June 03, 2010

About the Author

  • Jennifer McRae

    Jennifer's practice focuses on Canadian immigration law as well as corporate and commercial law, intellectual property and commercial real estate transactions including sales, purchases and mortgage financing.

    (204) 934-2374

Information Technology Specialist

On September 30, 2010 the temporary foreign worker program for information technology (IT) specialists will come to an end (except for employers wanting to hire foreign workers for positions in Quebec). The purpose of the temporary foreign worker program was to fill critical shortages in Canada’s software industry. Citizenship and Immigration Canada has determined that the shortage of IT workers in Canada no longer exists.

The facilitated processing for IT specialists provides Canadian employers with a speedy process for hiring temporary foreign workers that fall within specific IT positions. Such employers are not required to obtain labour market opinions from Human Resources and Social Development Canada for temporary foreign workers that fall within the listed IT occupations. There are seven IT occupations that fall within the program:

  1. Senior Animation Effects Editor – compositing and editing animation and digital effects (FX) for film and television
  2. Embedded Systems Software Designer – designing, implementing and documenting real-time embedded software for a variety of applications
  3. MIS Software Designer – designing and implementing software for management information systems
  4. Multimedia Software Developer – developing and implementing multimedia software for interactive computer-based training (CBT) and promotional software applications
  5. Software Developer – Services – responsible for coding, testing, analysis, design, definition, development and implementation of applications systems
  6. Software Products Developer – designing and implementing software for end users
  7. Telecommunications Software Designer – designing and implementing real-time telecommunications software

Effective October 1, 2010 employers will be required to follow the general process for hiring temporary foreign workers which can take a substantial amount of time and has extensive requirements (in terms of advertising and recruiting). As of October 1, 2010 employers will be required to apply for labour market opinions for such temporary foreign workers and demonstrate that:

  1. the wage rate meets the prevailing wage rate for the occupation and region;
  2. the working conditions are consistent with Canadian standards;
  3. efforts to hire Canadians or permanent residents have been made and the advertising requirements have been met;
  4. the employment of the foreign worker will directly create new job opportunities or help retain jobs for Canadians;
  5. the foreign worker will transfer new skills and knowledge to Canadians; and
  6. the hiring of the foreign worker will not affect a labour dispute or the employment of any Canadian worker involved in such a dispute. If you require assistance in determining whether a temporary foreign worker falls within one of the IT occupations listed above or require assistance in making an application for a work permit under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program for IT Specialists prior to September 30, 2010, please do not hesitate to contact me.

This article is presented for informational purposes only. The content does not constitute legal advice or solicitation and does not create a solicitor client relationship. The views expressed are solely the authors’ and should not be attributed to any other party, including Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP (TDS), its affiliate companies or its clients. The authors make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to via this article. The authors are not able to provide free legal advice. If you are seeking advice on specific matters, please contact Keith LaBossiere, CEO & Managing Partner at kdl@tdslaw.com, or 204.934.2587. Please be aware that any unsolicited information sent to the author(s) cannot be considered to be solicitor-client privileged.

While care is taken to ensure the accuracy for the purposes stated, before relying upon these articles, you should seek and be guided by legal advice based on your specific circumstances. We would be pleased to provide you with our assistance on any of the issues raised in these articles.