New Regulations for Hiring Foreign Nationals in Canada

by Ray Clancy on February 19, 2015

Employers in Canada hiring foreign nationals who are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process are now required to meet new regulations.

From 21 February they must submit information about their business or organization, the Offer of Employment form, and pay a fee to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

canadaexpatsIt means that 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.

A spokesman for CIC said that 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.

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 spokesman explained that 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 Programme 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 finalisation of their applications for permanent residence.

 

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