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Operations Memorandum

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Title: Software Development Workers: Pilot Project / Effective Date: January 30, 1998 / Expiry Date: March 31, 1998

Extensions and Amendments to Temporary Employment Authorizations issued to workers doing jobs fitting within the job descriptions of the Software Development Workers Pilot Project


This message is to revise the direction, … dated May 5, 1997, regarding the processing of certain temporary foreign workers under the Software Development Workers Pilot Project. Specifically, this message is to revise the instructions regarding the application of the Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) National Validation Letter to situations where workers in positions fitting within
one of the seven job descriptions contained in the original OM seek an extension or amendment to their employment authorization.


The policy regarding the application of extensions for these workers was set out in “The Software Development Worker Pilot Project: Newsletter Number 1”, dated October 1997:

“Why does the National validation only apply to initial entry to Canada, and not to extensions or amendments?…Once the worker is in the country,…(t)here is no reason to continue to apply the pilot process. The normal processes should apply, which will include validation in many cases.”


While one could argue that the theory behind the original instruction remains sound, the persistence of the severity of the skills shortages in the information technology sector dictates a more practical approach. The labour market opinion set out in the National Validation Letter of HRDC is as relevant to requests for extensions or amendments made within Canada as it is to applications for initial employment authorizations made at missions abroad. Given the validity of this opinion, there is no
reason to seek case-specific validation opinions from Human Resource Canada Centres for cases of extension or amendment. The National Validation of HRDC should be treated as equally applicable to requests for extensions or amendments as it is for initial authorizations. This will apply equally to those applicants whose initial employment authorizations were validated using the National Validation Letter, and those whose initial employment authorizations were issued in some other manner, but whose jobs nonetheless fit under one of the seven job descriptions associated with the pilot.

Please note that this instruction is effective until March 31, 1998. Before that time, we should have more complete instructions issued regarding the future of the pilot. HRDC has requested that their
National Validation Letter only be applied to situations where the period of the requested extension/amendment is 12 months or less.

This approach will both provide faster service for extensions or amendments related to this important sector, and also avoid taxing limited resources within HRDC and CIC unnecessarily …