ARCHIVED — Vol. 149, No. 3 — February 11, 2015

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Registration

SOR/2015-25 January 30, 2015

IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE PROTECTION ACT
FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION ACT

Regulations Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (International Mobility Program)

P.C. 2015-66 January 29, 2015

Whereas, pursuant to subsection 5(2) (see footnote a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (see footnote b), the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has caused a copy of the proposed Regulations Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (International Mobility Program), substantially in the annexed form, to be laid before each House of Parliament,

Therefore, His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Treasury Board, pursuant to subsection 5(1) and sections 32 (see footnote c), 89.1 (see footnote d) and 89.2 (see footnote e) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and, considering that it is in the public interest to do so, subsection 23(2.1) (see footnote f) of the Financial Administration Act (see footnote g), makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (International Mobility Program).

REGULATIONS AMENDING THE IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE PROTECTION REGULATIONS (INTERNATIONAL MOBILITY PROGRAM)

AMENDMENTS

1. (1) Subparagraphs 200(1)(c)(i) and (ii) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (see footnote 1) are replaced by the following:

  • (i) is described in section 206 or 208,
  • (ii) intends to perform work described in section 204 or 205 but does not have an offer of employment to perform that work or is described in section 207 but does not have an offer of employment,

(2) The portion of subparagraph 200(1)(c)(ii.1) of the Regulations before clause (A) is replaced by the following:

  • (ii.1) intends to perform work described in section 204 or 205 and has an offer of employment to perform that work or is described in section 207 and has an offer of employment, and an officer has determined, on the basis of any information provided on the officer’s request by the employer making the offer and any other relevant information,

(3) Subsection 200(3) of the Regulations is amended by adding the following after paragraph (f):

  • (f.1) in the case of a foreign national referred to in subparagraph (1)(c)(ii.1), the fee referred to in section 303.1 has not been paid or the information referred to in section 209.11 has not been provided before the foreign national makes an application for a work permit;

2. The Regulations are amended by adding the following after section 209.1:

Foreign national referred to in subparagraph 200(1)(c)(ii.1)

209.11 (1) An employer who has made an offer of employment to a foreign national referred to in subparagraph 200(1)(c)(ii.1) must, before the foreign national makes an application for a work permit in respect of that employment, provide the following information to the Minister by means of the electronic system that is made available by the Department for that purpose:

  • (a) their name, address and telephone number and their fax number and electronic mail address, if any;
  • (b) the business number assigned to the employer by the Minister of National Revenue, if applicable;
  • (c) information that demonstrates that the foreign national will be performing work described in section 204 or 205 or is a foreign national described in section 207; and
  • (d) a copy of the offer of employment made in the form made available by the Department.

Information provided — time

(2) The information is deemed to be received on the date and at the time recorded in the electronic system.

Other means of providing information

(3) If an employer is unable to provide the information by means of the electronic system because of a physical or mental disability, the information may be provided by another means that is made available by the Department for that purpose and that would enable the employer to provide the information, including a paper form.

3. Subparagraph 209.2(1)(b)(i) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (i) be able to demonstrate that any information they provided under subparagraph 200(1)(c)(ii.1) or section 209.11 was accurate, and

4. Paragraph 299(2)(k) of the English version of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (k) a United States Government official in possession of an official United States passport who is assigned to a temporary posting in Canada, and their family members.

5. Paragraph 300(2)(i) of the English version of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (i) a United States Government official in possession of an official United States passport who is assigned to a temporary posting in Canada, and their family members.

6. The Regulations are amended by adding the following after section 303:

DIVISION 4.1

OTHER FEES IN RESPECT OF WORK PERMITS

Compliance Regime — Employer Fee

Fee — $230

303.1 (1) A fee of $230 is payable by an employer who has made an offer of employment to

  • (a) a foreign national in respect of work described in section 204 or 205;
  • (b) a foreign national described in section 207; or
  • (c) a foreign national referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) who makes an application for renewal of a work permit.

Electronic payment

(2) The fee referred to in subsection (1) is payable by means of the electronic system that is made available by the Department for that purpose, before the foreign national to whom the offer of employment is made makes an application for a work permit or an application for renewal of the work permit.

Fee paid — time

(3) The fee is deemed to be paid on the date and at the time recorded in the electronic system.

Other means of payment

(4) If an employer is unable to pay the fee by means of the electronic system because of a physical or mental disability, the payment may be made by another means that is made available by the Department for that purpose and that would enable the employer to pay the fee.

Exception

(5) An employer is not required to pay the fee referred to in subsection (1) if the offer of employment is made to a foreign national — other than a person referred to in paragraph 299(2)(i) — who under subsection 299(2) is not required to pay a fee for processing an application for a work permit.

Remission

(6) The fee referred to in subsection (1) is remitted, and must be repaid by the Minister to the person who paid it, if

  • (a) the work permit is refused; or
  • (b) the employer withdraws the offer of employment and requests a remission before the work permit is issued.

Maximum fee

(7) The total amount of fees payable under subsection (1) by an employer who has made offers of employment to a group of three or more foreign nationals, consisting of performing artists and their staff, is $690, if those offers are made at the same time.

Rights and Privileges

Fee — $100

303.2 (1) A fee of $100 is payable by a person for the rights and privileges conferred by means of a work permit if that person is

  • (a) a foreign national who intends to perform work described in section 204 or 205 but does not have an offer of employment to perform that work;
  • (b) a foreign national described in paragraph 207(b) who does not have an offer of employment; or
  • (c) a family member of a foreign national referred to in paragraph (b).

Exceptions

(2) The following persons are not required to pay the fee referred to in subsection (1):

  • (a) a person — other than a person referred to in paragraph 299(2)(i) — who under subsection 299(2) is not required to pay a fee for processing an application for a work permit;
  • (b) a person referred to in paragraph 299(2)(i) who intends to perform work under an international agreement between Canada and one or more countries, if the agreement
    • (i) prohibits the payment of a fee other than a participation fee, and
    • (ii) is in force at the time that the person makes an application for a work permit or for renewal of the work permit; and
  • (c) a foreign national who has made an application for permanent residence as a member of the live-in caregiver class and the family members included in that application.

Remission

(3) The fee referred to in subsection (1) is remitted, and must be repaid by the Minister to the person who paid it, if

  • (a) the work permit is refused; or
  • (b) the foreign national withdraws their application and requests a remission before the work permit is issued.

COMING INTO FORCE

7. These Regulations come into force on February 21, 2015, but if they are registered after that day, they come into force on the day on which they are registered.

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Executive summary

Issues: Workers and employers who are eligible to access Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) International Mobility Program (IMP) benefit from the ability to obtain employment at a Canadian workplace and by having access to a global labour supply, respectively. Despite these benefits, the costs of the Program are currently supported by Canadian taxpayers.

Description: The Regulations will impose a regulatory charge of $230 on employers who provide an offer of employment to employer-specific work permit applicants who are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to offset the costs of compliance verification activities, and a privilege fee of $100 on LMIA-exempt open work permit–holders to offset costs relating to activities that benefit participants of the open work permit scheme. The fees are payable in advance or at the date and time that an LMIA-exempt work permit application is made, including applications to renew work permits abroad or in Canada. The fee will be remitted to an employer or a work permit applicant where the work permit has not been issued (for example where the fee has been paid but the work permit application is subsequently refused or withdrawn). Certain LMIA-exempt work permit–holders will be exempt from paying these fees. Furthermore, employers hiring foreign workers in LMIA-exempt employer-specific occupations will be required to submit information about the job offer and their businesses in a standardized format to CIC electronically before a work permit application is submitted by a foreign national. In addition, the Regulations will implement miscellaneous technical amendments recommended by the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations (SJCSR).

Cost-benefit statement: The amendments are expected to result in a net present value to Canadians of $46.0 million over the 10-year period from 2015 to 2024. The present value of total benefits is estimated to be $266.0 million over the same period, consisting entirely of increased fee revenue collected by CIC, with the resulting fee revenue transferred to the Government of Canada Consolidated Revenue Fund. The present value of total costs is estimated at $220.0 million over this period, comprised predominantly of the higher fees that must be incurred by inland work permit–holders applying within Canada. Further fees are to be paid by those applying outside Canada, but these applicants are outside the scope of the cost-benefit analysis. Overall, the additional funds made available to the Government of Canada as a result of the fee will significantly outweigh the costs incurred by inland work permit–holders to pay for the fee, which underlies the overall positive net present value.

One-for-OneRule and small business lens: The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to this proposal, as there is no overall increase in the administrative costs to business, though employers will switch from providing letters of offer to potential temporary foreign worker employees to filling out a standardized online form. Of the $170.6 million in present value to be paid by businesses as regulatory charges, $159.6 million are estimated to be incurred by small businesses. Given the impacts on small businesses, CIC has analyzed the amendments in accordance with the requirements of the small business lens.

Background

Following a June 2014 review of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), the Government of Canada reorganized the TFWP into two distinct programs: (1) the TFWP which refers to foreign workers who enter Canada with a work permit following a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA); and (2) the International Mobility Program (IMP), which refers to a foreign national who enters Canada with a work permit where no LMIA is required and whose primary objective is to advance Canada’s broad economic and cultural national interests, rather than filling particular jobs. The Government of Canada committed to introducing a series of reforms to the IMP to ensure that the LMIA exemptions provided through this Program continue to promote Canada’s economic and labour market interests. The IMP allows these work permit holders to work in Canada provided that they and their employers meet the temporary worker requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).

The IMP is managed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), while the TFWP is jointly managed by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and CIC. In addition, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) assesses admissibility, and, acting on behalf of CIC, determines whether to issue work permits at ports of entry for both the IMP and the TFWP.

Examples of foreign nationals who may potentially obtain a work permit under an IMP stream include: workers covered under international agreements (e.g. North American Free Trade Agreement); people taking part in exchange programs, notably the International Experience Canada program, which provides young individuals the opportunity to travel and work in Canada; certain workers awaiting permanent residence, such as those nominated by a province; workers transferred within a company; certain academics; co-op students; charitable and religious workers; and certain persons who need to support themselves while in Canada, such as refugee claimants awaiting a determination.

Workers under the IMP are required to work for the employer named on the work permit. However in some situations, foreign nationals are exempt from this requirement and may apply for an “open work permit”, meaning that they can work for any eligible employer and in any occupation in Canada for a prescribed period of time. For example, most applicants under the International Experience Canada program apply for open work permits (although some receive employer-specific permits), as well as international students who have graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution.

Under the IRPR, foreign nationals applying for a work permit are required to pay a $155 application processing fee, unless an exemption is provided in the IRPR. Current exemptions from this processing fee include: refugee claimants and protected persons, destitute students, persons working for religious or charitable organizations without remuneration, foreign students performing work related to a research program, foreign nationals entering under the International Experience Canada program, and foreign nationals entering under the provisions of specific international arrangements (for example United Nations employees and foreign military personnel under the Visiting Forces Act). Although foreign nationals entering Canada under the International Experience Canada program are exempt from the application processing fee, they currently pay a participation fee of $150, which supports cost recovery for the program.

Issues

Currently, the costs of the IMP, including compliance verification activities related to the Program, are not borne by those who benefit from it and are currently supported by Canadian taxpayers. These amendments ensure that those who benefit from the Program pay a regulatory charge or fee.

Workers under the IMP benefit primarily from: (1) obtaining employment at a Canadian workplace without being subject to an assessment of their impact on the Canadian labour market; (2) being paid wages consistent with Canadian standards; and (3) for open work permit–holders, having greater mobility to work for any employer and in any occupation in Canada. Employers benefit from the IMP through access to a global labour supply without having to go through the LMIA process when the foreign national meets the regulatory requirements to receive a work permit under an LMIA-exemption, such as when applying to work under an international trade agreement.

In addition, employers do not submit information directly to CIC as part of the work permit application process. Currently, the foreign national provides the information about the employer and the job offer as part of his or her work permit application. This presents challenges for verifying compliance should an employer undergo an inspection as the copy of the job offer, which often must be examined to compare the initial offer of wages and working conditions with what was actually provided to a foreign national, must be obtained from CIC offices abroad or from ports of entry where work permit applications are made. These offices have limited capacity to retain documentation.

Miscellaneous technical amendments

The Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations (SJSCR) recommended that CIC make two miscellaneous technical amendments to the IRPR which are included in this proposal to harmonize the English and French versions of the IRPR.

Objectives

Currently, the costs of the IMP are not borne by those who benefit from it. The amendments introduce two new fees for the two types of work permits under the IMP: a $230 regulatory charge for employer-specific work permits and a $100 privilege fee for open work permits.

The objectives of the amendments are to ensure that direct users of the Program contribute to its costs, and to use the revenue to strengthen the Program. This includes offsetting the cost of program compliance verification measures that will be implemented (based on current regulatory authorities) in employer-specific situations by introducing a fee of $230 for employers. Employers will be required to submit information about the job offer made to a foreign national to CIC electronically, which will ensure CIC has adequate and reliable information should an inspection of an employer be initiated, and which will also create a direct link between the employer and CIC. The amendments will also offset the costs of activities to better understand the role of LMIA-exempt, open work permit holders in the labour market and to promote Government of Canada’s objectives relating to transition to permanent residence and reciprocity.

Miscellaneous technical amendments

In addition, CIC is implementing two miscellaneous technical amendments to the IRPR which have been recommended by the SJCSR. The purpose of the amendments is to harmonize the English and French versions of the IRPR.

Description

The Regulations introduce a regulatory charge of $230 for employers who have made an offer of employment to LMIA-exempt employer-specific work permit applicants payable before a work permit application is made, including an application to renew a work permit. Employers will be exempted from the payment of the $230 fee in cases where foreign nationals applying for an LMIA-exempt employer-specific work permit do not pay a processing fee under the IRPR, with the exception of employers making job offers to foreign nationals under employer streams of the International Experience Canada program. Those foreign nationals are exempt from the work permit processing fee because they pay a participation fee instead. Furthermore, employers hiring foreign workers in LMIA-exempt employer-specific occupations will be required to submit information about the job offer and their businesses in a standardized format to CIC electronically before a work permit application can be submitted by a foreign national. This will eliminate the requirement stating that the employer must provide the foreign national with a letter of offer. The standardized format will ensure that adequate and reliable information is always available to CIC should an inspection of an employer be initiated at a later date. The requirement to pay $230 and submit details of the job offer and employer information directly to CIC will create a direct relationship between CIC and employers, which did not exist previously.

The Regulations also impose a $100 privilege fee on open work permit–holders, which is payable at the time a foreign national applies for a work permit abroad or in Canada, including applications to renew work permits. Foreign nationals applying for an open work permit who do not pay a processing fee under the IRPR will not be required to pay the $100 fee, with the exception of applicants participating in the International Experience Canada program. Furthermore, live-in caregivers who have completed their work requirement and applied for permanent residence will not be required to pay the $100 fee.

The employer-specific regulatory charge and open work permit privilege fee will be remitted in instances where applicants have not been issued work permits. This includes applicants who have paid the fee, but whose work permits are subsequently refused or withdrawn, and employers who withdraw their offers of employment before a work permit is issued.

The SJSCR has recommended that two miscellaneous technical amendments be made to the IRPR in order to harmonize the English and French versions of certain fee provisions in the IRPR. The first miscellaneous technical amendment removes the second mention of the word “Government” in the English version of paragraph 299(2)(k) of the IRPR. The second miscellaneous technical amendment removes the second mention of the word “Government” in the English version of paragraph 300(2)(i) of the IRPR.

Regulatory and non-regulatory options considered

In the absence of the new fees, which cannot be established outside of the legislative and regulatory framework of the IRPA and the IRPR, the costs of the compliance activities associated with employer-specific and LMIA-exempt work permits, and of new activities relating to the open work permit scheme, would be borne by the Government of Canada. The proposed new fees will ensure that those who benefit directly from access to the Program contribute to its costs, and reduce the subsidization by the Government.

Additionally, in the absence of the amendment, CIC would continue to receive information related to the job offer through a letter of employment provided to CIC by the foreign national at the port of entry. The amendment will ensure that CIC receives the job offer information directly from the employer, in a standardized format.

Benefits and costs

The following analysis provides an overview of the costs and benefits to stakeholders of the regulatory amendments. The table below highlights the benefits and costs, factoring in a discount rate of 7% per year as recommended by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

It is estimated that the amendments will result in a net present benefit of $46.0 million over the 10-year period, from 2015 to 2024, or $6.1 million as the annualized average. The present value of total benefits is valued at $266.0 million dollars over the period, while costs are valued at $220.0 million, yielding a ratio of the benefits-to-costs of 1.2.

Cost-benefit statement (see reference 1), (see reference 2)

  Base Year: 2015 Base Year: 2019 Final Year: 2024 Total (PV) Annualized Average
A. Quantified impacts (in million Can$, 2015 constant dollars)
Benefits
CIC — Revenue from employer-specific work permit regulatory charge Government of Canada $18.1 $23.7 $24.4 $171.1 $22.8
CIC — Revenue from open work permit privilege fee Government of Canada $12.2 $13.1 $13.4 $94.9 $12.6
Total benefits   $30.3 $36.8 $37.8 $266.0 $35.4
Costs
Fee payments for employer-specific work permits Employers $18.1 $23.7 $24.4 $171.1 $22.8
Privilege fee payments for open work permits Inland work permit holders $6.1 $6.5 $6.7 $47.1 $6.3
Ongoing operational costs CIC $0.3 $0.3 $0.1 $1.7 $0.2
Transition costs (communications costs, transition costs to CIC) CIC $0.1 $0.0 $0.0 $0.1 $0.0
Total costs   $24.6 $30.5 $31.2 $220.0 $29.5
Net benefits $46.0 $6.1
B. Quantified impacts in non-dollars
Cost of remission order processing — employer-specific work permits (volume) CIC 1,755 2,304 2,373 22,439 2,244
Cost of remission order processing — open work permits (volume) CIC 3,857 4,113 4,215 40,029 4,014
Positive impacts
Improved program integrity Employer-specific work permit holders Employers have enhanced incentive to comply with program requirements
Enhanced program outcomes Open work permit holders Promotion of transitions to permanent residence
Improved reciprocal work opportunity for Canadians Open work permit holders Promotion of opportunities for Canadians to temporarily work abroad
Negative impacts
None identified beyond costs to open work permit holders
C. Qualitative impacts
Government of Canada — Improved adherence to principle of cost recovery
  • Reference 1
    The table presents the results of benefits and costs over the 10-year period starting from the introduction of the fee on February 21, 2015, through the end of the year 2024, using a discount rate of 7%.
  • Reference 2
    Numbers may not add up due to rounding.

Benefits

Government of Canada

The analysis of benefits to the Government of Canada is based on volumes of work permits issued in fiscal year 2013–2014 drawn from the internal CIC Field Operations Support System database. A one-time drop of 5 000 work permits received in 2015 was assumed to result from the introduction of changes to LMIA-exemptions. Though work permit volumes grew by 5% in the previous five years, a 3% growth rate was assumed over the remainder of the 10-year analysis period in light of the tightening of LMIA-exemptions.

It is estimated that the introduction of the two fees will generate an average of $36.5 million dollars in incremental revenues for each full year of operation, measured in nominal 2015 Canadian dollars. Sixty-five percent of this incremental revenue ($23.7 million) will be generated from the $230 regulatory charge to employers for employer-specific work permits based on an average volume of 102 846 in each full year of operation, with the remaining 35% ($12.8 million) generated by the $100 open work permit privilege fee, based on an average volume of 128 099 in each full year of operation.

Only small declines in volumes of work permits are anticipated following the introduction of each fee, since the additional costs incurred are low compared to overall costs and earnings associated with employing foreign workers, or of working in Canada. Revenues collected from each of the two fees will be deposited into the Consolidated Revenue Fund, thereby reducing fiscal pressures of general benefits to Canadian taxpayers.

There will also be benefits to those administering the LMIA-exempt inspections when employers submit information about the job offer and their business to CIC electronically in advance of a work permit application being received.

The introduction of a regulatory charge will provide revenues that can be used to offset program compliance costs. Activities relating to more detailed analysis of labour market impacts of open work permit–holders and of promoting transitions to permanent residence of this group will be offset by the privilege fee.

Costs

Total fees, both employer-specific and open work permits, paid by employers and open work permit–holders within Canada’s geographic boundaries would amount to an average of $20.5 million per year during each full year of operation.

Regulatory charge — LMIA-exempt, employer-specific work permits in Canada

The Regulations will introduce a $230 charge on employers hiring employer-specific LMIA-exempt foreign workers. The fee will offset costs to Government under the IRPA temporary worker scheme, notably the cost of implementing employer compliance activities in LMIA-exempt situations.

Like the analysis of costs, the analysis of benefits is based on volumes of work permits issued in fiscal year 2013–2014 drawn from the internal CIC Field Operations Support System database, assuming a one-time drop of 5 000 work permit received in 2015 resulting from the introduction of changes to LMIA exemptions. The $230 employer-specific work permit fee will apply to an average of 102 846 work permit holders annually over the 10-year period, excluding the first partial year of implementation.

Privilege fee — LMIA-exempt, open work permit extensions in Canada

The Regulations will introduce a privilege fee of $100 on LMIA-exempt open work permit–holders for the rights and privileges, conferred through the work permit; notably to enter and work in Canada without being linked to a specific employer and, in some circumstances, to transition to permanent residence through applicable programs.

Foreign nationals are outside the scope of the analysis of costs of the Regulations when they first apply for work permits while outside Canada. However, costs incurred by open work permit–holders to apply for renewals from within Canada’s geographic borders are included, and are aggregated in the cost-benefit statement.

The fee on open work permit–holders would apply to an average of 128 099 work permit–holders annually, excluding the first partial year of implementation. Of these, 63 632 would be permits issued inland, while the remainder would be for open work permits issued to foreign nationals outside Canada. Total privilege fees paid by work permit–holders within Canada’s geographic boundaries would amount to an average of $6.4 million per year during each full year of operation. Costs would be proportionately lower in 2015 to reflect implementation from February 21, 2015, to the end of December 2015 ($5.9 million)

In present value, this amounts to $47.1 million over the 10-year period following implementation of the privilege fee in late February 2015 through the end of the year 2024.

Costs to CIC: One-time transition and communication costs

A number of administrative costs would be incurred by CIC, including updates to work permit application kits and guides, and operational bulletins providing instructions to CIC field level officers on new Program elements. CIC would also incur communication costs in preparing announcements and coordinating events about the Program redesign updating Web information and social media, and conducting media relations and analysis. The total of these amounts is estimated to be $98,339 with communication costs accounting for $9,798.

Ongoing costs to CIC

It is anticipated that some employers and work permit applicants affected by the new regulatory charge on LMIA-exempt foreign workers will call CIC’s call centre with questions surrounding the new fees, particularly during the first years of operation, but declining over time. In addition, CIC will incur some minimal administrative costs of remitting fees for work permits that are unused, usually by electronic reimbursement. There are incremental ongoing Program delivery resources to respond to the additional calls, and processing remissions related to the new fees will be $20,876 as an annualized average over the 10-year period following introduction of the Regulations.

Processing of remission orders

With the introduction of the two work permit fees, there will be a number of work permits where the fee would need to be remitted due to refusals or withdrawals. The average annual number of employer-specific work permits over the 10-year study period that will require remissions is projected to be 2 244, while the average number of annual open work permit remissions is projected to be 4 014.

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to this proposal since there is no net increase in administrative costs to business.

Before the Regulations, applicants for work permits were asked to include letters of offer from their potential employers. Correspondingly, employers were required to send the following information to the foreign workers they wish to hire: name and address where the foreign worker would be working; a detailed job offer including a description of the job duties and responsibilities; a list of the education, skills and experience that workers must have for the job; employment start and end dates; and salary. It is estimated that fulfilling the former information requirements required employers to devote, on average, an hour of time for personnel in business, finance and administrative occupations to complete the requirements, at a cost of $24.80 per application or $1,991,470 for employers in the aggregate in 2015.

Under the Regulations, the requirement to provide a letter of offer will be replaced by the requirement to complete an online form. The time requirements to complete this form will generally be the same or lower for employers since the form will provide structure, reduce ambiguity and many employers will save time since they currently provide information in excess of what is required in a letter of offer as a precaution to ensure their letters of offer will not be returned due to missing details. The form also clarifies the responsibilities of employers (attestations) in a single location, thereby reducing the amount of time spent researching what they are required to prepare. Consultations with a sample of employers in Toronto in January 2015 who currently use the International Mobility Worker Unit form, with information requirements comparable to the form to be completed under these Regulations, indicate the time estimates to complete a letter of offer would be similar, if not lower, to complete the online form in comparison to the previous letter of offer requirement.

Small business lens

A portion of the business for which the regulatory charge will apply will be small businesses, defined to be those with fewer than 100 employers and/or revenues between $30,000 and $5,000,000 annually. Of the $171.1 million in present value to be paid by businesses as regulatory charges, $153.4 million (89.6%) are estimated to be incurred by small businesses, based on the fraction of employers that request LMIAs from ESDC under the TFWP that have fewer than 100 employees, excluding primary agricultural workers and applicants under the Live-In Care Program.

Regulatory flexibility analysis statement

The initial option considered was to require payment of the regulatory charge from employers along with each employer’s contact information, nature of the business (i.e. whether it is a franchise, principal business activity), and details of the job including qualification requirements, main duties, start and finish dates, explanation of how the job meets the requirements for exemption, the wage and benefits, and name and nationality of the worker.

The flexible option considered as an alternative to reduce the burden on business was for employers to pay the regulatory charge while requiring a more limited set of information, namely basic contact information, a job title and description and the name of the worker.

  Initial Option Flexible Option
Short description Sufficient information fields required by employers to verify Program compliance. Reduced set of information fields required by employers.
Number of small businesses impacted 17 672 17 672
  Annualized average ($) Present value ($) Annualized average ($) Present value ($)
Compliance costs (itemize if appropriate) $0 $0 $0 $0
Administrative costs (itemize if appropriate) $3,387,751 $25,459,735 $2,540,813 $19,094,801
Total costs (all small businesses) $3,387,751 $25,459,735 $2,540,813 $19,094,801
Total cost per small business $192 $1,441 $144 $1,081
Risk considerations None Insufficient information for CIC to verify employer compliance with terms and conditions of the IMP program.

Notes:

  • The total cost per small business reflects the average cost per small business, but takes into account that some employers employ multiple temporary foreign workers. It should, therefore, not be interpreted as the cost per LMIA-exempt TFW application.
  • Costs have been estimated using the Standard Cost Model and TBS cost calculator.
  • The present value was discounted using a 7% discount rate.
  • The time period applied was the 10 years following the implementation of the regulatory amendment on February 21, 2015.

The initial option was selected in the interest of protecting the integrity of the International Mobility Program.

Reverse onus

The option of having employers pay the regulatory charge, but provide no information beyond the contact information, employee name, job title and description, would impose a burden on businesses that was $846,938 lower as an annualized average compared to the initial option. However, the resulting lower burden to business would be achieved only by compromising the fundamental goal of the Regulations to enhance program integrity. Under this lower burden scenario, CIC would not have sufficient employer information to conduct an on-site inspection or check whether the terms of employment originally described by employers were being met. Correspondingly, the Regulations require further information from the employer on the nature of the job offer and terms of employment.

Consultation

The implementation of these fees was publicly announced on June 20, 2014. The announcement introduced reforms to the TFWP including the introduction of and the explanation for the $230 charge for LMIA-exempt employer-specific and $100 privilege fee for LMIA-exempt open work–permits. CIC and ESDC officials have consulted with stakeholders, including employers, and various chambers of commerce, regarding the temporary worker scheme, including compliance measures. In addition, stakeholders and the public had the opportunity to comment on the prepublication of the December 2013 regulatory amendments which established the compliance regime that will be funded by the $230 charge. Employers have expressed that they are not opposed to fees provided they are reasonable.

In fall 2014, CIC and ESDC made a discussion document available to employers and the general public on compliance measures against employers. Employers expressed their support for greater compliance efforts in the TFWP and IMP and ensuring non- compliant employers are caught and have consequences imposed. In addition, several employers indicated that they would support the introduction of a reasonable fee to support compliance or “audit” activities.

Provinces and territories have been generally supportive of recent changes to the compliance framework to date, and are expected to react positively to further measures to improve the integrity of the Program. It is expected that this specific proposal will be seen as reasonable by the provinces and territories and not likely to have a negative effect on key sectors and regions.

Rationale

Benefits to the economy, business and trade

By using the fee revenue to offset the costs of a robust compliance verification program, the Government will help ensure that employers operate in a fair, well-regulated environment which will encourage businesses to comply with program requirements, thereby supporting a level playing field for law-abiding employers without requiring taxpayers to cover the costs of the scheme.

As well, by conducting research activities on open work permit– holders and their interaction with the Canadian labour market, the Government will obtain valuable labour market data relevant to policy making in the economic, business and trade contexts.

Government savings

The introduction of the employer-specific regulatory charge will offset certain costs associated with the IMP, notably the Government’s compliance activities under the IMP, thereby delivering a benefit to Government following introduction of the Regulations, while rendering the overall Program cost-neutral.

Furthermore, the introduction of a privilege fee on open work permit–holders will offset the costs of the IRPA temporary worker scheme relating to research and promotion activities as described above.

Benefits to foreign workers

Employer-specific work permit–holders under the IMP benefit from the IRPA temporary worker scheme, including the employer compliance scheme which verifies, among other things, that the wages and working conditions promised in the job offer are provided and that employers maintain a workplace free from abuse. Enhanced verification activities that may lead to the imposition of consequences on employers in cases of non-compliance strengthens this protection.

Open work permit–holders under the IMP also benefit from the IRPA temporary worker scheme, most notably by having the privilege of working in Canada without being linked to a specific employer, but also through programs that can help maximize their chances of successfully integrating permanently in Canada. Enhanced data collection and research activities focusing on open work permit–holders and their interaction with the Canadian labour market will provide information to understand their role in the labour market. These activities can also help create well-designed information campaigns promoting economic immigration to open work permit–holders. In addition, promoting opportunities for Canadians to work abroad pursuant to reciprocal agreements will support and increase the continued mutual benefits of these agreements for Canada and its co-signatories, and for open work permit– holders participating in these programs.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

The Regulations will come into force on February 21, 2015. Once in force, employers of LMIA-exempt employer-specific work permit–applicants and open work permit–applicants will be subject to a fee of $230 and $100 respectively, payable at the time of applying for a work permit abroad or in Canada, or when renewing it.

Contact

Robert Judge
Director
Temporary Resident Policy and Programs
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
365 Laurier Avenue West, 8th Floor
Ottawa Ontario
K1A 1L1
Telephone: 613-437-6694
Email: Robert.Judge@cic.gc.ca

Small Business Lens Checklist

1. Name of the sponsoring regulatory organization:

Department of Citizenship and Immigration

2. Title of the regulatory proposal:

Regulations Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (International Mobility Program)

3. Is the checklist submitted with a RIAS for the Canada Gazette, Part I or Part II?

Check box Canada Gazette, Part I Check box checked Canada Gazette, Part II

A. Small business regulatory design

I Communication and transparency Yes No N/A
1. Are the proposed Regulations or requirements easily understandable in everyday language? Check box checked Check box Check box
2. Is there a clear connection between the requirements and the purpose (or intent) of the proposed Regulations? Check box checked Check box Check box
3. Will there be an implementation plan that includes communications and compliance promotion activities, that informs small business of a regulatory change and guides them on how to comply with it (e.g. information sessions, sample assessments, toolkits, Web sites)? Check box checked Check box Check box
4. If new forms, reports or processes are introduced, are they consistent in appearance and format with other relevant government forms, reports or processes? Check box checked Check box Check box
II Simplification and streamlining Yes No N/A
1. Will streamlined processes be put in place (e.g. through BizPaL, Canada Border Services Agency single window) to collect information from small businesses where possible? Check box checked Check box Check box
2. Have opportunities to align with other obligations imposed on business by federal, provincial, municipal or international or multinational regulatory bodies been assessed? Check box Check box checked Check box
Employers do not provide information on employment offers to provincial or municipal governments.
3. Has the impact of the proposed Regulations on international or interprovincial trade been assessed? Check box Check box checked Check box
No negative impacts are anticipated on international or interprovincial trade.
4. If the data or information, other than personal information, required to comply with the proposed Regulations is already collected by another department or jurisdiction, will this information be obtained from that department or jurisdiction instead of requesting the same information from small businesses or other stakeholders? (The collection, retention, use, disclosure and disposal of personal information are all subject to the requirements of the Privacy Act. Any questions with respect to compliance with the Privacy Act should be referred to the department’s or agency’s ATIP office or legal services unit.) Check box Check box checked Check box
No employer information beyond contact details are provided to other government departments, with the exception of the Canada Revenue Agency business number.
5. Will forms be pre-populated with information or data already available to the department to reduce the time and cost necessary to complete them? (Example: When a business completes an online application for a licence, upon entering an identifier or a name, the system pre-populates the application with the applicant’s personal particulars such as contact information, date, etc., when that information is already available to the department.) Check box checked Check box Check box
6. Will electronic reporting and data collection be used, including electronic validation and confirmation of receipt of reports where appropriate? Check box checked Check box Check box
7. Will reporting, if required by the proposed Regulations, be aligned with generally used business processes or international standards if possible? Check box checked Check box Check box
8. If additional forms are required, can they be streamlined with existing forms that must be completed for other government information requirements? Check box Check box checked Check box
Beyond contact details, the information to be provided by employers to Citizenship and Immigration Canada will not be provided on other government forms, with the exception of the Canada Revenue Agency business number.
III Implementation, compliance and service standards Yes No N/A
1. Has consideration been given to small businesses in remote areas, with special consideration to those that do not have access to high-speed (broadband) Internet? Check box checked Check box Check box
2. If regulatory authorizations (e.g. licences, permits or certifications) are introduced, will service standards addressing timeliness of decision making be developed that are inclusive of complaints about poor service? Check box Check box Check box checked
3. Is there a clearly identified contact point or help desk for small businesses and other stakeholders? Check box checked Check box Check box
B. Regulatory flexibility analysis and reverse onus
IV Regulatory flexibility analysis Yes No N/A
1. Does the RIAS identify at least one flexible option that has lower compliance or administrative costs for small businesses in the small business lens section? Examples of flexible options to minimize costs are as follows:
  • Longer time periods to comply with the requirements, longer transition periods or temporary exemptions;
  • Performance-based standards;
  • Partial or complete exemptions from compliance, especially for firms that have good track records (legal advice should be sought when considering such an option);
  • Reduced compliance costs;
  • Reduced fees or other charges or penalties;
  • Use of market incentives;
  • A range of options to comply with requirements, including lower-cost options;
  • Simplified and less frequent reporting obligations and inspections; and
  • Licences granted on a permanent basis or renewed less frequently.
Check box checked Check box Check box
2. Does the RIAS include, as part of the Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Statement, quantified and monetized compliance and administrative costs for small businesses associated with the initial option assessed, as well as the flexible, lower-cost option?
  • Use the Regulatory Cost Calculator to quantify and monetize administrative and compliance costs and include the completed calculator in your submission to TBS-RAS.
Check box checked Check box Check box
3. Does the RIAS include, as part of the Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Statement, a consideration of the risks associated with the flexible option? (Minimizing administrative or compliance costs for small business cannot be at the expense of greater health, security, safety or environmental risks for Canadians.) Check box checked Check box Check box
4. Does the RIAS include a summary of feedback provided by small business during consultations? Check box checked Check box Check box
CIC consulted a sample of employers in the Toronto area seeking estimates of the length of time required to complete the International Mobility Worker Unit form, a form similar to that to be completed by employers in meeting the new requirements. Their responses are described and incorporated in the assessment of the change in administrative burden in the "One-for-One" Rule section.
V Reverse onus Yes No N/A
1. If the recommended option is not the lower-cost option for small business in terms of administrative or compliance costs, is a reasonable justification provided in the RIAS? Check box checked Check box Check box