Bad News for Foreign IT Workers and their Canadian Employers: Labour Market Opinions soon Required.

Labour Market Opinions soon to be required for foreign IT Workers

It has just been announced by HRSDC that as of September 30, 2010, Information Technology Specialists will no longer be able to apply for Canadian work permits unless they obtain a Labor Market Opinion (LMO). This move is a reversal from the procedure that facilitated work permits for IT Workers falling into seven specific IT job categories. These applicants and their Canadian employers were excempt from LMO applications submitted to Service Canada.

Labour Market Opinions require Canadian employers intending to hire foreign workers to undergo an extensive application procedure demonstrating efforts to hire locally. Proof of recruitment efforts in the form of advertising among other requirments have to be met. The Labour Market Opinion process amounts to at least an additional two months on top of the work permit process which, in some cases, can itself take months.it-workers

We feel that HRSDC’s announcement is very unfortunate. Their justification is to maintain the “integrity of the Foreign Worker Program,” and prevent any “adverse impact on the Canadian labor market”. What does this really mean? It is double-speak for a form of protectionism which in a recovering economy like ours is the last thing Canadians need.

Requiring Labour Market Opinions will make it harder for foreign workers

Placing unnecessary barriers  for Canadian IT companies hiring needed foreign workers in a aging labor force and in struggling economy is really not responsible planning. But not a surprising move by the government.

The new Labour Market Opinion requirement for IT Workers will not apply to Quebec based employers and applicants. Lucky them.

In any case, it will be harder for Canadian companies remain competitive in the global market-place as  they will, in some cases, be forced to “hire Canadian” rather than the best and the brightest because of the Labour Market Opinion requirements.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

Tags: Foreign Worker Program HRDC HRSDC IT foreign workers it worker canada IT worker canada permanent Labour Market Opinions LMO LMO applications lmo it worker LMOS

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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