Immigration Consultant and Foreign Worker Recruiter Licensing and Responsibilities
The Foreign Worker and Immigration Services Act (FWRISA) discourages unethical practices and protects foreign workers from exploitation and mistreatment during the recruitment and immigration process. It also brings transparency and accountability to immigration consulting and recruitment services.
1. Legal Responsibilities
Immigration consultants and foreign worker recruiters have a number of legal responsibilities.
It is illegal to:
- charge foreign workers recruitment fees or costs;
- require foreign workers to reimburse their employers for recruitment costs, including fees paid to recruiters and immigration consultants;
- provide misleading information about the job offered;
- unlawfully take possession of the property of a foreign worker;
- threaten deportation or other action without legal cause;
- contact a foreign worker, or their family or friends, if requested not to do so;
- take advantage of a foreign worker's fear or lack of knowledge;
- threaten to take action against a foreign worker for making a complaint to a government or law enforcement agency, or by participating in an investigation conducted by these agencies; and
- require a foreign worker you are recruiting to purchase other services, such as immigration consulting.
Violating the FWRISA can result in your licence being revoked, fines up to $50,000 for an individual and $100,000 for a company and, in extreme cases, up to one year in jail for an individual.
Licensees are subject to audit to ensure compliance with the FWRISA and to investigation if complaints are made of possible FWRISA violations.
As a foreign worker recruiter or an immigration consultant, you must prepare the following records and maintain them for at least five years:
- any contract entered into with an employer or a foreign national;
- the name, occupation, wage rate, residential address, phone number, mailing address and email address if available, of every immigrant client served or foreign worker recruited;
- the name, business address, phone number and email address of any employer who received recruitment services from you;
- any expenses incurred by you in assisting foreign nationals with immigration documents or recruiting foreign workers;
- any amount of any money paid to you by a foreign national, the date of the payment and the reason for the payment;
- any amount paid to you by an employer for recruiting a foreign worker, the date of payment and the exact reason of payment;
- copies of all immigration applications to government agencies involving a foreign national client and copies of all decisions received from government agencies respecting these applications;
- copies of all applications to government agencies for an employer seeking approval to hire a foreign worker, and copies of all decisions received from government agencies respecting these applications;
- copies of all correspondence between you and clients you provided immigration services for, in return for payment; and
- copies of all correspondence between you and clients you provide recruitment services for, in return for payment.
The records must be stored at your principal place of business in Saskatchewan. If your principal place of business is outside Saskatchewan, these records must be sent to the Government of Saskatchewan's immigration branch upon request. A translated copy must accompany any requested record not in English.
These records must be sent to the Government of Saskatchewan if you are audited. A copy translated into English must accompany any required records.
2. Licensing Information
Immigration Consultants and Foreign Worker Recruiters must be licensed under The Foreign Worker and Recruitment Services Act (FWRISA) before they can practice in Saskatchewan.
You may apply for one or both of the Immigration Consultant Licence or the Foreign Worker Recruiter Licence, as long as you meet the requirements.
To be eligible for an Immigration Consultant Licence in Saskatchewan, you will need to:
- be a member of the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC). Saskatchewan has adopted the ICCRC's Code of Professional Ethics in regulation 11(2) of the FWRISA. Breaches of the Code are subject to penalties under FWRISA. All immigration consultants must also be members of the ICCRC before they can practice in Saskatchewan or serve clients in the province.
- provide an acceptable form of financial security. These funds can be used to reimburse foreign workers who incur fees or costs, in violation of the FWRISA.
- agree to the Terms and Conditions of the licence.
If you are a member in good standing of a provincial or territorial law society in Canada you can submit Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) applications on behalf of your clients. To request access to the application system, please send an email with your full name, contact information (address, phone number and email) and law society membership number to email@example.com. Please be advised that your standing in a provincial or territorial law society in Canada will be verified when your request is received.
The current list of Licensed Immigration Consultants identifies all the individuals who are authorized to provide immigration consulting services to foreign nationals coming to Saskatchewan. The list includes licensees/individuals who have met all licensing requirements and posted $20,000 in financial security which can be used to compensate individuals who have incurred a financial loss as a result of a violation of FWRISA by a recruiter or immigration consultant.Download the Licensed Immigration Consultants list
Foreign Worker Recruiters
To be eligible for a Foreign Worker Recruiter Licence in Saskatchewan, you will need to:
- follow the Code of Conduct for Foreign Worker Recruiters (found in the Appendix of The Foreign Worker Recruitment and Immigration Services Regulations).
- provide a form of financial security. These funds can be used to reimburse foreign workers who incur fees or costs, in violation of FWRISA.
- agree to the Terms and Conditions of the licence.
The current list of Licensed Foreign Worker Recruiters identifies all the individuals who are authorized to provide foreign worker recruiting services to foreign nationals coming to Saskatchewan. The list includes licensees/individuals who have met all licensing requirements and posted $20,000 in financial security which can be used to compensate individuals who have incurred a financial loss as a result of a violation of FWRISA by a recruiter or immigration consultant.Download the Licensed Recruiters list
How to Apply
To make your application online, you'll need to:
- create an account;
- provide your passport information;
- provide your CICC membership number and details, as applicable;
- provide your personal and contact information;
- agree to the full terms and conditions of the licence; and
- provide information regarding your past history and your business as applicable.
3. Services to Foreign Workers and Employers
FWRISA helps ensure services to foreign workers are provided ethically. Below are important practices that should be followed when you are providing services to foreign workers and employers:
- You must take reasonable steps to ensure foreign workers understand the content of the Ethical Conduct Disclosure and Declaration Form and the written contract, before signing. This includes allowing them enough time to get the documents translated into another language, or referring the worker to a translator.
- If you are providing recruiting services to an employer, and immigration services to their foreign worker, disclose this arrangement in advance to both parties, and obtain their written consent. Both the employer and the foreign worker must sign separate contracts, each with an itemized list of services and fees. In addition, the foreign worker must not be obligated to use your immigration in order services to be recruited.
Your client must sign a contract that specifies the services to be provided, along with the corresponding fees.
All contracts must meet the following requirements:
- be written using clear and easily understood language, particularly for someone that does not have English as a first language;
- state the specific services you will provide, along with the corresponding fees;
- clearly state that charging recruitment fees to foreign workers is prohibited under Saskatchewan law;
- advise foreign workers that they can contact the Foreign Worker Recruitment and Protection Unit if they believe they have paid fees in violation of the FWRISA;
- include your phone number, mailing address and email address, as well as the contact information for any affiliate or agent acting on your behalf; and
- include a schedule of payments.