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New work permit fees may affect equipment repair technicians

Starting February 21, 2015, employers hiring foreign nationals who are exempt from the LMIA process will be required to pay a fee to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.


Ottawa – A new fee and process for employers hiring foreign nationals who are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process may have an impact on companies sending equipment repair/service technicians across the US border to do work, according to Rainer Kunau, trade commissioner for the Consulate General of Canada. Starting February 21, 2015, employers hiring foreign nationals who are exempt from the LMIA process will be required to submit information about their business or organization, the Offer of Employment form, and pay a fee to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

As of that date, foreign nationals who are 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.

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.

New fee for open work permit applicants

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 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 Program 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 finalization of their applications for permanent residence.

For details, visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/index.asp.

 


Bill Roebuck

Bill Roebuck

Bill Roebuck is the Editor and Associate Publisher of Machinery & Equipment MRO magazine and mromagazine.com.
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2 Comments » for New work permit fees may affect equipment repair technicians
  1. Robert Webb says:

    this will have a major impact on companies selling to Canadian companies and also to Canadian companies who purchase equipment outside of Canada. No more free service work or warranty work as these fees are being required now. it appears that the option of servicing YOUR equipment has been removed from the list of work permit non requirements. Great heads up Bill!

  2. David says:

    The introduction of compliance measures to LMIA exempt work permits is likely to make the admission of some foreign workers more complicated, at least until employers become accustomed to the new process and the government works out any bugs in the new process. However, it is not necessarily the case that all foreign technicians performing work on machinery or other equipment sold from outside of the country will be subject to these fees and the accompanying online filing. In many of these cases, particularly when work is being done under warranty, the foreign nationals are admitted through WX-1 (i.e., work permit exemption) provisions under section 186 of the Regulations.

    CIC has not specifically included these business visitor categories in the compliance measures published recently. However, as this does not fall within the International Mobility Program and as the compliance measures reference this program specifically, it is presently safe to assume that most warranty work will be exempt from this fee, as it is also exempt from the work permit requirement.

    With the recent introduction of an enormous fee for LMIA processing, even in cases where foreign technicians are coming in to repair equipment for no more than a few days, Canadian industry is being hurt by increased difficulty in making sure that mission critical equipment remains in full operation. While ensuring compliance is a worthwhile endeavour, hopefully these new measures will not prove harmful.

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