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The most common manner for a foreign worker to be issued a work permit is for the Canadian employer to obtain a positive Labour Market Opinion from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC)/Service Canada (SC) for the foreign worker’s prospective position. Recently, this process has become lengthy and time-consuming. However, effective April 25, 2012, HRSDC/SC has implemented a new program designed to allow employers hiring temporary foreign workers in higher skilled positions (such as management, professional and technical occupations) to obtain a Labour Market Opinion more quickly in order to facilitate the worker’s entry to Canada. This program is referred to as the Accelerated Labour Market Opinion Initiative.
The main objectives of this Initiative are to improve the integrity of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and labour market outcomes, as well as to respond to the needs of the employers for more efficient and timely processing of Labour Market Opinion applications.
To be eligible for this Initiative:
  • The employer must have been issued at least one (1) positive Labour Market Opinion in the previous two (2) years;
  • The employer must have a clean record of compliance with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program within the last two (2) years;
  • The employer has agreed to all of the attestations included in the application and consented to participate in a compliance review to ensure that the employer is meeting the terms and conditions set out in the Labour Market Opinion letter;
  • The employer must not have been the subject of an investigation, infraction or a serious complaint; and
  • The employer must not have any unresolved violations or contraventions under provincial laws governing employment and recruitment.
This Initiative drastically decreases the amount of paperwork that must be provided in order to be issued a positive Labour Market Opinion. In addition, if an employer is deemed eligible, a Labour Market Opinion will be issued within 10 business days, as opposed to current processing times of approximately one hundred and twenty (120) days through the normal application process. This Initiative is highly advantageous to compliant employers hiring highly skilled foreign workers, and ensures that the foreign workers’ work permits are issued in the most timely and effective manner possible in accordance with the law.

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