Fees and cost recovery: Policies

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Fee exemptions

The exemptions and their codes are contained in COD 1 and are noted where appropriate to each service below.

Fee exemptions are established in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) (Part 19, Fees). They can also be established through the use of remission orders or public policy. However, these methods are used only for exceptional circumstances.

There are no fee exemptions for the replacement of an immigration document. However, no additional fee is charged when an error in issuing a document is made or Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invokes special measures under a remission order or a public policy. Immigration Program Managers retain the prerogative to require that an application and its fee be submitted again if they are satisfied that the original facts of the application have changed.

There are no fee exemptions for facilitation visas.

Exemption code “999”

The use of a “999” fee exemption code is restricted to exceptional circumstances, such as special measures invoked by IRCC, other non-regulatory situations where a payment is not required for an application to be finalized (i.e., processing study permits and work permits in the context of new visa impositions) or departmental errors. It must be accompanied by a Global Case Management System (GCMS) special program or special event code, and the reason for its use must be noted in the application’s notes.

Outlined below are examples of the use of “999”.

  • Departmental error: An office loses a sponsorship form [IMM 1344AE (PDF, 478.72KB)] ). The cost recovery processing fees were paid by the sponsor and the form so noted. The visa office abroad requires the IMM 1344AE sponsorship form for overseas processing. A second sponsorship would be completed, but no fee would be collected from the sponsor or proposed immigrant.
  • ·A visa application centre (VAC) generated application was duplicated due to a scanning error, whereby a payment was associated to the wrong application. The office finalizes the application using “999”.

File retention

Supporting financial documentation necessary to substantiate cost recovery fees should be kept by IRCC outside the immigration application files with their corresponding Integrated Payment Revenue Management System (IPRMS) receipt for a minimum of seven years after the status-confirming document has been issued. This practice will facilitate periodic monitoring and auditing and is apart from any other file retention procedures that may be issued from time to time for the purpose of the Privacy Act or the management of recorded information.

Time and form of payment

Time of payment

Payment of the appropriate cost recovery processing fee or proof of payment must be included with the application for the service requested. The application for a service will not be processed without payment of the correct fee as it will not meet the requirements of sections 10 and 11 of the IRPR. However, this does not apply to the right of permanent residence fee, which can be paid at any point during the process before the issuance of the immigrant visa or the acquisition of permanent resident status.

No visa is to be issued until all the required fees have been paid in full. Payments are made either in Canada or at a mission abroad, depending on the nature of the application. Clients must follow payment instructions from their respective application guides or the “Pay your fees tool”. Payment options vary depending on the service required and where the applications are submitted.

Form of payment for applications submitted in Canada

All non-online fee payments received by an office in Canada must be recorded in the IPRMS the same day they are received and reconciled shortly thereafter.

  • At ports of entry, fees may be paid by presenting an IRCC online payment receipt, in cash (Canadian or U.S. currency), by accepted credit card, or by money order, traveller’s cheque or certified cheque. Personal cheques are not accepted, except in the case of Canadian citizens abroad who may send cheques or money orders.
  • At case processing centres (CPCs) and inland offices, all applications sent to a CPC must be paid online via the IRCC online payment tool.

Forms of payment for applications submitted overseas

All non-online fee payments received by an office in Canada must be recorded in the IPRMS the same day they are received and reconciled shortly thereafter.

Fees for paper applications to be submitted for processing in an overseas office may be paid as follows:

  • They may be paid wherever possible online with an accepted credit card (regular or prepaid) via the IRCC online payment tool or at a VAC, if it collects immigration fees.
  • Where online payment as the only payment option is not possible, the mission may accept alternative payment options such as direct deposits into a local bank or certified instruments (bank drafts, certified cheques or money orders).
  • Certified instruments must be in the same currency as the mission bank account where funds are deposited to prevent additional bank fees.
  • Any changes to existing payment options accepted at a mission must be discussed with the International Network (IN) via the Mission Support email address, IRCC.INCRO-ARCRI.IRCC@cic.gc.ca, as bank fees may be applicable.
  • Banking arrangements for direct deposits in a local bank account will not be initiated without consultation with the mission management consular officer, the bank and IN-Mission Support. Prior approval from the IN team and the IRCC National Headquarters Finance Branch is required; the email address IRCC.INCRO-ARCRI.IRCC@cic.gc.ca should be copied on all correspondence.

Refund of revenue procedures

Please refer to the Financial Policy Manual.

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