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 (LMO) 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.
CIC has clarified that, although it may not be departmental policy to allow for concurrent processing of a work permit and LMO, CIC does have a procedure in place for when an applicant has already applied for the LMO, but has not yet received it, and his or her status will expire shortly. To prevent the client from falling out of status, the Case Processing Center in Vegreville, Alberta (CPC-V) previously agreed to accept the work permit application with proof that the client already applied for the LMO. CIC now states that this will continue because it does not consider this to be “concurrent processing.”
When CIC refers to concurrent processing, it is apparently referring to the situation where the work permit and LMO applications are submitted at the same time. In the situation described above, the LMO application has already been filed, even though it is still pending. When the work permit application is filed with evidence of the pending LMO application, the above procedure will continue to apply.
Although somewhat contrived, CIC’s recent clarification is good news for temporary foreign workers who require an LMO. Applicants who file their work permit extension applications with proof of their pending LMO applications will continue to benefit from implied status; CPC-V will not summarily reject these applications.
Henry J. Chang
Blaney McMurtry LLP
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