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HRSDC/CIC establishes new LMO exemption for foreign medical residents/fellows

On September 1, 2010, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) issued Operational Bulletin 230, which announces a new exemption from the Labour Market Opinion (“LMO”) requirement for foreign medical residents and medical research fellowship holders. This new exemption falls under Paragraph 205(c)(ii) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

Foreign medical residents are holders of a medical degree equivalent to that of a Canadian Medical Doctorate (MD) who are coming to Canada to complete a residency at a Canadian hospital or in a clinical setting as part of their medical training. These positions have a duration of approximately 2–7 years or more depending on the area of medical specialization. Positions occupied by these foreign nationals are non-ministry (not publicly) funded places that have been created by Canadian medical faculties with financial support from the country sponsoring the training of the foreign resident.

Foreign medical fellowship holders are holders of a medical degree equivalent to that of a Canadian Medical Doctorate (MD), and recognized medical specialists who have completed residency training and accept to continue specializing in some highly specific field of study to advance clinical or medical research. Foreign medical fellows doing clinical work/research are typically performing very specific clinical/research work for a one or two year period, in a hospital, clinical or research setting. Although in some provinces fellows have no patient contact. Regardless of whether contact with patients occurs, fellows, like all residents, are required to pass an immigration medical exam according to R30.

Foreign medical residents and fellows must present the following documentation when they apply for their work permits (either at a Canadian consulate or at a port of entry):

a) An official letter of employment from the university written on university letterhead and signed by a senior administrator (e.g. the Program Manager) from the Postgraduate Medical Office, detailing: (1) the position being offered including the area of specialty, if applicable; (2) the length of the residency training/fellowship period (number of months) including the beginning and end dates of the residency or fellowship period; (3) the work location(s) for the duration of residency/fellowship; (4) the annual income offered to the foreign national with an attestation that the wage is commensurate with that of a Canadian performing the same duties in the same location of work; (5) whether the position is covered by a collective agreement; and (6) whether the physician must be licensed by the provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons in order to undergo their residency or fellowship in that province.

b) When applicable, a copy of a letter from the relevant provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons, which confirms in preliminary terms the eligibility of the foreign national for licensure.

Henry J. Chang
Blaney McMurtry LLP

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Henry J. Chang

Corporate immigration lawyer at Blaney McMurtry LLP
Henry J. Chang is a partner in the business immigration group of Blaney McMurtry LLP. A recognized authority in the field of United States and Canadian immigration law, Mr. Chang lectures extensively on the subject in both the United States and Canada. His written works have appeared in numerous nationally and internationally recognized legal publications, including Immigration Law and Procedure, which has been cited in over 300 federal court decisions. Read more
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