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New Employer Compliance Fees Under the International Mobility Program


By Lori Brienza and Melanie Goldsworthy

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has introduced new compliance fees applicable to the hiring of all foreign nationals exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process under the International Mobility Program. The fees are to be paid in addition to the work permit application processing fee (currently $155). These fees will be in effect as of February 21, 2015.

$230 Employer Fee for an Employer-Specific Work Permit
Employers hiring foreign nationals who are LMIA-exempt, such as intra-company transferees and professionals under free trade agreements such as NAFTA, must complete and submit an Offer of Employment form, provide information about their business or organization and submit a compliance fee of $230 to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The fee must be paid by the employer online in advance of requesting the work permit. Foreign nationals seeking entry under the International Mobility Program will not be able to get an employer-specific work permit if their employer has not submitted the required forms and paid the fee.

The new fee will be used to offset the cost of employer compliance activities, such as through inspections to monitor employer compliance with the program. Inspections could lead to penalties being levied against non-compliant employers, as well as bans from hiring foreign nationals and even criminal prosecution when warranted. The adoption of this system will mean that all employers, whether they are hiring LMIA-exempt foreign nationals or temporary foreign workers through the LMIA process, will face the same level of scrutiny in their hiring and treatment of foreign workers.

An employer hiring a foreign national holding an open work permit is not required to submit the fee, as the holder of an open work permit may work for any employer in Canada.

$100 Applicant Fee for an Open Work Permit
All open work permit applicants must pay a $100 fee to Citizenship and Immigration Canada at the same time as the work permit processing fee. The new fee will be used to offset the cost of new initiatives to improve data collection on the role open work permit holders have in the Canadian labour market, as well as to promote Canadian permanent residence to holders of open work permits. Foreign nationals affected include those under the following streams: the working holiday portion of International Experience Canada, the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program, spouse/common-law partners of highly-skilled foreign workers and international students, and foreign nationals who are in Canada waiting for the finalization of their applications for permanent residence.

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