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Recruiting IT talent in Quebec

Équipe Immétis - 08/11/2022

Quebec, in particular the metropolitan area of Montreal, is a prime destination for IT talent from around the world.

The city’s economic ecosystem attracts many IT companies each year, who choose to set up or develop their activity there. More and more IT talent would like to relocate to Montreal drawn by the quality of life and the job prospects in the Beautiful Province.

Local companies, therefore, benefit from facilitated immigration paths to recruit these highly qualified profiles and so deal with their labour force needs.

Recruiting IT talent: what are the options?

As a rule, in order to recruit a foreign worker and obtain a work permit, the employer has to prove that the recruitment does not have a negative impact on the Canadian labour market. This process is called a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). In Quebec, this is done at the same time as the application for the Certificate of Acceptance for Quebec (CAQ).

Under this program, employers have to prove that they have not been able to recruit locally by advertising on different search engines.

To facilitate the arrival of IT talent, several alternatives exist.

In Quebec, an advertising exemption exists for approximately 300 professions, including many IT professions. We can name:

– IT analysts and consultants
– Database analysts and data administrators
– Software engineers and developers
– Interactive media programmers and developers
– Web developers

Another alternative is the Global Talent Stream. This stream offers accelerated processing of the LMIA applications, and the related work permit, for a list of eligible professions. Once more, there is no need to advertise the job beforehand.

Focus on the Global Talent Stream

The Global Talent Stream, as its name suggests, makes the recruitment of highly qualified people possible in record time.

In addition to the advertising exemption, the program promises to process the LMIA application – and the CAQ – in Quebec, within 10 working days!

Once a positive LMIA and CAQ have been issued, the worker can apply for a work permit. In the case of a visa-exempt immigrant – which is the case for most Europeans – the work permit application can be made on arrival in Canada. By using this stream, employers, therefore, have the possibility of recruiting IT talent in a matter of weeks.

In conclusion, a European is also able to obtain a work permit, under this program, in 3 weeks. With the recent reforms, the initial permit can now be issued for a period of 3 years using this stream!

Global Talents: a star billing for IT jobs

The Global Talent program (Stream B of the program) sets out a list of professions eligible to obtain a LMIA in 10 working days. These professions are the following:

– Computer and information systems managers
– Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
– Mathematicians and statisticians
– Information systems analysts and consultants
– Database analysts and data administrators
– Software engineers and designers
– Computer programmers and interactive media developers
– Web designers and developers
– Computer network technicians
– Information systems testing technicians
– Producer, technical, creative and artistic director and project manager – Visual effects and video game
– Digital media designers

As with all LMIA applications, different conditions are to be respected. Amongst others, the worker’s salary, professional experience, or expertise.

The LMIA within the Global Talent Stream is a tool that should be known to employers of IT talents.

Accelerated processing of work permit applications

If some immigrants are able to obtain their work permit directly on arrival in Canada by presenting their LMIA/CAQ, in most cases, the application is submitted online at the Embassy of the candidate’s residence. Each embassy has its own processing times.

Under the Global Talent program, once the LMIA/CAQ has been issued, it is possible to apply, for an application made outside of Canada, for accelerated processing of the work permit in 14 working days.

This advantage is limited to jobs of the A and O categories. In the fields of Web, IT, computers, and video games, all the jobs from the preceding list answer these criteria

Therefore, the following jobs are an example of the A Category:

– Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
– Information systems analysts and consultants
– Software engineers and designers
– Web designers and developers

Obligations for employers

In order to take advantage of the Global Talent Stream, employers must create a Labour Market Benefits Plan (LMBP).

The LMBP aims to define the manner in which the recruitment of a highly qualified worker will contribute to the Canadian economy. Employers can therefore record their investment forecasts for the creation of jobs, training, or indeed the development of skills for their IT talents.

Attractive arrangements for skilled workers

These immigration paths, together with the attraction of the province, encourage highly skilled temporary foreign workers to come to Quebec.

The latter meets the needs for labour in the province, enabling companies to develop their activities, thus making the metropolitan community of Montreal ever more attractive to international talents.


Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash


This article contains general information regarding immigration, is intended to provide a general understanding of the terms and does not constitute legal advice. For complete legal advice, contact our professionals.

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