HRSDC and Service Canada have enacted a program allowing for the accelerated processing of certain Labour Market Opinion applications. The program, entitled the Accelerated Labour Market Opinion (A-LMO) Initiative, allows eligible employers (excluding those in the province of Quebec at present) seeking the admission of higher skill workers (i.e., National Occupational Classification (NOC) levels 0 or A) to benefit from reduced paperwork and faster processing times, while at the same time enhancing the integrity of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
Service Canada is the service delivery arm of the Canadian Ministry of Human Resources and Development Canada. Through the TFWP, this body is tasked by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to assess the impact of the admission of a foreign worker, other than a foreign worker eligible for exemption. This applies to the majority of candidates seeking to engage in temporary work in Canada; exemptions are based on either International Treaties or Canadian Interests.
A Labour Market Opinion is rendered by Service Canada if, after reviewing an application from an employer, they are satisfied that the admission of the foreign worker will not have an adverse effect on the Canadian labour market.
Accelerated Labour Market Opinion Initiative
The A-LMO continues to assess most of the criteria fundamental to a traditional LMO approval. As such, Service Canada will continue to review these cases to determine that the job offer is genuine, that the wage offered to the foreign worker is consistent with that needed to attract and retain Canadians, and whether or not the job offer fills a labour shortage. The program does not, in its current form, address those situations in which the employment of a foreign worker will directly create or retain Canadian employment, or where there is a transfer of knowledge or skills to Canadians. In those cases in which admission is not sought on the basis of a labour shortage, it is expected that the case will be processed in the normal streams and subject to the requirements of such.
Employers will need to meet certain requirements to be eligible in the A-LMO program:
- They will need to be the recipient of one or more positive Labour Market Opinion Confirmations within the two years prior to registering;
- They will need to consent to post A-LMO Compliance reviews; and
- They will not have been the subject of any investigation, infraction, or serious complaint, and do not have any unresolved violations or contraventions under employment and recruiting legislation.
An eligible employer will be able to pursue an A-LMO application if the offer to the foreign worker meets certain requirements:
- They will need to agree to all attestations that are part of the A-LMO application process;
- The wage offered to the foreign worker will have to be consistent with policies governing prevailing wage; and
- They will have met minimum Canadian recruiting requirements prior to offering the position to the foreign worker and submitting the A-LMO application.
- They are offering employment in a Management, Professional, or Technical occupation (i.e., NOC 0 or A), other than an occupation in film and entertainment or agriculture sectors.
As part of the application process, the employer will agree to potentially undergo Compliance review following the A-LMO approval. It is expected that 18% of A-LMO approvals will be subsequently and randomly selected to undergo this review process. That number is certainly high enough to ensure that employers adhere to requirements of the program and LMOs in general, as there are consequences to the employer and/or present and future LMOs and LMO applications.
A compliance review involves Service Canada’s assessment of whether or not the employer has provided the foreign worker with “substantially the same” wage and working conditions as was offered during a prior A-LMO or LMO application in the two previous years including:
- that the employer provided the foreign worker the same wages and working conditions as those offered to Canadians in the same occupation and location;
- that employer can document performance of the minimum recruitment efforts required;
- that the employment of a foreign worker did fill a Canadian labour shortage;
- that the employment of a TFW did not adversely impact the outcome of a labour dispute; and
- that the employer agrees to abide by the relevant laws regulating employment and recruitment.