Start-up Visa Work Permit Applications - Understanding The Employer Portal Glitches & What To Do

Have you been trying to submit a Start-Up Visa Work Permit application but running into technical problems in the Employer Portal? You are not alone as the technical glitch affecting Start-Up Visa applicants continues. Here is a breakdown of the current problem and possible solutions if you have to submit your Start-Up Visa offer of employment while the problem persists.

Digitization of government processes have MANY benefits, but it also can create havoc when the system does not work as it should.

As of 15 December 2022, IRCC provided a new Start-Up Visa specific LMIA exemption code to be used by work permit applicants: A77. IRCC finally provided some clarity to applicants after years of contradictory information in IRCC’s website and guidelines, and the refusal of hundreds of applications in late 2022 for those who used the exemption codes provided by IRCC (see more here).

Problem solved, right? Well, after the change was announced we were able to submit applications by selecting A77 in the Employer Portal. But then something happened in March 2023 and the system now will not properly accept A77 when you try to create a new job offer.

In the Employer Portal, applicants have to select the “LMIA exemption title” from a dropdown menu. The menu lists the various LMIA exemption codes and the newer codes introduced in December 2022 can be found further down in the list. Once you choose the code, the system then auto-populates the second box which is the “LMIA exemption code”. Except, the system currently has a glitch that will not allow the second box to fill once you select A77:


As a result, the offer of employment cannot be validated or submitted:


Compare this to when you select a different code, such as C10 where the second box is populated automatically and correctly:


We have reported this technical glitch to IRCC but as of today the problem still persists.


So, what can you do?

You should take clear screenshots and report the technical glitch. This will provide you with clear documentation of the problem you faced.

If you have to submit your work permit application before the glitch is resolved, you may will have to choose one of the following options:        

1)     Select another LMIA exemption code and provide a detailed explanation in the Employer Portal AND in your work permit application about the technical glitch, why you had to choose another LMIA exemption code and that your application should be reviewed under A77.

2)     Revert to using the paper form, “Offer of Employment to a Foreign National Exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (IMM 5802)”, to submit your offer of employment. You will have to email the Employer Portal to explain the situation and request this form, and if approved they will send you the form to complete.

If you proceed with the IMM 5802 you will have to pay your employer compliance fee on the IRCC website (outside the employer portal) and provide proof along with details of your eligibility under the A77 exemption code.


I hope this problem is solved soon to allow applicants to submit Start-Up Visa Work Permit applications more easily using the Employer Portal.


This information is provided for general purposes and is not legal advice. If you require legal advice with a specific situation, please reach out to us to set up a consultation.