Canada’s immigration department, IRCC, has a guideline on work permit considerations for mergers, acquisitions and company changes: IRCC Guidelines on Employer Restructurings and Name Changes.
Work permits, including any employer name specifically indicated, must be treated carefully. Any material change to the work itself, as well as the changes to the specific employer indicated on a work permit, may require a new work permit to meet all compliance requirements with the IRCC.
The IRCC guideline sets out when a new LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) or work permit may be required. The rules apply to employer-specific work permits under both the LMIA regime and under LMIA-exempt work permit categories such as the intra-company transferee category and NAFTA.
The guideline does not apply to TFWs (Temporary Foreign Workers) who hold open work permits. Open work permits, such as post-graduate work permits, do not list a specific employer.
Corporate changes, transactions and acquisitions affect potential liability and compliance obligations where the entities involved employ TFWs. Both the acquirer and the target/seller need to consider how such changes may affect their obligations under IRPA and the employer compliance regime.
Proactive recognition and assessment of the issues will mitigate risk. Engaging corporate immigration counsel well in advance of any changes to corporate structure or to the legal entity employing the TFWs will help ensure ongoing compliance and that steps are taken to obtain new work authorizations, if necessary.
For more information, read this article from Gowling WLG.