Temporary Social Insurance Numbers have expiry dates which coincide directly to the expiration date of an employee’s work visa.  Once these documents have expired, a foreign worker is no longer eligible to work in Canada and may be required to leave the country depending on the terms and conditions of his/her work visa.

There are numerous penalties, fines, and possible criminal charges related to illegal employment of foreign workers. Some examples of these are:

A negative Labour Market Opinion (LMO) – HRSDC/Service Canada may issue a negative LMO and revoke all positions on confirmed LMOs for which work permits have not yet been issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

Ineligible to hire Temporary Foreign Workers – CIC may deem the employer ineligible to hire Temporary Foreign Workers for two years. The employer’s name, address and period of ineligibility may also be published on a list of ineligible employers posted on CIC Web site.

Fines and Imprisonment

  • Under the Income Tax Act, employers who permit misuse of Social Insurance Numbers are liable to fines of $5,000 and 12 months imprisonment for each misuse.
  • Under the Immigration Act, employers who hire employees who are not authorized to work in Canada are subject to fines not exceeding $5,000 and/or two years imprisonment.
  • Employers who do not make reasonable efforts to obtain an employee’s SIN may be subject to a penalty of $100 for each failure.
  • An employee who refuses to give his or her SIN may also be subject to a penalty of $100 for each failure.

Under the Canada Pension Plan Regulations, employers are required to tell their employees who don’t have a SIN card how to obtain one. Employers should refer them a Service Canada Centre within three days of the employee’s start date and ask for proof of application as well as their SIN card once they receive it.

Immigration fraud is a criminal offence in Canada.

Please contact your PEO Canada Human Resources Specialist if you have any questions or concerns regarding compliance with Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

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Written By: Leanne Suitor