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Labour Market Opinion

Canadian government announces changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

On June 20, 2014, the Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, and Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, announced significant changes to Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Under the new structure, the Labour Market Opinion will now be replaced by the Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”). LMIA-exempt foreign workers will become part of the newly-named International Mobility Program. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program will include only workers who require an LMIA.


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ESDC announces moratorium on LMO applications related to the food services sector

On April 24, 2014, Canada’s Minister of Employment and Social Development announced an immediate moratorium on the Food Services Sector’s access to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. As a result, Employment and Social Development Canada will no longer process any new or pending Labour Market Opinion (“LMO”) applications related to the Food Services Sector. In addition, any unfilled positions tied to a previously approved LMO will be suspended.


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Use of Kijiji in jobs report highlights its unreliability as a recruitment source

On February 11, 2014, Finance Canada released its 54-page “Jobs Report” alongside the Federal Budget. In that report, the Canadian Government claimed that Canada’s job vacancy rate had been “increasing steadily since 2009.” However, this claim was challenged by economists, who noted that Statistics Canada’s own figures proved it was declining. It was later concluded that the problem related to the Canadian Government’s use of data that included Kijiji job postings. In light of this development, employers that wish to advertise jobs in connection with the filing of a Labour Market Opinion application should avoid the use of free websites such Kijiji or Craigslist.


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Federal budget 2014: What employers, HR and payroll need to know

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The Federal Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty tabled the Economic Action Plan 2014 in the House of Commons on February 11, 2014, which confirms that the Government is on track to return to balanced budgets in 2015, with new measures that will create jobs and opportunities in an uncertain global economy. Budget documents indicate that there are no new taxes on Canadian families or businesses, however, there are other measures of interest to employers, HR and payroll.


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Employment and Social Development Canada announces further changes to the LMO process

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.


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Citizenship and Immigration Canada proposes regulatory changes to the temporary foreign worker program

In early April 2013, it was reported that 45 Royal Bank of Canada employees would be losing their jobs because the company had outsourced several technology services to a California-based firm that specializes in sending jobs offshore. RBC faced a severe public backlash over the incident and Citizenship and Immigration Canada subsequently published proposed regulatory amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations…


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CIC updates Foreign Worker Manual provisions relating to intracompany transferees

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.


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CIC provides guidance on filing work permit extensions without an approved LMO or CAQ

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.


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Opportunities Ontario provides guidance on the requirement of recruitment efforts

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.


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HRSDC announces changes to LMO application procedures effective April 1, 2011

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.


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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.


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

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.


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Acceptance of work permit extensions filed with proof of pending LMO applications will continue

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.


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Canadian government amends temporary foreign worker regulations

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.


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CIC ends processing of work permit extensions filed concurrently with pending LMO applications

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.


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