Effective February 21, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will implement new procedures for Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exempt Work Permit applications, which include Intra-Company Transfer, NAFTA Professional, and Reciprocal Benefit applications. The changes are part of a new initiative to institute additional compliance measures, including inspections of employer sites.

In order to apply under LMIA-exempt categories, employers will now be required to first electronically submit information about their business or organization, provide an offer of employment for the employee, and pay a fee of $230 CAD to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. If the fee is not paid, the Canadian Work Permit will not be issued at the port of entry or through the Canadian Consulate.

Another new change being implemented is that Open Work Permit applicants will now be required to pay an additional advance fee of $100 CAD. These fees will be required in addition to the current Work Permit application fee of $155 CAD.

Employers will be responsible for paying these additional expenses and completing the advance registration process beginning February 21, 2015. Companies will also need to be aware of increased compliance procedures and likelihood of site visits. Penalties for not complying with the new measures will include monetary penalties, bans on foreign worker recruitment, and possible criminal sanctions