Inviting Foreign Visitors - Frequently Asked Questions

Following are a list of frequently asked questions about foreign nationals travelling to Canada under the International Mobility Program (IMP).


How do I submit a Foreign Visitor Category Assessment (FVCA)?

FVCA's can be submitted by authorized departmental staff via the Immigration Management System, an online web application. Visit and use your CCID to log in.

Is there any guidance on how to submit an FVCA to Immigration Services?

An FVCA User Guide and Tips link is placed on the Dashboard of the Immigration Management System and can also be found on the Immigration Services website.

Is it necessary to complete an FVCA form for every foreign guest that I want to bring to campus?

There are a number of circumstances that do not require submission of an FVCA. For a description of these circumstances, refer to Foreign Visitors Exempt from IMP.

When I submit the Foreign Visitor Category Assessment form to HRS Immigration Services, how does payment work for the $230.00 Employer Compliance Fee from IRCC?

Please include the speed code and account numbers on the FVCA form. Immigration Services will pay the Employer Compliance Fee if required by IRCC and charge the cost back to the speed code provided.

What happens if I've submitted a FVCA form, but Immigration Services determines that my visitor's stay will not fall under the International Mobility Program?

Immigration Services will not pay the Employer Compliance Fee, nor charge this cost back to you. You will be given alternate instructions via e-mail.

Can the Employer Compliance Fee be recovered from my foreign visitor?

No; however, hosts may choose to discuss cost-recovery arrangements with organizations sending foreign visitors to the University.

Can I use my grant to cover the cost of the Employer Compliance Fee?

Your granting organization must confirm this for you.

Can I use my Professional Expense Reimbursement (PER) to cover the cost of the Employer Compliance Fee?

No, immigration fees and any related costs are not eligible expenses through the PER Program. In order to maintain the non-taxable status of the PER Program, the University must strictly adhere to the relevant provisions of the Income Tax Act and any interpretations made by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) regarding eligible expenses.

Can I ask my foreign visitor to complete the FVCA form themselves?

No, only the U of A hosting department/unit can complete and submit the FVCA through the Immigration Management System using their own CCID.

Do I need to complete an FVCA form for foreign students that I want to bring to campus?

An FVCA is not required for those who will, immediately upon arrival to campus, begin full-time studies as registered, U of A students with valid study permits. For foreign visitors who will not immediately begin full-time studies as registered U of A students with valid study permits, the FVCA is usually required. For instructions on how to complete this process, refer to Inviting Foreign Visitors.

On the FVCA form, why is it mandatory to include my visitor's date of birth and passport number?

Immigration uses this information to verify that the person who is applying for entry into Canada is, in fact, the person who was invited. It is essential that the name and dates/numbers match the passport.

My visitor is already on campus and we plan to extend his/her stay. Will I have to submit an FVCA before we can extend the visit?

Submission of an FVCA is necessary. For instructions on how to complete this process, refer to Inviting Foreign Visitors.

My guest wants an invitation letter so that she can apply for a research award. Should I send Immigration Services a Foreign Visitor Category Assessment so that I can get an invitation template?

Not yet. The invitation templates that Immigration Services issues are for immigration purposes only. You may send your guest a separate letter of support to go with the award application. Once the award is approved, submit an FVCA to Immigration Services.

Immigration Services has sent me an Offer of Employment to a Foreign National Exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Who should sign this form before I give it to my foreign visitor?

The form should be signed by a person who has authority to hire individuals in your department, unit or faculty.

After I sent an FVCA to Immigration Services, I received a receipt for payment of the Employer Compliance fee. The receipt has a name on it that I don't recognize. Is this a problem?

No, the name on the receipt is connected to the Visa card that was used to pay the Employer Compliance fee. This will not affect your guest's visit in any way. It is not necessary to change the name or record any additional information on the receipt before giving it to your guest.

The FVCA asks me to list whether my visitor will be a Postdoctoral Fellow, Research Fellow, Clinical Fellow, Clinical Research Fellow, Clinical Academic Colleague or Medical Resident. The only one of these terms I recognize is Postdoctoral Fellow. How will I know if my visitor qualifies as a Research Fellow or one of the other categories?

Although your faculty likely engages Postdoctoral Fellows, the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry is the only faculty that engages Research Fellows, Clinical Fellows, Clinical Research Fellows, Clinical Academic Colleagues, and Medical Residents.