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Working temporarily in Canada: Special categories—Information technology workers

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The simplified entry process for information technology (IT) specialists will come to an end on September 30, 2010.
Effective October 1, 2010, employers who wish to hire foreign workers previously eligible for IT facilitated processing will be required to apply for a Labour Market Opinion.
Note: for employers wanting to hire foreign workers for positions in Quebec, the facilitated process will remain in place for a limited time after September 30, 2010.

To fill critical shortages in Canada’s software industry, Canada has a simplified entry process for workers whose skills are in high demand in that industry.
Under this process, no confirmation letter from Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) is necessary for specific jobs when hiring a foreign worker, since it will not have a negative impact on Canadian or permanent-resident job seekers and workers.
This means that if you are coming to Canada to work in one of the jobs listed below, you do not need a letter from HRSDC, and your work permit application may be processed more quickly.

Note: It is up to your employer to make sure the job you are being offered falls under one of these descriptions.
  1. Senior Animation Effects Editor (NOC 9990.1)
  2. Embedded Systems Software Designer (NOC 9990.2)
  3. MIS Software Designer (NOC 9990.3)
  4. Multimedia Software Developer (NOC 9990.4)
  5. Software Developer—Services (NOC 9990.5)
  6. Software Products Developer (NOC 9990.6)
  7. Telecommunications Software Designer (NOC 9990.7)
 Temporary foreign workers wishing to take a position in Quebec must obtain a certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) in order to participate in this facilitated processing. Information for employers is available on the website of the Ministère de l’immigration et des Communautés culturelles (MICC).

Effective October 1, 2010, employers who wish to hire Temporary Foreign Workers previously eligible for IT facilitated processing will be required to apply for a labour market opinion and demonstrate that:
  • the wage rate meets (or exceeds) the prevailing wage rate for the occupation and region;
  • the working conditions are consistent with Canadian standards;
  • efforts to hire Canadians or permanent residents have been made and the TFWP advertising guidelines have been followed;
  • the employment of the foreign worker will directly create new job opportunities or help retain jobs for Canadians;
  • the foreign worker will transfer new skills and knowledge to Canadians;
  • the hiring of the foreign worker will not affect a labour dispute or the employment of any Canadian worker involved in such a dispute.
Please note that employers are required to conduct advertising and recruitment efforts as per TFWP guidelines before submitting a labour market opinion application and should plan sufficient time to conduct these activities.  Upon receipt of a complete labour market opinion application, the processing time, on average, takes two to three weeks.
Effective October 1, 2010, work permit applications received by Citizenship and Immigration Canada or by the Canada Border Services Agency at a port of entry, will require a copy of the labour market opinion for the seven specific IT occupations that were previously under the facilitated process.

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