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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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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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CIC issues operational bulletin on temporary foreign worker program amendments

On August 4, 2010, the governor-general-in-council published amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, which were expected to adversely affect many temporary foreign workers; these regulatory amendments became effective on April 1, 2011. On April 1, 2011, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) issued Operational Bulletin 275-C, which provides operational instructions to both CIC and the Canada Border Services Agency in relation to these recent regulatory amendments.


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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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