There are cases often heard about illegal immigrants being engaged in employment opportunities in Canada without having the legal status.
Canadian Work Authorization for Undocumented or Illegal Immigrants
The authorization to work flows from work permit, which is basically a legal paper allowing a foreign individual to get legitimate employment opportunities in Canada. A foreign national is not entitled to work in Canada legally without a work permit.
Failing to qualify for a work permit or being not eligible for one due to some reasons (E.g: a student in first year in Canada, a visitor on a tourist visa, a denied refugee claimant) or not working without one (never applied for one; permit expired; changed jobs without new authorization) makes one ineligible to work in Canada and thus he is forced to work illegally.
Legal Pursuits for Illegal Immigrants
Firstly, the person would be considered as an individual in the breach of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). A hearing may be held at the Immigration and Refugee Board’s immigration division where the allegation for the person being an undocumented worker would be presented. Finally, a member of Immigration Division would decide the quantum of punishment for illegal immigrant under IRPA Act.
Likely Punishments if Illegal Immigrant in Convicted
The decision is definitely to go against the foreign national working without a valid work permit. This will make him/her inadmissible to Canada for at least one more year.
Construction Sites- Most Popular place for getting employment for illegal Immigrants
However, still the employment of illegal immigrants is rampant in the restaurants and construction sites. Most Illegal Immigrants get employed in Construction Sites to work under difficult conditions
For proving that one is working illegally in Canada, his/her engagement in the services in exchange for some kind of compensation must also be proved. Immigration regulations addresses “work” as “an activity for which wages are paid or commission is earned, or that is in direct competition with the activities of Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the Canadian labour market.”
High Penalties for employing Illegal Immigrants
To avoid such paper trails, employers use to pay the undocumented workers by cash. But this may prove to be dangerous for them as well. For employers who hire foreign individuals illegally, penalties range from a conviction and a fine of up to 50 thousand dollars to imprisonment for up to two years.
Wage and Workload Discrimination for Illegal Immigrants
Illegal Immigrants have no Place to Complain
Besides the legal punishments, undocumented workers are often harassed by their employers as well. It is claimed on papers that illegal immigrants enjoy all the advantages as Canadian citizens. But in reality, they have no place to complain about the discrimination applied on them in the workplace.
Undocumented workers, also considered as illegal immigrants, usually fear that if they raise their voice against any such discrepancy then their employers will notify immigration authorities of their lack of legal status. And the workers will eventually be deported from Canada.
So, to avoid any legal pursuit against them, the non-status workers often tolerate conditions at work which are dangerous and unlawful. They are even paid less than the minimum wage range and also assigned duty by the employers to work for 7 days. All and all, working without authorization for illegal Immigrants in Canada can prove to be a nightmare both legally and socially.