Annually, the Ministry of Immigration in Quebec publishes an updated list of occupations eligible for simplified processing as it relates to using a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
This occurs because Quebec operates somewhat separately from the rest of the country with respect to immigration, governing its own rules, structure and programs for foreign nationals looking to make a home in Canada’s only majority French-language province.
More: Click here to view the 2023 list of occupations eligible for simplified LMIA processing in Quebec
What is an LMIA?
An LMIA is a document that proves the hiring of a temporary foreign worker will not have a negative impact on the Canadian labour market. In other words, certain employers looking to hire temporary foreign workers must request this document from the government and ensure that the intended hire will have either a positive or neutral national job market impact before giving the job to a temporary worker.
Note: The Government of Quebec notes that the 2023 simplified processing list of eligible occupations (more on that later) affects only salaried workers and not those who are self-employed
Here’s how LMIAs differ in Quebec versus the rest of Canada
To begin this article, it was clarified that Quebec has its own occupations list partially because this province operates its immigration policies independently from the rest of Canada.
Despite this, for the following two reasons, Quebec must still involve the federal government in its processing of LMIAs as it relates to the hiring of temporary foreign workers.
- Quebec-based employers must have their LMIA applications approved by both the provincial and federal governments
- Quebec-based LMIA applicants must submit their applications, including all required documents, to both governments simultaneously and failure to do so will result in immediate rejection
What’s new about the eligible occupations list for simplified LMIA processing in 2023?
In the last two years, the number of eligible jobs on Quebec’s list has grown by more than 100 occupations, now including over 300 total job titles (181 in 2021).
In addition, as of November 16, 2022, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) now uses an updated 2021 version of the National Occupation Classification (NOC) system. This means that all LMIA applications received after the transition date will be processed using the updated NOC 2021 system.
Simplified LMIA processing in Quebec: Eligibility
All employers looking to use simplified LMIA processing to hire temporary foreign workers must adhere to the following three conditions:
1. Offer a competitive working environment
Quebec-based employers looking to take advantage of the province’s simplified processing system for LMIAs must offer an “equivalent” working environment – from salary to working conditions – compared to that which is offered to Canadian citizens or permanent residents “for a similar job [in the same employment] sector.”
This requirement can be satisfied by taking time in an LMIA application to describe the job offered and including details related to “conditions and requirements of people already employed in [the particular] field.”
2. Comply with laws and regulations
To take advantage of simplified LMIA processing, employers in Quebec must prove that:
- Their business exists in Quebec
- The position offered meets all the listed conditions (financial and material)
- Their organization has not been convicted of any Section 99 offences according to Quebec’s immigration regulations*
- The position offered meets legitimate labour needs
- The position offered does not negatively impact the province’s labour market
*The organization must be free of any Section 99 convictions for the two years preceding the date of LMIA application submission
3. Provide health insurance
Quebec employers must provide the hired worker with free medical coverage until the individual is eligible for Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) coverage.
Specific eligibility criteria for low-wage positions seeking a simplified LMIA
In addition to the above eligibility criteria, employers seeking a simplified LMIA to hire a temporary foreign worker in a position where the hourly wage is less than the median in Quebec* must:
- Provide or help hired workers find “suitable and affordable housing”
*Low-wage positions, at the time of writing, are any position where the hourly wage is under $26
- Cover all round-trip transportation costs incurred by workers when travelling from their country of permanent residence to their place of work in Quebec
- Provide low-wage workers with coverage equivalent to the RAMQ plan until they are eligible for RAMQ coverage
What jobs are ineligible for simplified LMIA processing?
Any job is not eligible for simplified LMIA processing if it:
• “Will be occupied by a temporary worker who exercises control over [the] business”
• Meets the labour needs of a third-party client, person or public body instead of the employer
• Interferes “or [is] likely to interfere with [an ongoing] labour dispute settlement (strike)”
• May harm “[any persons] affected by a labour dispute”
• Conflicts with Chapter C-27 of Quebec’s Labour Code
• Is in an industry deemed ineligible for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program