseeable future so that the CBSA can verify that they are properly documented.
If it is determined that a foreign national has been working in Canada without proper authorization, the foreign national and / or the corporation may be liable for a fine of up to CAD$50,000 per violation and / or a term of imprisonment of up to two years. The foreign national may also be issued an inadmissibility report. If the foreign national does not voluntarily leave Canada after the issuance of this report then they may be arrested and detained and ultimately deported from Canada. After the foreign national departs from Canada whether voluntarily or forcefully, he / she will not be eligible to apply for a Canadian work permit until at least six months has lapsed.
A foreign national cannot misrepresent or withhold material facts relating to a relevant matter which could induce an error in the administration of Canadian immigration laws. Further, it is an offence for a corporation to counsel, aid, or abet a foreign national to misrepresent material facts which are relevant to their application. An allegation of misrepresentation may arise where a foreign national presents a letter of invitation from a host company in Canada which misrepresents the purpose of their visit to Canada and / or the scope of their proposed activities in Canada which could result in the Border Services Officer granted the foreign national admission to Canada as a business visitor when they require a work permit.
If it is determined that the foreign national and / or the corporation has engaged in misrepresentation, the foreign national and / or the corporation may be liable for a fine of up to CAD$100,000 per violation and / or a term of imprisonment of up to five years. The foreign national may also be issued an exclusion order prohibiting them from re-entering Canada for any purpose (tourism or business) for a period of five years.