Thursday, 19 February 2015

Changes to the International Mobility Program: February 21, 2015

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has recently announced changes to the International Mobility Program (IMP) that take effect February 21, 2015. The vast majority of foreign nationals who visit, carry out research or work temporarily with the U of A will enter Canada under this program.

Changes to the IMP will affect foreign nationals who fall into the “LMIA-exempt” category, and include (but are not limited to): Visiting Professors, Research Award Recipients, Clinical/Medical/Research Fellows, Post-Doctoral Fellows, Clinical Academic Colleagues, and those who may be eligible under a Foreign Trade Agreement such as NAFTA or GATS. CIC now requires a request for approval and employer compliance fee before inviting these LMIA exempt foreign nationals to the University.

As per the Immigration & Refugee Protection Act, any person providing advice to foreign nationals regarding immigration requirements or processes must be a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC), or a member in good standing with a provincial law society. This means that without this accreditation, department administrative staff or faculty members are prohibited by law from providing any immigration-related advice or representation to foreign nationals. HRS has two RCICs on staff who are required to assess all potential visitor applications before they are submitted to CIC for approval.

There are serious consequences to the University of Alberta if it fails to comply with the new regulations identified above, which include fines of up to $100,000 and penalties to the University and/or the individual host. The employer compliance fee will be used to introduce robust employer compliance activities which include inspections of thousands of employers.

The full extent of changes to the IMP is not known at this time, but HRS Immigration Services will provide further details as soon as information is available. Please visit the Immigration webpage on the Human Resource Services for the most up to date information and resources available. We appreciate your patience while we implement processes to manage these changes.

Immigration Services, Human Resource Services