Program delivery update: New regulatory exemptions for certain employers from the International Mobility Program’s employer compliance regime – February 26, 2018

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

New regulatory amendments come into force at 12:00 a.m. EST on February 27, 2018, that provide an exemption to the International Mobility Program compliance regime for certain employers. This includes exemption from all of the following requirements:

  • the requirement to submit an offer of employment to Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) through the Employer Portal
  • the requirement to pay the employer compliance fee
  • the requirement of being subject to any compliance inspections

Updates have been made to the program delivery instructions (PDIs) pertaining to foreign government officials not accredited to Canada, locally engaged staff of diplomatic and consular missions and international organizations, interns with international organizations and foreign missions recognized under the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act (FMIOA), and United States government personnel. In addition, new PDIs regarding bridge and tunnel authorities that are exempt from the compliance regime have been created.

A new PDIs page will serve as the landing page for all employer compliance-exempt work permit processing. Various other relevant PDIs pages have also been updated to include links to these processing instructions.

New instructions have been created on the subject of work permit issuance prohibitions.

Extensive updates were also made to the processing instructions for employer-specific, LMIA-exempt work permit applications. Included in these updates are guidelines according to which officers can now make the following changes:

  • Un-matching the offer from one application and then matching it to another
  • Changes authorized for the processing officer without contact with the employer, including changes to the LMIA exemption codes and to the passport number

Note: This update is further to instructions published on January 27, 2016, supporting the employer compliance regime and regulatory changes to the International Mobility Program introduced in December 2013 and February 2015.

Transition instructions for employer compliance exemptions

Effective February 27, 2018, foreign nationals hired by an exempt entity may submit a work permit application to IRCC as per the updated instruction guides IMM 5487 and IMM 5553. These instructions inform the applicant to select “Other” for the type of work permit they are seeking, instead of “Exemption from Labour Market Impact Assessment.” This eliminates the requirement to include the LMIA exemption number (offer of employment “A” number) on the application form. Exempt employers are not required to submit an offer of employment to IRCC, and no compliance inspections will be conducted after the work permit is issued.

Any offers of employment and work permit applications submitted and finalized as per the pre-February 27 rules will not be reopened for reconsideration. For these cases, no refund will be issued for the employer compliance fee. However, no compliance inspections will be conducted on exempt employers.

  • If an exempt employer submitted an offer of employment and paid the $230 employer compliance fee before February 27, 2018, and the applicant submitted the application on or after this date as per the updated instructions in the instruction guides (that is, by selecting “Other” for the work permit type), the application will be processed as per the new rules. The employer can withdraw the offer of employment in their Employer Portal account and receive a refund of the employer compliance fee.
  • For offers of employments and work permit applications submitted before February 27, 2018, where the application is processed and finalized on or after February 27, the officer must do all of the following:
    • change the case type from 52 to 60
    • change the status of the fee payment on the offer of employment to “Refund Request”
    • complete the FIN 0033 form as per the normal office procedure on refunds
    • continue to assess the work permit (without consideration of the Employer Portal offer) as per the new rules

New instructions

Updated instructions

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