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In our ongoing blog series on corporate immigration law in Toronto found here and here, one very important area facing corporate immigration law firms are issues of conflict.
In most cases, representing companies in matters of cross border issues, employee transfers or hiring new foreign workers, it is very important to clearly outline any possible conflict of interests that could arise in the course of processing applications for work permits. Often your client is the company itself as opposed to the actual employee. However, the visa (usually a work permit), is issued to the employee in question not the company. Therefore the rights of the employees are directly impacted when it comes to Visa processing. Also in preparing such applications, issues of criminality, medical inadmissibility and personal background may arise–information that the employee may or may not wish to disclose to their company.
As immigration lawyers, we have to make it very clear from the outset who our client is and to disclose to all parties about any potential conflicts that may arise during the course of the visa application process. Where our client is the company, the employee has to be made to understand their obligations in terms of disclosure of information to not only the Immigration authorities but also to their employers. It is prudent to get them to sign a document at the outset acknowledging this fact so there are no surprises.
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The Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC), the governing body that regulates lawyers in Ontario has set out in its Rules of Professional Conduct guidelines for dealing with conflict issues. Conflict issues can be tricky but are manageable if handled properly by a Corporate Immigration Law Firm in Toronto.
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