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Aggreement to speed up the Temporary Foreign Worker application process

Recent announcements have revealed that Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) and Quebec’s ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles (MICC) have reached an agreement designed to further streamline applications under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Under the new arrangement, a “List of Occupations For the Facilitated Labour Market Opinion Assessment Process in Quebec – 2011” was released containing, at present, 44 specified occupations that no longer require proof of recruitment efforts.  In other words, employers can submit the Labour Market Opinion application without having to advertise the position for 14 days (including the other requirements set out in the TFWP advertising requirements).

Comments by Minister Kenney surrounding the improved speeding up of federal applications can only leave one to anticipate that a program similar to this should be coming soon to CIC.

For an example:  It doesn’t make a lot of sense to advertise for a General Practitioner position when it’s well-known that Canada is short of these doctors.  Another reason for not requiring  the LMO advertisement is that it would allow an employer to choose a specific, temporary worker to fill a job that he feels is best suited for both him and the foreign worker.  For instance, if the employer needs an executive assistant that is fluent in his first language and is also familiar with the culture of his clientele, and is further recommended by a colleague, then restricting his choice for the temporary position can be considered an infringement on his rights to do what’s in the best interest of his business.

Coming next month (April), HRSDC plans to unveil its new online application form for LMO’s as well.  After an almost one year delay, this program will likely resemble the online system designed for the LMO application for live-in caregivers.  This initiative will further enhance the ability of individuals and consultants to submit applications for temporary work in Canada.

It is also questionable why the government would continue to require LMO’s for farm workers.  We all know that most farm/field workers come from other countries, some as temporary workers and others as immigrants.  A farm owner should be able to arrange for the flight of say, 25 workers from Mexico, for instance, all at once to harvest his crop without having to go through LMO’s and other restrictive procedures designed by CIC and HRSDC.  The farm owner, however, is still obligated to make “best efforts” to recruit citizens and permanent residences for his operation.

Arguments against easier infiltration of temporary workers include security and over-extension of stay.  These worries can be prevented through increased diligence in having the worker’s identification and background authenticated.  Furthermore, if there is a habit of an employer or recruiters’ workers disappearing, then a bond should be put up for each one that could be withheld by the government in cases of breach, thus making alleged intentions to smuggle people into this country unprofitable.  As well, the employer could lose the right to hire foreign workers if there is a history of “risk”.

Rather than the bureaucratic and costly nature of temporary worker applications being the norm, new ideas such as these will help to streamline the process and at the same time continue to protect Canadian interests.

William Howie
Immigration Program Student at Ashton College
under the tutelage of Jose Godoy Toku

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