Canadian Interests – Charitable or Religious Work Reg. 205(d) – C50 Exemption

canada-jobsOn June 20, 2014, the Ministry of Employment Social Development and the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration Canada made a number of significant changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), as their joint programs to minister between them. It is important to note that the framework of TFWP has shifted so that all foreign workers under TFWP require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) – formerly known as Labour Market Opinion (LMO).

All foreign workers who do not require LMIA are now under the new International Mobility Programs (IMP), administered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The main objective of IMP is to advance Canada’s broad economic and cultural national interest. Below, I will explain the Charitable or Religious Work under section 205(d) of Immigration Refugee Protection Regulation.

First, workers under this exemption do not require LMIA. They must service Canadian religious or charitable organizations, not competing directly with Canadian citizens or permanent residents. However, the job itself must be a full-time position and engaging in a competitive activity which meets the definition of work under IRPR. There may be nominal remuneration – it must be less than the prevailing minimum wage. Canadian organizations do not need to charitable, but at minimum, they must be non-profit organizations. Canadian organizations do not receive any direct remuneration from any source on behalf of, or for, the services rendered by the foreign worker. In addition, the work performed by the foreign worker should go above and beyond normal work in the labour market, whether is paid for, or not.

In light of the difficulty in obtaining LMIA, this exemption to avoid obtaining LMIA is a good option for eligible employers in Canada. However, it must be used with much caution, to meet specific eligibility on both employers in Canada and foreign workers.

If you have any individual questions or concerns, please contact our office for more customized consultation for your unique situation.  Please note that this posting is for general information only and is not to be considered binding or official legal counsel since situations will vary and can be complicated. The content in this post is current as of the day of entry. Due to the changing nature of Immigration law, the information in this entry may or may not still be applicable.

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