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Canada Immigration

On the eve to the New Year, regulatory amendments and ministerial instructions were announced regarding changes affecting the temporary foreign worker program. In particular, new conditions are being placed on employers who apply to Service Canada for Labour Market Opinions (LMOs) in support of work permits for their foreign workers. In addition to the revised application form published and effective December 31, 2013, employers will be subject to a condition that they keep all records in relation to each LMO application submitted, and all information in the context of each LMO application, for a period of 6 years (increased from 2 years).

Service Canada will have the authority to conduct inspections to verify the employer’s compliance with conditions set out in LMO approval letters and may order employers to provide documents, conduct on-site inspections without a warrant, and interview foreign workers or Canadian employers to ensure compliance with terms of employment. Employers will also be subject to employer compliance reviews in relation to a new LMO assessment for a period going back 6 years, as opposed to 2 years.

The new ministerial instructions will provide Service Canada with the power to suspend or revoke LMOs as well as the ability to refuse to process further LMO applications. Employers found to be non-compliant will be ineligible to hire foreign workers for 2 years and their ineligibility will be published on a public ban list. Such employers will also be issued refusal letters on any pending LMO applications and may have previous LMO approvals revoked.

Employer compliance with the terms of LMOs has become more important than ever, as well as the requirement for employers to keep organized and accurate documentation with respect to each foreign worker. If you have any questions regarding the changes to the LMO process or foreign worker applications in general, please contact us.

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Canada Immigration