Labour Market Opinion
On April 29, 2013, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development (“HRSDC”) and the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism announced that they would be introducing numerous changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Employment and Social Development Canada, formerly known as HRSDC, has now announced changes to the Labour Market Opinion application process, which are effective as of July 31, 2013.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada recently updated its Foreign Worker Manual, which provides guidance to CIC and Canada Border Services Agency officers who adjudicate work permit applications. The updated version includes revisions to sections that describe the C12 and NAFTA intracompany transferee exemptions.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada has been providing guidance to foreign nationals seeking extensions of their work permits through CPC Vegreville, while waiting for an LMO or CAQ to be approved. According to CIC, if a foreign national is ready to submit a work permit application to CPC Vegreville, but is waiting for an LMO or CAQ, the application may still be submitted, but only within two weeks of the expiry date of his or her existing work permit. In addition, proof that the LMO/CAQ request was made must also be included with the application.
The Ontario Bar Association Citizenship and Immigration Section recently met with representatives of Opportunities Ontario, the province’s Provincial Nominee Program (“PNP”). During this meeting, they provided insight into the level of recruitment activities that would be expected from an employer who files a PNP application on behalf of a prospective employee.
Last year, the governor-general-in-council published amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, which would affect the Temporary Foreign Worker Program; these amendments became effective on April 1, 2011. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada has now announced new procedures that implement these amendments.
Pilot project for dependents of high-skilled Canadians or permanent residents returning to Ontario could go farther
On November 24, 2010, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) announced that it was implementing a pilot project to grant open work permits to foreign spouses, common law partners, and dependent children of skilled Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents who are returning to Ontario for work. However, the pilot project is extremely limited.
On September 1, 2010, Citizenship and Immigration Canada issued Operational Bulletin 230, which announces a new exemption from the Labour Market Opinion 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.
I previously reported that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) had posted a notice on its website stating that it would no longer process work permit extensions filed concurrently with pending Labour Market Opinion applications. In response to concerns raised by the Canadian Bar Association National Citizenship and Immigration Section, CIC has now provided further clarification of this notice.
On August 4, 2010, the governor-general-in-council published amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, which will adversely affect many temporary foreign workers. Although the amendments do not come into force until April 1, 2011, the changes are significant.
Until recently, a work permit extension application (for a NOC 0, A, or B occupation), which required an approved Labour Market Opinion (“LMO”), could be filed concurrently with a pending LMO application. However, in July 2010, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) posted a notice on its website indicating that concurrent filing would no longer be permitted.