Effective April 25, 2012, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) and Service Canada have launched a new Accelerated Labour Market Opinion (A-LMO) Initiative under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). The Initiative promises to provide eligible employers with a positive A-LMO within 10 business days of applying.
According to HRSDC’s Fact Sheet on the A-LMO, while the Initiative does not exempt employers from the criteria assessed in the regular LMO process (genuineness of job offer, wage offered, and whether the job offer is likely to fill a labour shortage), it introduces efficiency measures by reducing the “paper-burden” on employers in the application process, and by introducing “attestations” for certain specific assessment criteria. The reduction in “paper-burden” allows registered employers and their authorized third parties to have online access to a LMO application process through HRSDC’s Temporary Foreign Worker Web Service.
If the employer meets all the eligibility criteria to participate in the A-LMO Initiative, HRSDC has indicated that it will issue a positive A-LMO within 10 business days.
Eligibility for an A-LMO
The A-LMO Initiative currently applies only to higher skilled positions such as management, professional and technical occupations classified under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill type 0, and skill levels A and B. Moreover, to be eligible for the A-LMO, in addition to meeting all of the TFWP requirements for higher skilled positions, employers must show that they:
- have been issued at least one positive LMO in the previous two years;
- have a clean compliance record with the TFWP within the last two years;
- have agreed to all of the attestations included in the A-LMO application, consenting to participate in a post A-LMO compliance review;
- have not been the subject of an investigation, infraction or a serious complaint; and
- do not have any unresolved violations or contraventions under provincial laws governing employment and recruitment.
Employer Compliance Reviews
As part of the A-LMO application, employers must provide their consent to participate in a post-LMO compliance review. By consenting, employers agree to allow HRSDC/Service Canada to perform a compliance review of the positive A-LMO or any other positive LMO issued to the employer in the previous two years. According to HRSDC’s Fact Sheet on the A-LMO, during the review, employers will be required to submit documentation (which may include payroll information, collective bargaining agreements, time sheets, copies of recruitment advertising, and other documentation) to demonstrate compliance with the terms and conditions of the positive LMOs or A-LMOs letters.
HRSDC has indicated that they will randomly select companies for compliance reviews.
Consequences for non-compliance include:
- ineligibility to use the A-LMO Initiative;
- possible revocation of other LMOs for which work permits have not been issued yet;
- sharing the compliance review finding with HRSDC/Service Canada federal and provincial partners, for further investigation; and
- greater scrutiny of any pending or subsequent LMO applications.
For further information on the new A-LMO Initiative, or with respect to the requirements generally in applying for a temporary work permit under the TFWP, please contact the immigration law specialists at Green and Spiegel LLP.