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Temporary immigration: major changes for Quebec employers

Équipe Immétis - 06/20/2022

While the labor shortage in Quebec is at the heart of economic concerns, many employers are turning to immigration to solve this issue.

Major changes have recently been introduced to make international recruitment easier in Quebec, while protecting the foreign workers.

Recruiting a foreign worker: basic notions

The general rule when recruiting a foreign worker and obtaining a work permit is to prove that recruiting the worker won’t have a negative impact on the Canadian labor market. This process is called a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). In Quebec, this is done at the same time as the application for the Certificate of Acceptation for Quebec (CAQ).

In this program, the employer must prove that he/she has not been able to recruit locally, by posting the job offer on several search engines. Well, in Quebec, 300 professions are exempt from this posting.

Employers should know about the LMIA under the facilitated process in Quebec.

The Facilitated process in Quebec

This process is available on the basis of a list of professions in demand in the province, revised each year on 24 February. The list is drawn up by Emploi Quebec, together with the MIFI (Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration).

The facilitated process in Quebec does not exempt the employer from presenting an LMIA, but he/she does not have to present the proof in the application of efforts made to recruit beforehand. Once a positive LMIA and CAQ have been issued, the foreign worker can be issued with a work permit valid for up to 36 months, whatever the profession on the list.

As of 24 May 2022, Quebec has made changes targeting wider access to this process, while guaranteeing better protection, and integration, of the foreign workers.

Broadening of access to facilitated process

58 new Category C unskilled professions, which are usually not eligible for the facilitated process, have been added to the list and now benefit from the facilitated process.

Figuring among these 58 professions are those in high shortage, such as:

Retail:
– Retail salespeople
– Warehouse workers
– Warehouse clerks

Health sector:
– Person in charge of beneficiaries
– Dentist assistants

Manufacturing
– Mechanical equipment fitters and inspectors
– Assemblers, finishers, and inspectors of plastic products
– Machine operators

Median salary of reference in Quebec

The median salary of reference in Quebec, regularly updated to keep up with the economic realities of the province, is 25$ / hour, compared to 23,08$ before 30 April 2022. This salary is henceforth the only indicator to be considered by an employer, to know if he/she should follow the requirements of a low salary or high salary LMIA, and this, whether the profession is on the facilitated process list in Quebec or not, and whatever the level of qualification (A,B, C or D).

For example:
– For a 40-hour/week job, paid 51 000$ per annum, any profession will be considered as a low salary.

Employers’ obligations

Among the obligations the employer is responsible for within the framework of a low salary LMIA, the employer must:
– Take charge of the return plane tickets of the workers;
– Make sure the worker has decent accommodation in line with his/her means;
– Provide private health insurance until the worker is eligible for the RAMQ (Quebec Health Insurance).

Improvements that encourage the arrival of temporary foreign workers

These changes will encourage temporary foreign workers to come to Quebec, thus filling the labor requirements of the province. More Quebec employers, in many sectors, can therefore consider immigration more seriously as a solution to labor shortages.

At the same time, in the context of a worldwide labor shortage, with these measures ensuring better protection for foreign workers and guaranteeing them better wages, Canada remains a destination attracting more and more international talent.

For any questions regarding these changes, or their impact on your recruiting strategies and the hiring of temporary workers, our team remains at your disposal at info@immetis.com.

The current article is based on recent events and is liable to change at any time. The last update is dated 20 June 2021.

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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