Green and Spiegel LLP has learned that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will continue its longstanding practice of processing work permit extension applications where a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is being processed concurrently. It had been rumoured that CIC intended to discontinue this practice.
Concurrent processing will only be available for foreign nationals whose work permits are expiring within two weeks at the time of application. In addition, applicants must provide proof of a valid job offer and proof that the employer has submitted a new LMIA application to Employment and Social Development Canada. Where these requirements are met, CIC will hold “open” the application file for up to two months, pending receipt of an approved LMIA.
While this is welcome news, Green and Spiegel LLP continues to recommend that clients submit LMIA applications well ahead of any work permit expiry. Recently introduced program reforms included new and onerous advertising requirements that may result in longer LMIA processing times that could extend beyond this two month holding period. Further, foreign nationals whose work permits are being held pending receipt of a positive LMIA are not permitted to travel outside Canada.
If you have any questions about concurrent processing or wish to discuss the particulars of your situation, please contact Green and Spiegel LLP.