Service Canada has introduced a new initiative that monitors employer compliance with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. The stated purpose of this initiative is to strengthen the integrity of the program and allow employers to demonstrate good standing. The initiative is also aimed at helping employers gain a better understanding of their temporary foreign worker employment responsibilities.
Employer participation is voluntary. As of April 27, 2009, employers will note a new declaration section on the Labour Market Opinion Application form wherein employers may elect to participate in the monitoring initiative. While participation does not expedite the processing of an LMO Application, the compliant employer stands to benefit by receiving favourable proof of past compliance consideration when applying for subsequent LMOs.
Regional Occupations List Program Ends
As a result of Service Canada's new recruiting guidelines for LMOs referenced above, it has eliminated the Regional Occupations List Program. These lists were unique to each province, and identified "occupations under pressure," which were those occupations that include a recognized labour shortage. Now, employers will be expected to demonstrate recruiting efforts as set out in the new recruiting directives found above; they can no longer rely on these Regional Occupation Lists.
Changes to E-LMO Program
The Expedited LMO (E-LMO) Program is only available in B.C. and Alberta for employers seeking LMOs to hire foreign nationals in one of the 33 occupations listed under the pilot project. The 33 occupations are those considered to be difficult to fill by employers. Employers are now required to submit evidence of recruitment efforts and must complete a new questionnaire when they apply.
Tougher U.S. Entry Requirements at Land Ports of Entry
On June 1, 2009, the United States will introduce tighter rules for Canadian and U.S. citizens traveling by land into the U.S. Travelers must ensure that they have acceptable documentation to enter the U.S. by land. Passports or NEXUS cards are acceptable proof of citizenship. In addition, for entry by land or water (but not by air) the U.S. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) allows Canadians to use an enhanced driver's licence, which Canadian provinces have been, or will be, introducing.