Operational Bulletin 310 - May 31, 2011

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Changes to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada’s Labour Market Opinion Confirmation Letters

Summary

This Operational Bulletin (OB) provides clarification to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers on changes to the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) Labour Market Opinion (LMO) confirmation letters.

Issue

The purpose of this OB is to provide clarification to CIC and CBSA officers on the removal of foreign nationals’ (FNs) names from HRSDC’s LMO confirmation letters.

Background

HRSDC is authorized, under subsection R203(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, to issue an LMO upon request from CIC or CBSA officers, or from an employer.

For administrative purposes, the employer must provide a copy of the LMO confirmation letter to the FN, as CIC and CBSA require a copy to process a work permit application, except where an LMO exemption applies. HRSDC’s Foreign Worker System (FWS) also interfaces with CIC systems to provide CIC and CBSA with electronic details about the job offer and the FN associated with the LMO confirmation letter.

It is important for CIC and CBSA to be able to link a FN to a specific LMO confirmation letter in order to prevent FNs from fraudulently identifying themselves as recipients of a genuine job offer from a Canadian employer.

Privacy concerns

Until recently, Annex A of an LMO confirmation letter included the name of a FN who would be entering Canada under that LMO. Where an LMO confirmation letter was issued for multiple positions, it was commonplace to include multiple names, as listed in Annex A. This presented a privacy risk because the LMO confirmation letter (including Annex A) was sent by the employer to all of the FNs identified, thereby divulging personal information about each foreign worker contained in the LMO.

The privacy concerns extend to all LMO and Arranged Employment Opinions (AEO) processes, and consideration is being given to remove details about the FN from all confirmation letters issued by HRSDC/Service Canada to ensure the proper handling of private information in accordance with the Privacy Act.

Current status

In order to respond to this privacy concern, as of April 1, 2011, HRSDC implemented a change to their FWS that no longer allows the name of a FN to be included in an LMO confirmation letter. However, LMO confirmation letters related to the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) and AEO will continue to show the name of the FN. HRSDC continues to share the names of FNs electronically with CIC and CBSA through the FWS interface for the purposes of administering the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. CIC and CBSA officers will only be able to verify a FN’s link to the LMO via an Employment Validation search in both Global Case Management System and Field Operations Support System.

Additional changes

A release to HRSDC’s FWS scheduled for the week of July 9, 2011 will include:

  • The ability to generate and print a separate annex containing the names of the FNs selected by the employer, for their convenience. This document will be intended only for the employer’s use and records. This does not apply to confirmation letters related to the LCP and AEO. CIC and CBSA officers will still be required to rely on electronic systems to confirm the authenticity of the FN’s job offer.
  • LMO confirmation letter aspect improvements allowing CIC and CBSA officers to print the system file in bold and in a larger font to ensure legibility.
  • HRSDC will be updating its website to inform employers of these changes.
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