Fees Paid for the Provision of Services in Relation to an Assessment from the Department of Employment and Social Development Remission Order: SI/2020-50
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 154, Number 15
SI/2020-50 July 22, 2020
FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION ACT
P.C. 2020-517 June 29, 2020
Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, considering that it is in the public interest to do so, on the recommendation of the Treasury Board, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Minister of Employment and Social Development, pursuant to subsection 23(2.1) footnote a of the Financial Administration Act footnote b, makes the annexed Fees Paid for the Provision of Services in Relation to an Assessment from the Department of Employment and Social Development Remission Order.
Fees Paid for the Provision of Services in Relation to an Assessment from the Department of Employment and Social Development Remission Order
1 Remission of a fee paid under section 315.2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations for the provision of services in relation to an assessment from the Department of Employment and Social Development requested by an employer or group of employers, in respect of an offer of employment, is granted to persons meeting the following conditions:
- (a) the fee was paid in respect of an assessment requested before April 4, 2020;
- (b) the employer or group of employers no longer requires the assessment or, if the assessment has already been made, it cannot be used;
- (c) the employer or group of employers has withdrawn the offer of employment due to the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); and
- (d) in respect of the assessment, no work permit has been issued under section 200 or 201 of those Regulations and no application for such a work permit is being processed.
Coming into force
2 This Order comes into force on the day on which it is registered.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
The Fees Paid for the Provision of Services in Relation to an Assessment from the Department of Employment and Social Development Remission Order (the Order) will allow the Department of Employment and Social Development to remit fees paid by employers prior to April 4, 2020, in relation to a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) where the employer no longer intends to use the LMIA to obtain a temporary foreign worker permit. The Order has been made pursuant to subsection 23(2.1) of the Financial Administration Act (FAA).
The objective of the Order is to reimburse employers who paid for an LMIA, and are unable to bring temporary foreign workers to Canada due to the economic impact of COVID-19 or due to government policies designed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Temporary Foreign Worker Program allows employers facing short-term skills and labour shortages to hire foreign workers on a temporary basis when no Canadian citizens and permanent residents are available to do the work. Both high- and low-wage positions may be considered provided employers can demonstrate that their business and job offer are legitimate. Before obtaining a temporary foreign worker permit, an LMIA application is necessary to determine if the hiring of a temporary foreign worker will have a positive or negative impact on the Canadian labour market.
As part of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, employers are required to pay a $1,000 LMIA processing fee to the Department of Employment and Social Development in accordance with section 315.2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. This fee is required for each LMIA and an LMIA is required for each temporary foreign worker permit. Therefore, the Department collects a fee for service to process the assessments. Following a positive assessment, foreign nationals may then apply for the necessary work permits with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
Government policies implemented to contain the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in temporary or permanent shutdowns of work locations as well as national and international border closures and travel bans. These unanticipated changes in market conditions along with negative impacts to the labour market are preventing some business owners from using the LMIAs paid for before April 4, 2020. Consequently, some employers may request a refund since their business is no longer viable and they will not need temporary foreign workers. Employers of businesses that are still viable may also require a refund if they are incapable of adequately supporting their temporary foreign workers in meeting new government requirements aimed at helping prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as paying the workers during their period of self-isolation.
The Department of Employment and Social Development can refund LMIA fees under section 20 of the FAA and section 2 of the Repayment of Receipts Regulations, 1997 in cases where services have not been rendered (i.e. before the assessment of the application has begun). For example, current policy guidance provides for refunds where an application is withdrawn prior to the start of the assessment or if a fee was collected due to an administrative error, such as an incorrect fee processed by Service Canada. However, refunds are not provided in the event an LMIA is not approved nor after the processing of an LMIA application has begun.
The Department of Employment and Social Development cannot use existing legal authorities to reimburse employers impacted by COVID-19 where an assessment and accompanying fee have already been processed. As such, a remission order under subsection 23(2.1) of the FAA is required to provide refunds for eligible employers.
Reimbursement of LMIA fees would help to alleviate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and will help ease economic pressures on employers who can substantiate the need for a refund.
Upon meeting the requisite conditions for reimbursement, employers requesting a refund will receive the full amount of the $1,000 LMIA processing fee. Employers would benefit from reimbursement of their fees irrespective of having submitted one or multiple LMIA applications prior to April 4, 2020. These measures provide additional support to employers whose assessment is in process or who have received a positive assessment, but no work permit has been issued against it and no work permit application is being processed.
Given the nature of the proposal and limited time in which to act on this proposal, consultations occurred in the form of some employers having requested refunds.
Temporary Foreign Worker Program Operations
Program Operations Branch
Department of Employment and Social Development