Starting February 21, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) will require employers hiring temporary foreign workers (“TFWs”) that are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”) process to pay a new fee to CIC. The fee per work permit will be CAD $230 (payable online by employers). Employers will also need to submit new and additional information about their business and an additional form, even when TFWs are applying at a Canadian port of entry.
Once the new system kicks in, any foreign national exempt from a LMIA will only be able to get a Canadian employer-specific work permit if their Canadian employer has submitted the required information and paid the applicable fee before their work permit application is submitted or made at a port of entry.
By implementing this fee, CIC hopes to cover the cost of their new employer compliance system which will see inspections of Canadian employers that use TFWs. Reminiscent of ESDC’s compliance system, non-compliance could mean administrative monetary penalties, bans from using TFWs, or even criminal investigation and prosecution in serious cases of abuse by employers.
Open Work Permit Holders
While the CAD $230 fee does not apply to open work permit holders (including accompanying spouses, Post Graduate Work Permit holders, International Experience Canada participants with open work permits and permanent resident applicants with positive eligibility decisions), a new CAD $100 fee will be collected from open work permit applicants starting on February 21, 2015 (paid online at time of application). CIC is implementing this new fee to provide revenue for improved data collection and reporting on the role of open work permit holders in the Canadian labour market.
If you have questions about CIC’s International Mobility Program and the requirements for employers bringing in temporary foreign workers, Dale & Lessmann LLP invites you to contact our experienced Immigration Practice Group for assistance in navigating the upcoming changes.