By: Hassan Mubarak
In recent times, we come across an increasing number of people got entrapped by fake Canadian job offers, and even more, are still looking into this scenario worldwide. Jobseekers are in a vulnerable position, and scammers know this well; they also know those job seekers are willing to provide their personal information or even money to secure a job in Canada. If you have fallen for a scam, you are not alone!
Since it is in general hard to get a genuine job offer from Canada due to the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process and many other factors, some people choose to just pay an agency that promises to get a job offer for them. Some agencies will even go as far as promising applicants 100% of their visa approval rate, should they purchase such a job offer.
We all know that becoming the victim of fake Canadian job offers, is worse than struggling to find a job itself in Canada.
For a skilled worker in Sri Lanka or any other emerging economy, getting a job in Canada could change his/her life forever. A job that comes with a hefty salary, professional outlook, valuable foreign work exposure, and the possibility of permanent residence in Canada may seem like a dream come true.
However, many scammers take advantage of such dreams and use fake Canadian job offers to seek money for ‘visa formalities’ or ‘work permit’ processing. Read ahead for things that will help you identify whether the Canadian job offer that you have got from any institution, in your email or otherwise is genuine or not.
Receiving a job offer even without applying for it
You may be a well-qualified professional and would certainly be an asset to any company or firm that you join. But are you so good that you will receive job offers without even applying for a job? – Think about it.
An unsolicited job offer should be your first warning flag. There’s a lot of demand for Canadian jobs and the possibility of an employer offering you a job without even receiving your CV or resume is extremely unlikely.
Further, look for whether the offer has been framed in such a way that it can be mailed to a large number of persons without any changes. The mail will begin with a generic salutation like Hi/Hello/Jobseeker instead of specifically mentioning your name.
Further, there won’t be any specific information on how they came across your profile and the position for which you are being considered.
Contact information is vague or no contact information at all
A genuine job offer will always be prepared on the employer’s letterhead that will contain detailed contact information including:
- Name of the Business/Firm/Company
- Contact Address/Website
- Email and Telephone number
- Business Registration Information
If the job offer does not contain detailed contact info and if you are expected to just reply to the email without verifying the firm’s credibility, then you probably have a fake job offer in hand.
A professional legally established company/firm will neither hide its contact information nor require your acceptance before sharing details that will help you verify whether the firm is genuine or not.
An extremely generous job offer
A job offer that offers an extravagant salary and generous perks that are significantly higher than the prevailing market rate should not be taken at face value.
To qualify for Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) approval, the employer must offer a wage that is equal to or higher than:
- The minimum wage for the occupation/position, or
- The wage that is given to existing employees doing similar duties.
You can find the minimum wage applicable to your position by checking out government resources online. Any reputed job search site or resource online will give you an idea of the wages paid to the existing employees.
If your job offer is promising wages that are significantly higher than the market rate, then you should be extremely careful about trusting such an offer.
Demand for payments for LMIA/work permit formalities
This is the best clue as to whether the job offer is genuine or not. The fake Canadian job offers will tempt you with very generous payment terms and then ask you to pay a fee to enable the employer to complete work permit formalities.
As per law, the LMIA process has to be completed by the employer while the worker will have to apply for a work permit. There is no provision by which you can get a work permit by simply paying a fee.
Employers often work with immigration attorneys or regulated immigration consultants to help their candidates complete work permit formalities. But even here, employers rarely ask for the work permit fee to be paid through them.
This should be the biggest warning that the job offer is probably fake and you are asked to immediately make a payment or risk losing the job offer.
Unprofessional tone and basic errors in language
A job offer letter that is phrased like a marketing letter with unnecessary repetition, fancy phrases, irrelevant details, and an unprofessional tone and structure is another warning sign. Even the smallest business will adopt a crisp and professional tone when conveying a job offer.
Further, such fake letters include irrelevant information in a bid to make the offer seem genuine. So, watch out for references like Express Entry (EE) or provincial nomination programs (PNP) that don’t have any relevance to the job offer.
As a rule, be very wary of any unsolicited job offer that you receive in your mail. Better presume that the offer is fake and try to verify it. This is always preferable to be swindled of your hard-earned money by a fake Canadian job offer.
Remember, if you have to pay for your Canadian job offer, it won’t be a genuine one. Sure, there are circumstances when you, for instance, sign a contract with some HR agency that finds a real Canadian employer for you. In this case, your payment is legally going towards such services. However, if an employer from Canada is asking you for any money to get you hired – you might be getting this job after all, but the application process in such a case is deemed illegal. One of the sad outcomes – is that a border control officer will identify that your job offer is not genuine (they are trained for such things, after all) and will detain you or even would deport you. Another possible scenario is that you arrive in Canada and find that your employer has not actually meant to hire you, but just to receive money from a job offer sale.
It is also possible that certain employers in Canada might have an arrangement with some immigration entities to sell job offers and share the profits, which is also illegal. When you receive job offers from any institution or agent, first ask about the minimum requirements to be a candidate for the job offer before paying any fee, and then see if you can satisfy those requirements to become eligible as a candidate for the job offer.
How do you know that you are being hired by a Canadian employer and the process is 100% legal? First of all, you should have had an interview with the employer, and he was interested to hire you as an employee. Secondly, the employer is processing LMIA (Labor Market Impact Assessment) for you and is not charging you for that. It is an employer’s responsibility to pay the application fees for LMIA. You will only be responsible to pay fees, related to your work permit application, such as a processing work permit fee of CAD 155 (open work permit holder fee CAD 100), proof of English proficiency, such as IELTS test scores (if applicable – in most cases it is), police clearances, etc. You need also to make sure that the employer is existent – check their website, google their products, etc.
Do not fall for easy ways to sneak into the country. They are always expensive, sometimes illegal and – unnecessary.
There is always a legal way!
Check the https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada.html website for authentic information.