June 1, 2010

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has announced an end, effective 30 September 2010, in all provinces of Canada other than Quebec, to the facilitated processing that has been in place to date for workers in the Information Technology (IT) industry.

What Was the “Facilitated Process”? 

The facilitated process allowed work permit applications in seven specific IT industry positions   to be made without a Labour Market Opinion (LMO). The LMO in Canada  is essentially a confirmation that a position cannot be filled locally and that therefore a foreign national may be hired.  To obtain the LMO, an employer must demonstrate, among other things, their efforts to recruit and/or train local Canadian residents, that wages and working conditions are fair and consistent with regional standards, and the potential benefit of hiring a foreign national (for example, the creation of new jobs or the transfer of skills and knowledge).  The exemption for IT industry employers was in place because of critical shortages in Canada’s software industry.  Citizenship and Immigration Canada is confident that these shortages have now been filled. 

Implications For Employers 

The requirement for the LMO will add a significant additional burden, both administratively and in terms of lead time, to work permit applications for the seven previously exempt positions.  Processing time for the LMO is currently approximately two to three weeks, but it is also important to note that one of the criteria for LMO approval is to demonstrate that sufficient efforts have been made to hire a Canadian resident – sufficient time to carry out an advertisingcampaign must be factored into lead time for final work permit approval.

Applications in process on 30 September 2010 will not be subject to the new LMO requirement, and Pro-Link GLOBAL therefore encourages our clients in this industry to submit both first time and renewal applications prior to that date, so that they can benefit from one more year of exemption from the LMO. 

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS

  • Companies working in the IT sector who hire foreign nationals should contact us to arrange early filings of both first time and renewal work permit applications
  • Note that after 30 September 2010, several weeks’ additional lead time should be factored in for IT industry work permit applications in Canada
  • Note that Quebec will keep the facilitated process in place until further notice.  We anticipate that the LMO exemption will be discontinued in Quebec in due course but as yet do not have dates for this.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader 

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification.

Pro-Link GLOBAL worked with our PLG |KGNM Correspondent Office in Canada to provide this Global BRIEF alert to you.