Canada Strengthening Accountability under the International Mobility Program

Beginning in late February, Canadian employers hiring foreign nationals exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process will be required to meet stricter requirements.  The LMIA process is an accountability measure that ensures that there are no Canadians available to take on the job being offered to a foreign national.

The International Mobility Program (IMP) encompasses all kinds of work permit applications exempt from the LMIA process into one category.

Exemption from the LMIA process can result from free-trade agreements or youth exchange programs that benefit Canada. Employers of these individuals will be asked to provide information regarding their business or organization, and to pay fees to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

As of February 21st, LMIA process-exempt individuals will no longer be able to acquire work permits specific to their employers without submitting to the above mentioned requirements before the submission of the application.

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, with regards to information about the business, foreign nationals must provide their employer with an Offer of Employment form.  Furthermore, payment of the employer compliance fee must be paid online for an amount of $230 CAN. This will allow for the introduction of various employer compliance activities, namely the inspection of employers for monitoring compliance. Should an inspection show an employer to be less than compliant, he or she could face several consequences: a foreign worker hiring ban, an administrative monetary penalty, or in certain cases, a criminal investigation. What this means is that every employer, regardless of whether they hire an LMIA-exempt individual or temporary workers through the LMIA process, will be subject to the same conditions with regards to the hiring and treatment of foreign workers.

The employer compliance fee mentioned above does not, however, apply to foreign workers with open work permits. A separate fee of $100 CAN will be required from individuals with these permits, also beginning on February 21st. These fees will allow for new programs improving data regarding the role of open work permit members in the Canadian labour market and for the promotion of permanent residence to these individuals.

These upcoming changes will render foreign national employers more accountable to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, as well as to their respective employees.

Find more information about the Labour Market Impact Assessment process or Open Work Permits on FWCanada’s website, and consult FWCanada for details about how these changes may affect you and your immigration application.

FWCanada is a Montreal-based immigration law firm that provides professional legal services on Canadian immigration. For more tips and updates on Canadian immigration, follow FWCanada on FacebookTwitter, and Linkedin.

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