New CIC Employer Portal for LMIA Exempt Work Permits
In February 2015, Citizenship & Immigration Canada (“CIC”) instituted new fees for Employers hiring foreign workers who are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”) process. Starting February 21, 2015, Employers of these LMIA exempt foreign workers, including Intra-Company Transferees and NAFTA Professionals, have had to provide CIC with a “mini-application” and pay a new fee of $230.
Until October 26, 2015, the “mini-application” in the form of the IMM5802 Offer of Employment was submitted via e-mail and the compliance fee had to be paid separately via For’s Online Fee Payment system. As of October 26, 2015, the “mini-application” and compliance fee must now be submitted via CIC’s new Employer Portal. The foreign worker will have to include proof of the submission to CIC with their work permit application.
Employers must now sign up for CIC’s Employer Portal (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/e-services/employer-portal.asp) in order to submit the mini-applications and compliance fee required for LMIA exempt work permits. Information on the enrolment process can be found at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/e-services/employer-enrolm.asp.
In advance of a foreign worker’s work permit application, the employer must submit a mini-application through the online portal. This mini-application consists of much of the same information as that required for an LMIA or Offer of Employment IMM5802. In addition to the mini-application, the Employer will also have to pay a $230 “compliance fee.”
It should be noted that the Employer Portal requires that the foreign worker’s salary is stated in Canadian dollars. If the foreign worker is being paid in foreign currency, the Canadian equivalent should be noted in the salary field and an explanation regarding the currency of payment and the payor should be included in the “Alternate Compensation Box.”
The employer should ensure that they take screenshots of every page of the mini-application for their records in case of a future compliance review. The employer should also take a screenshot of the Employment Queue page showing the A# of the mini-application. The screenshot of the Employment Queue page showing the A# of the mini-application must be provided to the foreign worker to include with his work permit application. Optimally, the foreign worker would also include a screenshot of the fee payment receipt page.
The $230 compliance fee is intended to offset the cost of a new Employer compliance regime that will include random inspections of Employers. The new Employer compliance regime will include as sanctions: administrative monetary penalties, bans from hiring foreign workers, criminal investigation and prosecution for findings of non-compliance.
The new compliance fee does not apply to Employers hiring foreign workers who hold an open work permit.
The lawyers at Capelle Kane are attentively following the developments of this new CIC initiative designed to hold employers accountable for the terms of the employment offers made to foreign workers.