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Will a Change in Fees get Business Visitors More for their Money?

On Tuesday, Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced 2 new changes to temporary resident visa processing that will affect business visitors and temporary foreign workers coming to Canada.  The changes include automatically considering any visitor to Canada for a multiple-entry visa and also increasing the fees for work permits, visitor extensions and study permits. These changes come into effect today.

The significance of multiple entry visas

 The announcement that Citizenship and Immigration Canada will automatically be considering multiple-entry visas for all visitors means that any business visitor coming to Canada will no longer have to choose between a single-entry visa (which is only good for one trip to Canada) and a multiple-entry visa (which is good for numerous trips throughout the validity of the visa).  Depending on the validity date of a business visitor’s passport, multiple-entry visas can be good for up to 10 years.

 This is of significant advantage to businesses that deal internationally.  Business visitors include after-sales service and warranty personnel, salespeople, foreign directors and shareholders, and customers, clients and colleagues coming for business meetings.

 With new changes comes new fees

 The fee for temporary resident visas for business visitors will be reduced from $150 to $100.  This reflects the fact that single-entry visas (which used to cost $75) will be increased to $100 while the cost for multiple entry visas will decrease from the existing $150 fee.

 In addition to the automatic consideration of multiple-entry visas, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has also announced increases to a variety of immigration fees for study permits, work permits and extensions.  As a result, businesspeople should be aware of these fee increases and ensure that the proper fees are submitted with applications.  The failure to pay the proper fees could result in applications being sent back, causing inordinate delays for business looking to bring people from abroad.

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About Reis Pagtakhan

Reis Pagtakhan is an immigration law partner with MLT Aikins LLP. His extensive experience includes assisting businesses obtain temporary entry to Canada and permanent residency for their executives, employees and contractors from all over the world. Reis has lectured on and written papers on immigration law for the Law Society of Manitoba, the Manitoba Bar Association, the Human Resources Management Association of Manitoba, the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association, and the Community Legal Education Association of Manitoba. He has presented position papers before the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Immigration Department officials and Manitoba Labour and Immigration. He has written articles on immigration for the CBC, the Winnipeg Free Press, trade, industry and ethnic publications.

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