Accelerated Labour Market Opinion (A-LMO)

Apr 12

On April 25, 2012, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) introduced their new Accelerated Labour Market Opinion (A-LMO) initiative.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

The A-LMO will apply to temporary foreign workers in higher skilled (NOC O, A and B) positions but will not apply to the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, the Agricultural Stream, or the film and entertainment sectors.    

The goal of the new initiative is to issue Labour Market Opinions (LMOs) to applicants within ten (10) business days.

Criteria for Employers:

To participate in this program, employers must meet the following criteria:

  1. Employers must have been issued at least one (1) positive LMO in the previous two (2) years;
  2. Employers must have a clean record of compliance with the program within the last two (2) years;
  3. Employers must not have been the subject of an investigation, infraction or a serious complaint; and
  4. Employers must not have any unresolved violations or contraventions under provincial laws governing employment and recruitment.

Efficiency Measures:

Standard considerations for LMOs will continue to apply, but the new initiative will introduce a system by which attestations for certain assessment criteria can be submitted in lieu of actual documentation. The attestations may then be reviewed through subsequent compliance reviews.

A-LMOs will continue to be based on the following considerations:

  1. Genuineness of the job offer;
  2. Wage offered; and
  3. Whether the job is likely to fill a labour shortage

Compliance Reviews:

Prior to partaking in this initiative, employers must consent to partake in a compliance review. This consent will allow HRSDC/Service Canada to perform a review of any A-LMO or LMO which has been issued to the employer in the past two (2) years.

The selection for reviews may be random, or based on information received after the issuance of the A-LMO.


If an employer is found to be non-compliant, they will have the opportunity to provide a justification as well as to take action to correct their non-compliance if applicable.

Non-compliant employers may be subject to the following consequences:

Ineligibility to partake in the A-LMO initiative going forward;

  1. Potential revocation of LMOs for work permits which have not been issued as yet;
  2. Findings of compliance reviews may be shared with federal and provincial partners and investigated further;
  3. More in depth examination of pending and future LMO applications.

The Application Process:

A-LMOs can be submitted through paper applications or online through the Temporary Foreign Worker Web Service.

Those who want to partake in this new initiative must register online and by mail. Upon receipt of the paper application, Service Canada receives will determine whether or not the employer is eligible to participate in the A-LMO and Web Service initiatives.

What Happens to Pending Applications:

Pending LMOs can be withdrawn and re-submitted through the new A-LMO initiative provided the applications are for the same position. HRSDC/ Service Canada should be informed in writing when the A-LMO is submitted.

For further information on the Accelerated Labour Market Opinion, please contact our offices at 1-800-993-9971 or


Posted by Zaynah Marani » No Comments »

The Minister announces upcoming cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program

Posted by Sindura Dar|Canada Immigration
Apr 12

Minister Kenney announced today that the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP), which is funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, will be undergoing key reforms with respect to its coverage policies.

Currently, the IFHP provides temporary health-care coverage to eligible protected persons, refugee claimants, persons detained under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and victims of trafficking in persons if and when they do not qualify for provincial or territorial health insurance plans. The IFHP also provides certain supplemental health-care services such as pharmaceutical care, dentistry, vision-care and mobility assistive devices to resettled refugee claimants for up to one year from the date of their arrival in Canada.

The reformed program will end this supplemental health-care coverage, although medication and immunizations may continue to be provided in cases where there is a risk to public health or safety.  Minister Kenney cited the growing cost of the program (which is said to have grown to $84.6 million in the 2010-2011 fiscal year), and a concern over asking Canadians to pay for benefits for protected persons and refugee claimants that are more generous than what they are entitled to themselves, as some of the reasoning behind the decision.

The changes are set to take effect on June 30, 2012 and will apply to all current beneficiaries, and those who apply after that date. As this is a very new development, we do not yet know how the change will occur, nor how quickly. Both of these factors are of particular importance to newly resettled refugee claimants who are currently receiving this supplemental coverage. Indeed, the impact of the changes on current beneficiaries is one concern that arises from this new development.

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New “Start-Up” Visa for entrepreneurs

Posted by Zaynah Marani|Canada Immigration
Apr 12

Economic Action Plan 2012 highlighted Canada’s commitment to supporting entrepreneurs, innovators and world class research.  As such, Minister Kenney has announced potential changes in Canada’s Business Immigration Programs.  Citizenship and Immigration Canada will hold consultations regarding the feasibility of a “start-up” visa whereby innovative entrepreneurs will be able to come to Canada to build companies “that can compete on a global scale and create jobs for Canadians”. 

Ideally, the immigrant entrepreneurs will be linked to private sector organizations with experience so that they can have guidance on how to navigate the Canadian business environment.

Under the proposed changes, the government may be able to create short term programs under the Economic Immigration Class which will be limited to a maximum of 2,750 applications per year for 5 years.  If the program is successful it may be introduced in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

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Greater Demand for H-1B Quota Numbers

Posted by Mark Dey|Global Immigration, US Immigration
Apr 12

On April 2, 2012, United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) began to accept petitions for new H-1B visas for Fiscal Year 2013 (October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013). The H-1B is an employment status granted to individuals sponsored by a U..S employer for a “specialty occupation”, that is, an occupation requiring at least a bachelor degree or its equivalent. For Fiscal Year 2013, the H-1B quota is limited to 65,000, with an additional 20,000 available to individuals that are graduates with a U.S. awarded Master’s degree or higher. USCIS recently announced that as of April 13, 2012, it had received 20,600 petitions for the regular H-1B cap quota of 65,000, and 9,700 for the 20,000 U.S. Master’s or higher cap cases. These numbers represent an increase of almost 100% from the last fiscal year, and point to the H-1B quota ending much sooner than the prior fiscal year, when new H-1Bs were available until November 22, 2011. An employer can file a H-1B petition up to six months prior to their availability, and there appears to be a good possibility that the Fiscal Year 2013 H-1B cap will be exhausted by May or June 2012. This would mean any employer that missed this year’s cap seeking to hire a foreign worker subject to the cap, would not be able to file a petition for that individual until April 1, 2013, with that individual not being able to start work pursuant to H-1B status until October 1, 2013. Accordingly, employers should review their staffing needs and commence any new H-1B petitions as soon as possible. Please contact one of our U.S. attorneys should you have any questions about the H-1B.

Posted by Mark Dey » No Comments »

New Requirements to Come for the Canadian Experience Class

Apr 12

Under the Canadian Experience Class, international students and temporary foreign workers can apply for permanent residence in Canada provided they meet several mandatory requirements.

The temporary foreign worker stream currently requires at least 24 months of full time work experience within the past 36 months.  Mr. Kenney has stated that Citizenship and Immigration Canada may soon change the work experience requirement to 12 months.  This proposal would speed up the transition from temporary status to permanent residence, and allow Canada to hold on to skilled workers who add value to our economy. 

Minister Kenney has recently mentioned that one of his goals is to increase the number of skilled tradespersons entering Canada through our immigration system.  This proposal may facilitate his vision, as tradespersons who are here on a temporary or seasonal basis may be able to transition to permanent residents prior to the completion of their projects.  

For more information on the Canadian Experience Class please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP.

Posted by Zaynah Marani » No Comments »

New Assessment Guidelines for Skilled Tradespersons

Posted by Zaynah Marani|Canada Immigration
Apr 12


On April 10, 2012 Minister Jason Kenney announced a new plan to implement a streamlined process for skilled tradespersons applying under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FWSP).


The Canadian economy is lacking in skill sets specific to certain trades such as construction and natural resources. This strategy will help to increase the number of newcomers with the desirable expertise, and in turn will facilitate the Minister’s vision of an immigration system which focuses on Canada’s economy.


Kenny’s plan will allow both tradespersons and professionals to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker category; but their assessments will be based on different criteria. For tradespersons, there will be a stronger emphasis on practical training and experience instead of on formal education. As such, tradespersons will not face as many obstacles in attaining the minimum amount of points required to qualify as Federal Skilled Workers.


For more information on Federal Skilled Workers, please contact the PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP.

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How to Invest in our Immigration System: The Great Debate

Apr 12

Canada has often been referred to as one of the most opportunistic safe havens in the world.  Migrants, refugees and displaced persons from around the world aspire to
live in Canada for the prospect of experiencing a better life.  Unfortunately, the grass often ends up being greener on the other side.

Newcomers to Canada frequently undergo unexpected hardships upon arrival.  Things that we often take for granted in our home countries such as methods of  communication, language, food, television programs, useful skill sets, etc., are no longer the norm.  With Canada comes new noises, new technology, a new climate, and new styles.  The list of “news” is ongoing.  As a result, immigrants often gravitate towards safe “culture centric ghettos” and are afraid to venture out.

Minister Kenney believes he can circumvent the economy drain due to the hardships mentioned above by developing a market driven approach to immigration, whereby private companies and employers may assess the education credentials of potential immigrants and then proceed to decide if the Applicant may enter.  If his vision is put into
place, third parties may select immigrants with high levels of education who are able to assimilate into Canadian society and adapt without delay.  They will invest in immigrants who will be able to feed our economy with their skill and resources.

But it is difficult to accept the Minister’s vision without question since we often come across the taxi drivers who were once Doctors and the fast food servers who were once Accountants.  Not only is their education redundant in Canada, but it has probably made the transition even harder.  Investing in Applicants with high levels of education may not prove to be the most economical answer.

So what is the best way to invest in our immigration system?  Perhaps the answer is actually right in front of us.  Instead of focusing on revamping our future system to drive our economy, we may want to focus on investing in the newcomers themselves.  An emphasis on assimilation programs, internship opportunities and mentorship arrangements would not only provide comfort to our new comrades and show our true Canadian values; it may even give them the confidence boost they need to excel in the
Canadian economy.

For more information on Immigration law, please contact the PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP.

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Immigration Fraud: How Can You Avoid It?

Apr 12

On Thursday, March 29, 2012, an immigration lawyer from Windsor and her assistant were charged with misrepresentation, counseling misrepresentation and fabricating
evidence.  It is alleged that they advised their clients to be untruthful in front of the Immigration and Refugee Board in order to obtain refugee status.  The pair is scheduled to appear in court on April 26.

Unfortunately, immigration fraud is a topic which surfaces too often.  If you are seeking immigration assistance, it can be a daunting task to make the right selection from the readily available pool of lawyers and consultants.

Below are some pointers to assist you in selecting the right representative:

  • Ensure that your representative can practice in a Canadian jurisdiction (or a jurisdiction of the country in which you are applying);
  • Ensure that the representative you select has a strong focus on immigration law;
  • Be aware of representatives who guarantee an outcome;
  • Ensure that the representative is in good standing with their professional association;
  • Check to see if there is positive feedback on your prospective representative by other clients;
  • Never trust a representative who advises that it is ok to act dishonestly in order to obtain your desired outcome.

While performing a background check on your potential representative may be somewhat time consuming, it may save you from an even bigger headache in the long run.

For more information on how to select the right immigration lawyer for you, please contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Immigration Law LLP – Immigration Lawyers at 1-800-993-9971 or


Posted by Zaynah Marani » No Comments »