Notice – Changes to strengthen employer accountability under the International Mobility Program

February 9, 2015 —

Employer compliance system and fee

Starting February 21, 2015, employers hiring foreign nationals who are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process will be required to submit information about their business or organization, the Offer of Employment form, and pay a fee to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

As of that date, a foreign national who is exempt from the LMIA process will not be able to get an employer-specific work permit if their employer has not submitted the required information and paid the fee before the work permit application is submitted.

The employer compliance fee has been set at $230 and must be paid online. The fees collected will offset the cost of introducing robust employer compliance activities featuring inspections of thousands of employers.

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. 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 that has determined that there are no Canadians available for the job, will face the same level of scrutiny in their hiring and treatment of foreign workers.

The employer compliance fee does not apply to employers hiring foreign nationals who have open work permits. Open work permits allow the holder to work for any Canadian employer.

CLARIFICATION (March 2, 2015): If a foreign national who holds an open work permit wants to apply for a new permit for a specific employer, the employer must pay an employer compliance fee and submit the Offer of Employment form before the foreign national can apply for the new work permit. 

New fee for open work permit applicants

A fee of $100 will be collected, also starting February 21, 2015, from open work permit applicants. This fee will be paid at the same time as the work permit processing fee and can be paid online. The fees collected will offset the cost of new initiatives to improve data collection on the role of open work permit holders in the Canadian labour market, as well as increased promotional activities to encourage open work permit holders to apply for permanent residence.

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.

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