ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 470 - November 5, 2012

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

Open Work Permit Requests from Provincial Nominees Identified Through the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Backlog Reduction Pilot

This Operational Bulletin has expired.


The purpose of this Operational Bulletin (OB) is to provide information regarding work permit (WP) requests from provincial nominees identified under the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Backlog Reduction Pilot. This OB is effective immediately and will remain in effect for the duration of the FSW Backlog Reduction Pilot.


In February 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) launched the FSW Backlog Reduction Pilot in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments to help provinces and territories (PTs) better meet their labour market needs while contributing to CIC’s FSW backlog reduction efforts. Through this pilot, participating PTs (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Northwest Territories) were given the opportunity to identify FSW backlog applicants for possible nomination under the Provincial Nominee Program based on applicants’ province of intended destination and work experience. More details on the FSW Backlog Reduction Pilot can be found in OB 408. The Pilot continued to go forward despite the subsequent elimination of the FSW backlog through the enactment of the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act (Budget 2012 implementation).

Some participating PTs have requested that provincial nominees identified through the Pilot based on their work experience but as yet without job offers from Canadian employers, be considered for province-specific open WPs to facilitate faster labour market entry while Permanent Resident processing is underway. This request is consistent with the objectives of the FSW Backlog Reduction Pilot — to test innovative, joint Federal / Provincial / Territories approaches to responding to labour market needs while easing immigration pressures, and is in the spirit of authorities under R204(c), which allow for the issuance of WPs to foreign nationals who intend to perform work pursuant to a bilateral agreement between CIC and a province or territory.


Effective immediately, qualifying foreign nationals (described below), destined to the nominating province can apply for one of the maximum 1500 province-specific open WPs to be issued in relation to the FSW Backlog Reduction Pilot. Uptake will be monitored by CIC through existing monthly Pilot reporting procedures. The issuance of the province-specific open WP is not contingent on the nominated applicant having submitted an application for permanent residence.


Eligibility – Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible:

  1. The applicant must be a participant in the FSW Backlog Reduction Pilot.
  2. The WP application must be accompanied by a letter of support from the nominating province that:
    • confirms the applicant is being nominated under the FSW Backlog Reduction Pilot; and
    • indicates the WP will only be valid for work in the nominating province.

WP issuance and extensions

  1. A province-specific, non job-specific open or open/restricted (depending on medical examination restrictions, if applicable) WP may be issued to the eligible applicants as described above upon receipt of a WP application and letter of support from the nominating PT (as described above) without requiring a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) from Service Canada.
  2. An applicant may apply for the WP at a mission, Port of Entry or in-land.
  3. The applicant must also meet all other admissibility requirements to be issued a WP under the FSW Backlog Reduction Pilot.
  4. WPs issued under the FSW Backlog Reduction Pilot may be valid for a maximum of two years.
  5. Because WPs issued under the FSW Backlog Reduction Pilot are intended to facilitate faster labour market entry while Permanent Resident processing is underway, extensions beyond the initial two year validity period will not be granted.

System Instructions

LMO Exemption Code is T13 in conjunction with R204(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations: “…an agreement entered into by the Minister with a province or group of provinces under subsection 8(1) of the Act.” This code must be used on the WP issued to the applicant.

The open WP should indicate in the “Province” fields and the printed “Conditions” that it is only valid for work performed in the nominating province.

To assist with statistical research, evaluation, and policy development, officers are asked to include reference to the “FSW Backlog Reduction Pilot” in the system notes.

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