Changes to Labour Market Opinion Rules for Temporary Foreign Worker Program

The government of Canada has announced changes to the process for obtaining a labour market opinion (LMO) for applications under the Temporary Foreign Worker program, effective immediately, although a grace period has been granted for applications where recruitment has been completed and the LMO application is made prior to 28 August 2013.

Introduction of Processing Fee

Effective 31 July 2013, employers applying to hire TFWs must pay a processing fee of CAD$275 for each position requested to cover the cost of the Labour Market Opinion (LMO). Some agricultural positions are exempt from the fee.

New Advertising Requirement

Advertising must now run for four weeks (previously, two weeks was sufficient) before the employer can apply for an LMO. There are some exceptions, for live-in caregivers and workers in agriculture.
Employers must advertise on the national Job Bank website or the equivalent provincial/territorial websites, and, additionally, must prove that they have used at least two other recruitment methods that are consistent with the advertising practices for the occupation.
  1. If hiring for a higher skilled occupation—one of the methods must be national in scope;
  2. If hiring for a lower-skilled occupation—employers must demonstrate that they made efforts to target under-represented groups in the labour force.
Employers must also continue to actively seek qualified Canadians to fill the advertised positions until an LMO has been issued. The additional expense of this should be considered when budgeting for new applications.

Additional Questions on the LMO Form

The LMO application form has been updated and includes extensive new questions designed to ensure that Canadian employers are making their best efforts to hire resident workers.

Applications in Process

Applications already submitted are not affected. Applications where the recruitment efforts have been complete in line with the previous rules will be accepted, provided they are submitted to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSC) prior to 28 August 2013.

Action Items

  • Note the new fee of CAD$275 per employee for an LMO application
  • Note that advertising must run for at least four weeks and then must continue while the LMO application is in process; plan and budget accordingly
  • Note the new advertising criteria and ensure your Canadian colleagues are aware

This news alert was prepared using information provided by the Canadian government.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact us.

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