Canada – New Compliance Pre-Application Process and Fees for LMIA Exempt Visa Categories

What has changed

Beginning February 21, 2015 Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program’s procedures for companies hiring expatriates for LMIA exempt positions will include a Pre-Application Process as well as an Employer Compliance Fee in addition to a supplemental fee for Open Work Permits.

Previously, there was no government compliance fees for LMIA exempt categories, and the addition of the pre-application process is a policy instituted by the Canadian authorities to ensure compliance measures are taken within the LMIA exempt visa categories that are equivalent to LMIA based work permits.  Overall, this new process will require extra lead time and information before the foreigner can travel to Canada.

Who is affected?
What to expect

  •  Expatriates who are entering Canada under LMIA exempt status
  • Employers who are hiring foreigners using LMIA exempt provisions
  • Holders of Open Work Permits


The Canadian government will now be implementing an employer compliance fee of $230 CAD for all LMIA exempt workers and $100 CAD for all open work permit applicants (spousal, International Experience Canada and post-graduate permits). These fees are in addition to the government fee of $155 CAD for work permits and $1000 CAD for LMIA applications.

Employer Compliance

Employers who are exempt from the LMIA process (NAFTA,  Intra-company transfers), will be required to submit company information along with an Offer of Employment Form in addition to the $230 CAD Employer Compliance Fee. These documents and fees will all be submitted to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) through an online portal prior to the issuance of a work permit.

Should an inspection find that an employer is non-compliant, the employer could face fines, a ban from hiring temporary foreign workers and in more serious cases a criminal investigation and prosecution.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Emigra Worldwide will assist in scheduling calls for strategy and timing of applications in addition to gathering the requisite documents for the applications.
  • Emigra Worldwide will identify any individual and company that can benefit from this change, and contact them immediately to confirm if they would like to proceed.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your clients.

The information above was provided by Emigra Worldwide, our global network partners, and relevant government authorities. The information herein is for general purposes only and not intended as advice for a particular matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work.