Canada: New Labor Market Opinion Requirements Take Effect April 1
When new restrictions on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program take effect on April 1, employers will face additional compliance requirements and heightened review of applications for labor market opinions (LMO).
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will introduce new restrictions on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) effective April 1, 2011. Labor market opinion (LMO) applications will be subject to new criteria, and employers will be required to demonstrate their past compliance with program rules and commitments, with the possibility of suspension from the TFWP for past program violations.
New Forms and Supporting Documentation: All employers will have to use new application forms that will be specific to each LMO subcategory. With every LMO application, employers will also have to provide a description of their main business activities, an explanation of how hiring a temporary foreign worker will meet their employment needs, their Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business number, and a signed statement attesting that the employer will abide by the Program requirements. Employers that are applying for their first LMO under the TFWP will also have to provide a copy of their business license or permit.
New Compliance Criteria: CIC and Canadian labor authorities will review every LMO application to ensure the job offer made to the prospective temporary foreign worker is genuine, and will examine whether:
- The employer is actively engaged in the business in which the job offer is being made;
- The job offered to the foreign national meets the employment needs of the employer and is consistent with the type of business in which it engages;
- The employer can fulfill the terms and conditions of the job offer; and
- The employer, or a third party representative acting on behalf of the employer, is compliant with all relevant federal and provincial/territorial employment and recruitment laws.
Review of Past Compliance Efforts: Employers that have participated in the TFWP in the past will undergo an assessment of their compliance with program requirements over the preceding two years. Canadian authorities will examine whether the sponsoring employer has provided its TFWP workers with wages, working conditions and an occupation that were substantially the same as the terms and conditions of the job offer that supported prior work permit applications. In addition, some employers may be flagged for a more intensive review and asked to submit any or all of the following documentation:
- Payroll records;
- Time sheets;
- Job descriptions;
- Copies of employer-employee contracts;
- Collective agreements;
- The work permits of current temporary foreign workers;
- A provincial workers compensation clearance letter or other relevant provincial documentation;
- Receipts for private health insurance (if applicable);
- Receipts for transportation costs; and
- Information about accommodations provided by the employer;
As reported previously, an employer who does not meet the terms and conditions of a prior job offer may be subject to a two-year probationary period during which it may not hire a foreign worker under the program, unless the employer can show its earlier noncompliance was justified.
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