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New Filing Procedure and Fees for LMIA-exempt Work Permit

open-work-permitsCanada has now added a new fee structure and filing procedure for Work Permit applications that are exempt from LMIA (Labor Market Impact Assessment). LMIA is a document provided by the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)

New Fee Structure

In a move that came into effect from the 21st of February 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) now requires employers to first submit their business details electronically and then provide a job offer to the prospective employee. An Employer must then pay a Compliance fee of $230 CAD online to CIC without which the Work Permit will not be issued.

After paying the fees an employer must submit form IMM5802 with the title “Offer of Employment to a Foreign National Exempt from a Labor Market Impact Assessment”. It should contain all the required information for the concerned officer to make a reasonable assessment of the situation.

An added fee of $100 CAD has to be paid by applicants of Open Work Permit. This is apart from the $155 CAD that has to be paid for the current Work Permit application. These changes are brought to implement better compliance of procedures and regulations which would involve site inspections. The compliance fee will be returned if the application is rejected or the candidate withdraws the same. The fee collected will be used for government functioning related to the work permit visa procedures.

Company Compliance

CIC expects companies to pay for these additional charges and complete the registration process for the applicant, now that the new policy change has come into effect. Failure of the companies to follow the new procedure would attract punitive measures that would range from a monetary penalty to ban on foreign worker recruitment and even a criminal sanction.

Workers who can apply for a work permit without the need of a LMIA includes:

  1. Investors, traders and professionals covered under international trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), or the federal government and a provincial government agreement.
  2. Teacher, students and others who take part in exchange programs
  3. Spouses and partners of certain full time foreign students, skilled workers and those of them who are in Canada through a Permanent Residence visa or a Family Class visa.
  4. Workers who have received a positive eligibility assessment on their permanent residence application
  5. Intra-company transferred workers – workers who are sent to Canada to take up responsibilities in their company’s b ranches in Canada.
  6. Social and religious workers


A Canadian employer needs to get a positive rating from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) on the work permit application. The employer needs to submit an Offer of Employment and pay an Employer compliance fee to the CIC after which the application for a work permit can be forwarded. The authorities assess if the job on offer cannot be filled with available local work force and if that job can positively impact the Canadian economy. The employer has to contact ESDC for more details on LMIA application process.

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