- Types of users
- Secure credential – GCKey or SecureKey Concierge
- Get your credential to access the portal
- Enrol in the Employer Portal as an employer or primary user
- Enrol in the Employer Portal as a branch or secondary user
- Changing the primary user
- Lost GCKey
The Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) portal for employers and their branches, known as the Employer Portal, is a secure gateway that allows employers to conduct business electronically with IRCC. The Employer Portal can be accessed with either a GCKey or the SecureKey Concierge service.
Note: Each Employer Portal account must have a different GCKey or SecureKey.
Types of users
An employer is any organization that submits an offer of employment to IRCC, as required under the International Mobility Program (IMP). When an organization has subsidiaries or branches, the first employee from that organization to enrol as the employer in the portal is the employer primary user.
A branch is a subsidiary of an organization owned and operated by an employer. Each branch must have the same nine-digit Canada 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.
A primary user is the first person to enrol an employer or branch in the portal. The employer primary user is the only user to have full access to the portal. They are responsible for assigning PINs to branches and secondary users.
A secondary user is a user who receives a PIN from the employer or branch primary user. Secondary users can complete an offer of employment on behalf of an employer or branch but will not be able to assign access to others.
This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to enrol in the Employer Portal.
Secure credential – GCKey or SecureKey Concierge
The secure credential service is provided by the Government of Canada to allow users to securely conduct business online with IRCC. When you enrol in the Employer Portal, your unique secure credential user ID is linked to your portal account. Each time you attempt to access the portal, you are required to input your secure credential user ID and password.
Note: If you already have a secure credential for another online account, you will need to create a new one for the Employer Portal. Each secure credential can only be linked to one account.
A GCKey is a unique secure credential that protects your communications sent through online government programs and services.
You can also use SecureKey Concierge if you have an account with a Sign-In Partner. These organizations let customers use their existing online credentials, such as card numbers or usernames and passwords, to access Government of Canada services.
Current Sign-In Partners:
- BMO Financial Group
- Royal Bank of Canada
- TD Canada Trust
- Choice Rewards MasterCard
If you do not have an account with one of these Sign-In Partners or you do not want to use this service, you must register for a GCKey.
If you lose or forget your secure credential user ID (GCKey or SecureKey), it cannot be retrieved by the secure credential service. You should choose a user ID that is easy to remember.
Also, if you forget or lose your password, the security measures do not allow the secure credential service to recover it. However, you can create a new password by correctly responding to the recovery questions you created during registration.
Note: If you lose or respond incorrectly to your recovery questions, you will need a PIN to register for a new secure credential user ID and link it to your account in the Employer Portal. Email the Employer Portal with the subject line ‘PIN reset’. Include the business legal name and the first and last name you used when you first enrolled in the email body.
Get your credential to access the portal
Before accessing the Employer Portal for the first time, you must register for a GCKey or use SecureKey Concierge. You must choose only one of these two sign-in methods.
Use a GCKey to access the portal
If you already have a GCKey for the Employer Portal, you do not need to create a new one. Instead, skip to the log-in steps to learn how to access the portal with your existing credential.
Create your GCKey
- From the Employer Portal web page, click Continue to GCKey. You will be directed to the GCKey homepage.
- Click the Sign Up button, under Simple Secure Access.
- Read and accept the Terms and Conditions of Use.
- Follow the instructions on the next page, and click Continue to create your GCKey.
Log in using your GCKey
- From the Employer Portal web page, click Continue to GCKey. You will be directed to the GCKey homepage.
- Enter your GCKey user ID and password into the appropriate fields, and click Sign In.
Note: GCKey user IDs and passwords are case sensitive and cannot be recovered.
- You will be directed to the GCKey Welcome web page, which displays your user ID and last log-in information (date and time).
- Click Continue.
- Read and accept the CIC Portal Terms and Conditions of Use.
Use SecureKey Concierge to access the portal
- From the Employer Portal web page, click Continue to Sign-In Partner. You will be directed to the SecureKey Concierge homepage.
- On the Sign-In Partners web page, select a Sign-In Partner that you have an account with.
- Enter the user ID and password you use to access your financial or banking institution.
- Read and accept the CIC Terms and Conditions of Use.
Enrol in the Employer Portal as an employer or primary user
Once you have one of the secure credentials, you must enrol in the Employer Portal as an employer.
Complete an enrolment request
IRCC uses the same enrolment process to access several different portals. Make sure you select the Employer Portal, which is the last option.
To start the Employer Portal enrolment, you must correctly answer a series of questions. Make sure you answer each question carefully.
- Select No when you are asked “Have you received a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to complete your enrolment process to CIC’s portal?”, unless:
- you are a secondary user or a branch and you received a PIN from the primary user
- you lost your original login details and received a PIN from IRCC to create a new account.
- Select No to the next three questions about:
- enrolling as a designated learning institute,
- enrolling as an authorized representative, or
- affiliation with a visa application centre.
Note: If you say ‘yes’ to any portal other than the Employer Portal you will not be able to log into the Employer Portal and you will have to create a new GCKey and answer the series of questions again, correctly.
- Select Yes, only when you are asked “Do you wish to enroll in the portal as an employer?”
- Select No when you are asked if you have previously enrolled as an employer.
- Complete the Create your security questions online form, and click Continue. Choose questions and answers that will be easy for you to answer but difficult for someone else to guess. Save your security questions and answers somewhere safe for future reference, if need be.
Note: Each user account created under the employer account must have its own secure credential and security questions.
- Select Enrol as employer.
Note: If you do not see this screen you may have answered the questions wrong and enrolled in the wrong portal.
- Complete the Employer primary contact information form, and click Next.
Note: The primary contact is the person who will be contacted regarding information on the business and if an inspection is initiated
- Complete the Business information form, click Continue.
Business legal name and business operating name:
Enter the business legal name and the business operating name of the Canadian company that the temporary worker will be working for while in Canada.
There are two types of employment situations:
- Contract of service – a direct hire or transfer of a temporary worker by a Canadian company. The temporary worker is on the Canadian company payroll and part of its human resources.
- Contract for service – a Canadian company contracts a foreign company for specific services, and the foreign company provides an employee to the Canadian company to fulfill the contract.
For the purposes of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations, IRCC requires that the Canadian company that has contracted the services of a foreign company complete and submit the offer of employment. Although the foreign national may often be – and remain – a direct-hire employee of the foreign company, and the foreign company may pay the wages of the foreign national, it is the Canadian company that is creating the need for the foreign national to enter Canada. The contract with the foreign company is the reason why the foreign national is seeking entry into Canada.
If there are two Canadian organizations involved in the ‘offer of employment’ to the foreign national the employer should be the organization that will ensure compliance with the regulatory conditions imposed on the employer. In general, the regulatory conditions imposed are:
- providing a workplace that is free of abuse,
- complying with Canadian federal and provincial labour standards,
- remaining active during the work permit period, and
- ensuring that working conditions and occupation comply with the offer of employment.
The employer will have a role in supervising the foreign employee (setting the time and place of work, removing unsuitable workers, reviewing work completed, etc.).
Canadian or foreign organization:
Canadian organization: All employers in Canada have a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business number. Do not enter a random set of numbers in the CRA business number field.
If your Canadian company does not yet have a CRA number, email the Employer Portal with the following information:
- your full name, date of birth and place of birth, as listed on your passport
- your country of citizenship
- your business name, if known
- your business contact address, if known
Foreign organization: Foreign companies can enrol in the Employer Portal. Select ‘No’ under ‘Is this a Canadian Organization?’ to answer questions about your foreign company. Enter your company’s federal registration number under the Business number field.
- Enter your name to sign your enrolment request electronically, and click Submit, then Transmit.
Note: The business information you provide must not have been used for any other employer account enrolment request in the Employer Portal. If your information matches information previously provided, your enrolment will be refused.
You will have 30 days from starting the enrolment process to complete your enrolment request. If your request is not completed and submitted within 30 days, the incomplete request will be deleted, and you will have to start a new one.
Note: If you provide inaccurate or false information, your foreign workers’ work permits could be revoked, and your organization could be subject to an inspection.
After an enrolment request is processed
Once your enrolment is processed by IRCC, you should receive an email notifying you if your request was approved or refused.
Note: Emails to Employer Portal users are sent from email@example.com. 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.
If your enrolment request is approved, you will be able to log in to the Employer Portal and have full access to its features.
Always make sure that you are signing in to the Employer Portal and not one of the other portals provided by the department.
Always make sure that you are logging in to your active account. If you log in to an account that was refused, you will not be able to complete an offer of employment.
Refer to Get your credential to access the portal for steps on how to access the portal.
If your enrolment 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 enrolment, such as the business number and business legal name, were previously used to create an account in the Employer Portal.
If you do not know why your enrolment request was refused, contact the Employer Portal.
Errors in enrolment
An error has happened if you sign in to the Employer Portal and your enrolment status is still ‘in progress’ after you have already received the email stating your account is active.
Email the Employer Portal with the subject line ‘PIN reset.’ Include the first and last name you used during enrolment in the email body.
Enrol in the Employer Portal as a branch or secondary user
Note: Before you can enrol in the Employer Portal, the employer or branch primary user must:
- add you to the account, and
- create a PIN for you.
Once you have a secure credential, you must enrol in the Employer Portal as a branch or secondary user.
Complete an enrolment request
IRCC uses the same enrolment process to access several different portals. The enrolment process begins with a series of questions that you must answer carefully.
- Select Yes when you are asked “Have you received a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to complete your enrolment process to CIC’s portal?”
- Enter your first name, last name and PIN in the appropriate fields, and click Continue.
- Complete the Create your security questions form, and click Continue. Choose questions and answers that will be easy for you to answer but difficult for someone else to guess. Save your security questions and answers somewhere safe for future reference, if need be.
You will now have access to the Employer Portal as a secondary user or branch. Refer to Get your credential to access the portal for steps on how to access the portal.
Changing the primary user
If you need to change the primary user on an employer account, the proposed new primary user must already have a secondary user account.
Once this person has a secondary user account, you can email the Employer Portal. Write ”Change primary user” in the subject line and ask that the secondary user be given the role of primary user.
You must include:
- the current primary user’s first and last names,
- the proposed new primary user’s first and last names (matching their secondary user account),
- the proposed new primary user’s email address, and
- the business information.
We will let you know once the change is made.
If you have lost your GCKey username, you need to contact us for a PIN.
Email the Employer Portal and put ‘PIN Reset’ in the subject line. Include the first and last name you used when you first enrolled in the portal.
You will receive your PIN and instructions on what to do next, by email within 5 business days. This PIN will link the new GCKey to your existing Employer Portal account.
If you have lost your GCKey, please contact your primary user and have them create a new PIN for you. They may delete your previous account if they choose. This will have no effect on the offer of employment queue.
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