ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletins 152 – August 28, 2009

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Limited validity period for labour market opinions

This Operational Bulletin has expired.

Background

Not all labour market opinions (LMOs) issued by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) have a date by which they must be used to apply for a work permit (WP). In order to ensure that LMOs represent an accurate assessment of current labour market conditions and to provide a sound basis for the evaluation of WP applications, HRSDC will no longer be issuing LMOs without expiry dates.

Current status

As of May 19, 2009 HRSDC has established a maximum period of six months during which an LMO may be used to apply for a WP. This six month period is defined by the LMO expiry date.

General guidelines

The LMO expiry date is the date by which a WP application must be received by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) or the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). If an application is received after the LMO expiry date, it is deemed to have expired and can no longer be used to support a WP application. These applications will be refused by CIC, and CBSA will be unable to issue a WP without a valid LMO.

Information now included in the LMO

In the hard copy of an LMO, the expiry date is indicated in the Annex to the LMO under “Opinion Expiry Date”.

In FOSS, CAIPS and CPC systems, the LMO expiry date will be recorded in the “Offer Valid From and To” field and is for a maximum period of six months. The date indicated in the “Offer Valid To” field is the date by which the worker must use the LMO in order to apply for a WP.

Note: These instructions supersede Section 6 of FW 1. Specifically, the “Offer Valid To” date (LMO expiry date), will no longer be extended. Applicants initiating a WP application at a port of entry are required to have a valid LMO expiry date. CBSA will finalize applications that have already been initiated overseas even if the LMO expiry date has passed: the missions will have ensured that the LMO expiry date was still valid at the time of the initial application receipt.

The LMO expiry date should not be confused with the LMO duration of employment or the WP expiry period (which may be longer in duration depending on the employment situation). The LMO expiry date determines if the LMO is valid at the time the WP application is submitted, whereas the work duration in the LMO is the timeframe of work that the employer has requested and to which HRSDC has agreed. With the exception of cases involving passport expiry, the expectation is that the work permit expiry will be consistent with the LMO duration.

In the event that an expired LMO is received in support of a WP, the WP will be refused under section 203 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). In the case of expired LMOs, employers will be required to apply for a new LMO if they still wish to hire a temporary foreign worker (TFW). HRSDC is no longer granting LMO extensions, so a new LMO application will be required in every case.

Additional notes

In certain cases where an employer has specific timelines for a short employment opportunity, HRSDC/Service Canada may issue LMO confirmations that expire in less than 6 months.

The LMO expiry date does not affect the processing time needed by CIC after the LMO is submitted with a WP application. The WP may be issued after the LMO expiry date, as long as the application was received before the expiry date.

Additional details for overseas procedures

TFW applications received with an expired LMO will be refused as per R203. Old procedures outlined in RIM 07-010 do not apply. HRSDC will no longer extend an expired LMO.

When a Work Permit is issued for a shorter duration than identified in the LMO due to passport expiry or mandatory certification

The expectation is that CBSA/CIC officers will issue a work permit for the duration of work indicated in the LMO. However, in the case of passport expiry, or when certification requirements must be met, a WP may be issued for a shorter duration than identified in the LMO. For example, if an LMO work duration is for two years, but the TFWs passport will expire in one year, then the officer will issue a work permit for one year. Similarly, in cases where a TFW must complete a course or receive some sort of certification or qualification in Canada, the WP may only be issued up until the time the TFW is allotted to complete this qualification. In cases of passport expiry and certification requirements only, provided the initial LMO and WP application were received before the opinion expiry date, TFWs will be able to renew their existing work permits at Case Processing Centre-Vegreville (CPC-V), without seeking a new LMO. That is, while the opinion expiry date of the LMO will have passed, the TFW met the initial timeframe for application and can therefore be extended up until the end of the duration time outlined in the initial LMO, provided the passport has been renewed or qualifications have been completed.

To assist officers working at CPC-V, CIC and CBSA officers are asked to record sufficient details in FOSS/CAIPS “remarks” where a WP is issued for a shorter duration that is indicated in the LMO.

Exception

LMO expiry dates of six months will apply except in the processing of live-in caregiver applications in Quebec. In Quebec, applicants first apply for an LMO and then, upon receipt of the LMO and before applying for a WP, must apply for the Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ). Due to the timelines associated with the CAQ, these LMOs will always be valid for 3 months following the issuance of the CAQ, regardless of the LMO expiry date. Service Canada will indicate in Canada Immigration Center notes (FOSS and CAIPS), that “the LMO is valid for three months after the CAQ is issued”. Officers can refer to the date the CAQ was issued to determine if the request for a WP was made within three months of that date.

Transition period

As of November 28, 2009, any LMOs issued before May 19, 2009 with an opinion expiry date of more than six months will be considered to have expired if they have not been used to apply for a work permit. If the work permit application has already been made, the date becomes irrelevant because the expiry date only refers to the date by which the foreign national must submit a WP application. Therefore, as of November 28, 2009, new applications received with an LMO containing an opinion expiry date of more than six months after the issuance will be refused and the TFW may advise their employer to seek a new LMO.

In the case where an LMO has been received by the expiry date prior to November 28th, 2009, but is awaiting processing, CIC will process the application. In the case where a WP has awaited processing for such a time that the LMO is no longer current, officers may need to ensure that the TFW is still needed.

These changes are posted on the HRSDC TFW program website. In addition, HRSDC has posted a more explicit notice on the website homepage and sent advisories to the Canadian Bar Association and the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants, to notify them of this change.

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