The granting of applications such as Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs)  and many work permits is subject to policy imposed by Canada’s immigration department.  Policy – as distinct from law – can be altered by governments with ease, as compared to, for example, laws and regulations.

The current government intends ease foreign workers’ entry into Canada.  A  “waving [sic] of  labour-market impact assessments in certain cases where that would help attract top talent to come to Canada,” is being contemplated by immigration Minister McCallum.  Similarly, from the same report, a spokesperson for trendy spandex maker/ alleged fat shaming entity Lululemon expressed the need for importing skilled persons in the field of ” design, product development and digital work”.

lululemon logo The  previous quote implies that the easing of rules with apply to those with executive-level or specialized skills such as computer-assisted design.   However, one can question whether there is a reluctance on the part of Canadian companies to train local Canadians, who graduate from Canada’s “world-class” post-secondary institutions.  Does not Canada have many colleges and universities with programs in such related courses such as business  administration and information technology?  Many foreign students seem to think so.

The Minister stated, “We’ll get rid of many of these [required] labour-market impact assessments which slow things down enormously.”   A change in policy aimed at reducing the need for LMIAs, presumably would be done in a targeted way to ensure that there is some net benefit to the Canadian labour market, such as job creation, or the transferring of skills to a Canadian company’s existing Canadian employees.

The danger with any exempt LMIA is that such exemptions spring from policy, not law or regulation.  The underlying law is couched in vague terminology such as “significant benefit” specifically R205(a), of the Immigration Refugee Protection Regulations which describesSignificant benefit” in terms of “maintain[ing] significant  social, cultural or economic benefits or opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents”.   Similarly, many LMIA exempt categories come under the law at R205(c)(ii) of the Immigration Refugee Protection Regulations which cites “Public policy, competitiveness and the economy,” as rationales behind allowing foreigners to work in Canada without the need for the destined Canadian employer to seek out Canadians as prospective employees.

The above terse sections of Immigration Refugee Protection Regulations are clothed by a manual of policy.  The advantage for the government is that policy can be added at a whim.  The disadvantage is for employers and the Toronto immigration lawyers that represent those employers is that officers can misinterpret policy, or choose to ignore policy.  The result is that many LMIA exempt work permits can be easily refused by an immigration officer without proper assistance from a Toronto immigration lawyer.

If you are a Canadian employer seeking seeking to hire a foreign worker, contact Chaudhary Law Office.


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