Immigration Issues/Work permit and IEC Ireland
QUESTION: Hi, I'm in a bit of a pickle. I am from Ireland and working in Montreal with a working holiday permit (WHP) which is due to expire in July. I have applied for my second WHP (2012/2013) but have not yet received any word concerning my application under the irish iniative.
I am currently employed by an environmental consultancy firm as research associate and am worried that if I don't receive my second WHP I will lose my job and have to leave Montreal to go back home to Ireland (where the job market is crashing and the economy is in a downward spiral out of control).
I approached my company about applying for a work permit though them and they agreed, which requires an LMO, Certificate of Acceptance from Quebec and the finally the application for the work permit ( I think this is the drill anyway).
I am just a little worried I will not have enough time to apply and obtain one before my current WHP expires. Since Quebec differs from the rest of the country, the application process for this seems more tedious and lengthy. I am in the middle of completing the application for the LMO but my concern lies with the timeframe, if I begin to apply for this am I eligible for 'implied status' while the process is under way and stay working in Montreal?
Can you advise of an estimated timeframe for this process and can you advise if this is a feasible alternative route for remaining as a worker in Quebec and at my company? If not, any suggestions to help me?
Apologies for the mass of information. I just don't want to leave Canada and this whole thing just seems so complicated!
Thanks, have a lovely evening.
ANSWER: Hi Rebecca,
Thank you for your question. First, you know that an LMO application is an employer's application. From what you are telling me you are completing this on their behalf. You must ensure that you are complying with all of the requirements of Service Canada. There was a recent bulletin regarding a new facilitated process for LMO applications in Quebec that apply to certain jobs. The bulletin is here: http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/workplaceskills/foreign_workers/communications/qcoccl
You should check to see if your occupation is on the list as no recruitment efforts are required for these occupations. However, if not, then the employer must show proof of recruitment, reasons why no Canadian citizen or permanent resident was offered the jobs, willingness to pay fair market wages, etc. Be sure you know what you are doing. And proof that you have applied for the CSQ (copy of application & fees paid) must also be included with the LMO application.
If you are able to submit the LMO application prior to the expiry of the work permit, you can apply to Extend your stay as a worker BEFORE your current permit expires. This will give you implied status until a decision is reached on the work permit application. The tricky thing is timing. If the CIC officer starts processing your work permit application and you have not provided them with a positive LMO issued by Service Canada they will refuse the work permit. However, if the LMO is approved BEFORE a CIC officer has begun processing your application, you can call the CIC call centre and advise them that a positive LMO has been issued, give them the confirmation number of the LMO provided by Service Canada and ask them to add it to the notes on your application. That way the CIC officer will see that a positive LMO was issued and can check the confirmation number with Service Canada. Once verified, they will issue you a new work permit to work for this employer only. So you must consider strategy in this matter. It's always best if the positive LMO is included WITH the application for the work permit but if not available at the time you need to apply to extend, the above is what you are allowed to do.
Processing times vary for LMO applications depending upon the method of application, skill level and volume of the office processing so I cannot give you a definite time. But the sooner the LMO application is submitted, the better. LMOs are not easy to get so be SURE that the employer is complying with ALL of the requirements. Any mistake can/will cause a refusal.
It definitely IS complicated and if you do not feel comfortable doing this on your own, perhaps you and your employer should consider hiring a representative to assist you.
I hope this information helps.
Roxanne Jessome, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hi Roxanne,
First of all, thank you very much for your detailed answer. I fully understand this LMO application must be completed by my employer. I am doing the research, however, on their behalf, before submitting the LMO application etc.
I have an additional query relating to the process. Since I have been working at my company for almost year is it still OK to apply to this process (LMO/CAQ) as a present worker at the company?
I see the company/employer is mandated to advertise my position for a minimum of 14 days, e.g. in a local newspaper.
I just want to confirm that I am legible for this process as an existing employee to the company, as I notice on the LMO application the section ' Job offer information' asks when the start date of employment will begin and for how long, in my case that would be since July 2011.
Finally, from what I understand I can go ahead and apply for the work permit extension before the LMO is issued, provided I am waiting for the decision concerning the LMO.
Thank you kindly for your time in advising me.
Yes, you are eligible even though you have worked for the employer for almost a year. And yes, you can apply for the WP extension while awaiting the LMO decision. BUT, keep in mind what I mentioned above. The timing can be tricky. When the Immigration Officer in Vegreville goes to assess your WP application, they better find a positive LMO either with your application or in the GCMS (computer) notes because otherwise, they will refuse it. Check processing times and create a strategy about when to submit your WP application for an extension if you have no LMO decision yet. I would advise a paper application to maximize the amount of time you would have available to wait for the LMO decision.
Roxanne Jessome, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant