Quebec’s ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI) implemented certain provisions on June 01, 2012. These provisions enabled some work permit holders present in Quebec to submit an application to renew or extend their work authorisations in Canada, without the employer having to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) / Service Canada (SC) and ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI).
All provinces and territories (PTs) in Canada have signed immigration agreements with Canada except Nunavut and Quebec. These agreements enable them to nominate foreign nationals who intend to establish themselves permanently in a province or territory (PT) through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).
Officers might not deal with situations that do not have such an agreement. In this scenario, R205 (a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) enables officers to issue Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)-exempt work permits to certain individuals for whose jobs the authorities issued the work permits would create or maintain significant social, cultural or economic benefits or opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
Quebec selects its foreign nationals under the following programs:
- Programme régulier des travailleurs qualifiés (PRTQ) and,
- Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ)
Quebec would like some of its selected foreign nationals to obtain extended work authorisations with the current employers or renewed with new employers without having to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This is especially so for foreign nationals who:
- Have a valid work permit and,
- Currently reside in the province of Quebec
The Current Process
The Agreements Section outlines current policy guidelines for the issuance of Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)-exempt work permits for foreign nationals selected by a province that does not have a Federal-Provincial Nomination Agreement.
Certain elements under the heading ‘2. Foreign Worker Nominated by a Province or Territory (PNP)’ will apply to designated Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ) holders in Quebec for this process. These elements specify that:
- Officers can issue work permits to applicants without obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). However, they would do so only if the individual:
- Has been nominated by a province or territory for permanent residence and,
- Is employed or has a job offer from an employer based in that province
- To apply this provision, the applicant would need to include a letter from the provincial or territorial government along with the application for the work permit
- This letter would typically contain a confirmation that the province has nominated the foreign national for permanent residence
- The duration of the work permit would need to be equivalent to the duration of the job offer
- The legislative authority for the exemption is R205 (a) for provinces and territories (PTs) without nominee agreements
The Additional Conditions Applicable for Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ) Holders in Quebec
Applicants holding a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ) under the Quebec Skilled Worker Class and currently residing in Quebec would need to fall under one of the following categories. They would need to:
- Be seeking an extension of their work permits for their current employers
- Be seeking to renew their current work authorisations with new employers in the province of Quebec
- Be foreign students with post-graduation work permits and job offers in the province of Quebec or,
- Be work permit holders through participation in one of the following programs under the International Experience Canada (IEC) program
- Working holiday
- 18-month Young Professionals co-op
- Co-op (i.e. internship)
In addition, they would also need to seek an extension for their work permits with the current employer. Alternatively, they would need to seek a renewal of their work authorisations with a new employer in Quebec.
The Operational Instructions
- The applicant would need to be a resident of Quebec currently
- The work permit must be valid for the duration of the job offer and must not exceed two years
- This time limit would enable the applicant to have sufficient time for submitting an application for permanent residence before the expiry of the work permit
- Officers would need to issue the work permits under the authority provided by R205 (a) with the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemption code of C10
- The application must include copies of the Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ) and the job offer to work in Quebec
- In addition, the Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ) would need to indicate one of the following in Section 9 (Catégorie):
- Travailleurs qualifies
- PEQ Travailleurs or,
- PEQ Étudiants
- Officers would only be able to issue employer-specific work permits i.e. they would not be able to issue open work permits
Officers would need to issue open work permits to spouses or common-law partners who are accompanying the principal applicant and who are currently in Canada. These work permits must be valid for the duration of the work permit of the principal applicant’s work permits. This is regardless of the skill level of the principal applicant’s occupation. The exemption code applicable would be C10.
Source: Citizenship and Immigration