Individuals with job offers will no longer be able to apply for a work permit at the port of entry on their own. After February 21, 2015, almost every new work permit will have to be assessed ahead of time and pre-approved by the government.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has just announced new requirements for work permits issued under the International Mobility Program (IMP). The IMP covers categories of work permits that are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) such as intra-company transfers, free trade agreements such as NAFTA, Provincial Nominees and International Experience Canada (IEC) a.k.a. “working holidays) programs.

Effective February 21, 2015, employers will be required to submit employment and business information directly to CIC and pay a new $230 compliance fee, before a foreign national can obtain a work permit at a Port of Entry or through a Canadian visa office. These requirements will also apply to all work permit extensions/renewals through this program. In addition, a new $100 privilege fee will be added to most open work permit categories, including the IEC program, post-graduation work permits, and spousal work permits.

The $230 compliance fee and $100 privilege fee will be charged in addition to the work permit processing fee of $155.

The new system is a three-part process that must be initiated by the Canadian employer.