Service Canada has recently introduced changes to the Labour Market Opinion (LMO) application procedure. Effective April 27, 2009, employers wishing to extend the original period of an existing LMO must now submit a new LMO application. Previously, employers were able to submit an LMO Extension Application, which somewhat relaxed the requirements of a standard application. As a result of the elimination of Extension Applications, all employers, whether first-time applicants or applicants looking to renew a term, will now be treated the same.
Meeting Standard LMO Application Requirements
The elimination of Extension Applications means all applicants will be subject to the assessment criteria mandated by Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. Employers must advertise for Canadian candidates and meet national recruiting standards, whether or not there is an incumbent temporary foreign worker already in place.
Proof of Past Compliance
Returning applicants may be asked to prove compliance with wage and working conditions and terms of previous offers of employment to temporary foreign workers.
All employers are encouraged to apply early for LMOs, as processing may take upwards of four months.
New National Recruiting Standards for Labour Market Opinion Applications
On January 1, 2009, Service Canada introduced new national minimum recruitment requirements which apply to all Labour Market Opinion (LMO) applications.
The requirements are based on the National Occupation Classification (NOC) system. The requirements are:
1. For NOC skill level 0 or A occupations (management occupations and occupations usually requiring a university degree), employers must, in the 3 months prior to making the LMO application, either: (a) advertise on the national Job Bank for at least 14 calendar days; or (b) conduct similar recruitment activities consistent with the recruiting practices for the occupation.
2. For NOC B occupations (occupations usually requiring a college diploma or apprenticeship training), employers must: (a) advertise on the Job Bank for at least 14 calendar days in the 3 months prior to the application; and (b) the advertisement must specifically include the employer's name, business address and the wages being offered.
3. For NOC C and D occupations (under the Low-Skilled Program), employers must in the 3 months prior to making the application: (a) advertise on the Job Bank for a minimum of 14 calendar days; (b) conduct similar recruitment activities consistent with the practice within the occupation; and (c) demonstrate reasonable ongoing recruitment efforts to recruit from communities that traditionally face barriers to employment.
Service Canada's Directives include a narrow list of specific situations where recruiting efforts are not required.