Canada: Labor Market Opinion Exemption
The labor market opinion exemption for select information technology (IT) occupations expired on September 30, 2010 for most Canadian provinces and territories. However, it has been extended until March 31, 2011 in British Columbia and remains available in Quebec for a limited, but as yet undetermined, period of time.
Effective October 1, 2010, employers in most Canadian provinces and territories must now obtain a labor market opinion on behalf of all foreign information technology (IT) workers prior to submitting a work permit application. Canada’s facilitated processing program, which exempted employers from the labor market opinion requirement for seven types of IT occupations, expired yesterday. However, the exemption was extended until March 31, 2011 in British Columbia. It also remains available to employers in Quebec. No expiration dates for the exemption has been announced for Quebec, but it is not expected to remain available indefinitely.
The seven IT occupations that qualify for the exemption in British Columbia and Quebec are Senior Animation Effects Editors, Embedded Systems Software Designers, MIS Software Designers, Multimedia Software Developers, Software Developers (Services), Software Products Developers, and Telecommunications Software Designers.
Employers in British Columbia that plan to use the labor market exemption must notify by email the Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development (ALMD) of their intention to hire temporary foreign IT workers in British Columbia. Only after the notification has been made, can the foreign workers apply directly to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for a work permit. Note that Fragomen will handle the necessary notification for clients when preparing cases for exempt IT workers in British Columbia.
The content herein is provided for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen Global Immigration Services or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.