On February 24, 2012 a new simplified process for certain
foreign workers seeking entry to the Province of Québec was
announced. Instead of applying to only 7 information technology
occupations, as before, the simplified process will apply to 44
occupations in a variety of fields. This is an important
development. It is important not only for the many companies
that want to relocate foreign employees to Québec. It is
also a clear departure from the previous system. Other provinces
may be interested in following Québec's example to
better respond to the needs of regional labour markets.
Employers who make employment offers to a foreign worker in any
of these 44 occupations in the Province of Québec will
benefit from the simplified process. The main advantage is that
employers do not have to prove that they tried to recruit a
Canadian or permanent resident to fill the position. The list of 44
occupations has been prepared with the participation of Emploi
Québec, a Québec government agency. It is supposed to
reflect the occupations for which there is a well-known labour
The second advantage is that these applications will have
priority processing. We can expect that processing delays will be
much shorter than those of regular applications processed by
We have discussed in previous issues of the HR Space
that employers who extend an employment offer to a foreigner must
first obtain a Labour Market Opinion ("LMO") from the
Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
("Service Canada"), unless there is an applicable
exemption. When the job will be in the Province of Québec,
the LMO is issued jointly by Service Canada and Québec
Immigration. Before applying for an LMO, it is necessary to follow
the job advertisement requirements published by Service Canada.
These aim at ensuring that qualified Canadians and permanent
residents are given a fair chance to apply for the position before
it is offered to a foreigner. In Québec, LMO applications
have to be submitted in parallel to Service Canada and to
Québec Immigration. The LMO is a condition for issuance of
the work permit, unless there is an applicable exemption.
The new simplified process constitutes an exception to this
general program. The 44 professions to which it applies include,
a few management positions such as Human Resources Managers,
Sales, Marketing and Advertising Managers, Retail and Wholesale
some health-sector professionals such as Medical Doctors
(General Practitioners and Specialists), Dentists, Veterinarians,
Pharmacists, Physiotherapists, Registered Nurses and Medical
certain Engineers: Civil Engineers and Aerospace
certain professionals in Information Technology such as
Information Systems Analysts and Consultants, Software Engineers
and Designers, Computer Programmers and Interactive Media
Developers and Information Systems Testing Technicians;
some other lower-skilled professions such as certain mechanics
For these professions, LMO applications must now be sent only to
Québec Immigration. It will make a preliminary assessment of
eligibility for this program. Québec Immigration will then
send the documents to Service Canada for the latter's
assessment. Responsibilities will be divided between Québec
Immigration and Service Canada.
Among other elements, the Québec Immigration agent should
assess whether the salary and working conditions offered to the
foreign worker are competitive with those in the Québec
labour market. The agent should compare the salary offered to the
foreign employee with that offered in Québec for the same
occupation. Emploi Québec provides market information on
salaries according to region and seniority. The Québec
Immigration agent should also confirm that the employer is a
genuine employer and that requirements for the position are
consistent with those of the occupation according to the National
Occupations Classification (NOC).
We fear a too heavy reliance by Québec Immigration agents
on NOCs. It would be desirable that their agents understand that
the realities of the labour market are much richer than what NOCs
tell us, that the needs of employers result in job descriptions
that combine two or more NOCs, and that the job description of a
certain occupation in a large multinational is different from the
one who works in a small shop. If they do not show this openness to
the realities of employers' needs, this could constitute a
major drawback of the new program.
This program is too new to know how it is going to be applied
and how "simplified" and quick the process will be. This
is, however, encouraging news.
March 1, 2017 - Federal immigration authorities conducted the 6th round of invitations under Express Entry in 2017 inviting 3884 candidates for permanent residence. The lowest CRS score was a record 434...
March 9th - Skilled workers will receive their Canada work permits and Canada visa applications processed within two weeks beginning June 12, 2017 as part of a new Global Talent Stream in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development and Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour announced that Canada's Global Skills Strategy is scheduled to launch on June 12th, 2017.
January 25, 2017 - Federal immigration authorities conducted the 3rd round of invitations under Express Entry in 2017 and 53rd overall, inviting 3508 candidates for permanent residence, the largest to-date. The lowest CRS score was 453, a continuing trend of decline from previous draws.
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