After an in-depth review of Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (‘CIC’) new, mandatory Employer Portal, All Points is prepared to make recommendations for how companies with global assignees or international permanent transfers into Canada, should approach the portal.
In addition to our previous relo-lert, the CIC does provide a step-by-step guide on how to create your Employer Portal Account: How to create your Employer Account
What is required to register in the Employer Portal:
• Confirmation that the business is operating in Canada
• CRA Business Number (9 digit)
• Legal and Business Operating Names of Company located in Canada
Primary and Secondary Users
It is important to understand that the registration is based on the company’s CRA Business Number. If a company has several CRA Business Numbers, an Employer Portal will need to be completed for each, if each company associated with those CRA Business Numbers is active in the management of Temporary Foreign Workers coming to Canada. When an employer owns and operates subsidiaries or branches (i.e. branches that have the same CRA Business Number as the company) this employer should be the primary account holder in the Employer Portal. The first person to enrol the employer in the portal is that company’s primary user. The primary user can assign branches and secondary users.
A branch is a subsidiary of a company owned and operated by an employer. Each branch must have the same nine-digit Canadian Revenue Agency business number. Each branch will receive a personal identification number (PIN) from the employer’s primary user to create an account in the Employer Portal. The first person to enrol the branch in the portal will become the branch primary user. The branch primary user can assign secondary users for their branch only.
After obtaining a GCKey, the primary user will obtain approval, by email, on the status of their CIC Employer Portal account. In our experience, approval can be received within minutes, but can also take up to five days.
After you have been approved and the account is active, you may add secondary users. At this time, with an upcoming assignee coming to Canada, the most important secondary user is your third party immigration provider, such as an Immigration Specialist at All Points. You will need to enter the secondary user’s first and last name and then a PIN will be generated on the primary user screen. Once this is available, you will send it to your Immigration Specialist, so that they may access your Employer Portal act on your behalf for the application.
Refused enrollment – If the primary user enrollment request is refused, you will receive an email stating your request has been refused. You may have been refused if the information you provided during enrollment, such as the business number or legal business name, has previously been used to create an account in the Employer Portal. They will not tell you exactly why in the email. To find out why, one must contact the CIC Call Centre 1-888-242-2100
1. Get your junk mail folder ready:
Emails to Employer Portal users are sent from [email protected] Make sure that this address is on your safe sender list and that these emails will not automatically be sent to your junk mail or delete folder.
2. CENTRALIZED COMMUNICATION IS KEY!
CIC’s process does not fully consider diverse corporate structures. Confusion can quickly arise between primary employers, primary branches and secondary users in those companies that frequently bring in temporary foreign workers from multiple offices.
It is important to note that the primary user is a person, not an entity, in the Employer Portal. Who will your company select? Do you know if there are other offices/regions that are responsible for foreign temporary workers? Do you know if these offices/regions have the same CRA business number or different business numbers? Do you have a rule in place about who can create secondary users? If immigration is decentralized, your regions need to see in writing about the company’s choices for how it has chosen to set up in the Employer Portal.
We strongly recommend that companies communicate plans and information well between all parties responsible.
3. Keep it simple for now!
As of the time of writing, there is little known about the system hierarchy and the ability to keep track of cases within the system. For instance, we do not yet know what happens if a primary user leaves a company. Does the company have this primary user’s credentials and security answers handy? If the primary user is deleted, are all secondary users that this person created also deleted? There are too many questions outstanding at this time.