In considering Labour Market Impact Assessment’s (LMIA) exemptions before issuing a work permit, officers should keep in mind the general principle: authorizing a foreign national to work in Canada has an impact on the Canadian labour market and economy. And, generally speaking, officers should be reluctant to issue a work permit without the assurance from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) that the impact on Canada’s labour market is likely to be neutral or positive. Most exemptions from the need for a positive ESDC’s LMIA are very specific and clearly defined such as the policy for spouses of some foreign workers and students, or the regulations regarding issuance of work permits for refugee claimants, or regarding international agreements.
However, circumstances sometimes present officers with situations where an LMIA is not available, and a specific exemption is not applicable, but the balance of practical considerations argues for the issuance of a work permit in a time frame shorter than would be necessary to obtain the ESDC opinion. R205(a) is intended to provide an officer with the flexibility to respond in these situations. It is imperative that this authority not be used for the sake of convenience, nor in any other manner that would undermine or try to circumvent the importance of the LMIA in the work permit process. It is rather intended to address those situations where the social, cultural or economic benefits to Canada of issuing the work permit are so clear and compelling that the importance of the LMIA can be overcome.
Officers should look at the social and cultural benefit of authorizing entry to Canada for persons of international renown, examining whether a person's presence in Canada is crucial to a high-profile event, and whether circumstances have created urgency to the person's entry.
For requests for work permits based on significant economic benefit, where entry into the labour market is concerned, all practical efforts to obtain ESDC's assessment should be made before C10 is applied. Foreign nationals submitting an application for consideration under C10 should provide documentation supporting their claim of providing an important or notable contribution to the Canadian economy.
Assessing significant social or cultural benefit
The foreign national’s proposed benefit must be significant, meaning it must be important or notable. Officers should rely heavily on the testimony of credible, trustworthy, and distinguished experts in the foreign national’s field and any objective evidence. The foreign national’s past record is a good indicator of their level of achievement. Thus, the foreign national’s past track record in their field should be strong and distinguished. It would be helpful to show that the foreign national can immediately be recognized as a leader in their field.
Objective measures for “significant social or cultural benefit”
- an official academic record showing that the foreign national has a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to the area of their ability;
- evidence from current or former employers showing that the foreign national has significant full time experience in the occupation for which he or she is sought (significant in this context can be taken to mean ten or more years experience);
- has been the recipient of national or international awards or patent;
- evidence of membership in organizations requiring excellence of its members;
- having been the judge of the work of others;
- evidence of recognition for achievements and significant contributions to the field by peers, governmental organizations, or professional or business associations;
- evidence of scientific or scholarly contributions to the field by the foreign national;
- publications authored by the foreign national in academic or industry publications;
- leading role of the foreign national in an organization with a distinguished reputation;
- francophone foreign workers entering occupations with National Occupation Classification O, A and B, destined outside of Quebec who have been recruited through Destination Canada or other employment events coordinated with the federal government and francophone minority communities.
As before, a defensible rationale for the use of R205(a), C10 should be entered in the GCMS notes or on the FOSS remarks screen. This is important both for assisting the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville (CPC-V) in dealing with requests for renewals, and for audit purposes.
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