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CANADA – Changes to Strengthen Employer Accountability

Effective 21 February 2015, a foreign national who is exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process will not be able to get an employer-specific work permit if their employer has not submitted the required information and paid a fee before the work permit application is submitted.

What Exactly is the New Requirement?

Employers hiring foreign nationals who are exempt from the LMIA process will be required to submit an Offer of Employment form, and pay a fee to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

The employer compliance fee has been set at CAD$230 and must be paid online. The fees collected will offset the cost of introducing robust employer compliance. And are in addition to the existing work permit application fee of CAD$155.

The form must be completed with the fee receipt number, and submitted by email. The work permit application must then include a copy of the form, and copy of the receipt and a copy of the email.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

When an inspection finds that an employer is non-compliant, the employer could face an administrative monetary penalty, a ban from hiring foreign workers and, in serious cases, a criminal investigation and prosecution.

Open Work Permit Applicants

Also effective 21 February 2015, open work permit applicants have to pay a new fee of CAD$100. This fee will be paid at the same time as the work permit processing fee and can be paid online.

International Mobility Program streams that feature open work permits rather than employer-specific work permits include the working holiday portion of International Experience Canada, the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program, spouses/common-law partners of highly-skilled foreign workers and international students, and certain foreign nationals who are already in Canada waiting for the finalization of their applications for permanent residence.

Action Items

  • Employers hiring LMIA-exempt foreign nationals should ensure that they pay the compliance fee and submit the required information in order to avoid penalties and to enable the work permit application.

This alert was prepared using information provided by Norton Rose Fulbright.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.