Earlier this year, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) introduced a new program that will significantly reduce waiting times for Canadian employers looking to hire Temporary Foreign Workers. This program, called the Accelerated Labour Market Opinion (ALMO), allows employers to receive a positive Labour Market Opinion for their foreign worker(s) within 10 business days of submitting an application. This ALMO option greatly shortens the waiting period for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO), thus allowing employers to bring much-needed workers to Canada more quickly and efficiently.
Why Employers Need an LMO
Any Canadian employer wishing to bring a Temporary Foreign Worker to Canada must first secure the necessary work authorization. The first step in obtaining this authorization is receiving a positive or neutral LMO (or in some cases seeking an LMO exemption). An LMO is a document, issued by a Federal government department (Service Canada), which states that hiring a foreign worker to fill a position in Canada will have a positive or neutral effect on the Canadian labour market.
Obtaining an LMO can be a time-consuming process. Once an application has been submitted to Service Canada for processing, employers can normally expect a waiting time of 2 to 3 months before receiving the LMO. This process cannot be expedited except for genuine emergencies.
Long waiting periods for receipt of an LMO can present a challenge for employers, who usually want their workers in Canada as soon as possible. Before the introduction of the ALMO, employers who regularly hire foreign workers would have to repeat the lengthy process every time a new foreign employee was hired.
A New Option – the ALMO
The ALMO was introduced as a way to accommodate the needs of employers and more quickly bring in workers who will contribute to Canada’s economy. In order to benefit from the ALMO, employers must meet the following requirements:
- They must have successfully received an LMO in the past 2 years;
- The job in Canada must be considered skilled work (the government classifies this as O, A, or B level in its National Occupation Classification);
- They must have a clean record of compliance with labour market standards; and
- They must consent to participate in an ALMO compliance review
The overall process to apply for an ALMO is the same as applying for a standard LMO. This includes issuing a job offer to the designated foreign worker and advertising the job in Canada (if needed).
How the ALMO Helps Employers
Canadian enterprises that regularly bring in Temporary Foreign Workers (whether long-term or short-term/seasonal) can immediately benefit by pursuing ALMOs in future applications. Even a small company with only one foreign worker in its employ may be able to use the ALMO process should it choose to extend that employee’s work permit.
The 10-day processing time will help employers bring in workers quickly, ensuring that their companies continue to function smoothly and to maximum efficiency.
A previous LMO can serve as a basis for ALMO applications in any province except for Quebec (which operates on a slightly different application system). Therefore, a company whose business is national in scope will be able to receive ALMOs for workers assigned throughout Canada.
In short, obtaining an LMO is an unavoidable component of most Temporary Work Permit applications. By pursuing an ALMO, eligible employers are able to greatly minimize the time needed to secure this document, thus allowing them to focus on what matters most to them: their business.
To find out if you or your foreign workers may be eligible for an ALMO, please fill out a contact us today.