Quebec immigration policies and the hurdle they create for employers in hiring foreign workers in this province

In October 2019, Province of Quebec pledged an additional $2.1 million to assist employers in efforts to recruit temporary foreign workers. Part of this investment is planned to be spent on reimbursing up to 50% of eligible recruitment expenses, including hiring of lawyers and immigration consultants recognized by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI), with the maximum cap of $1,200 in eligible expense. This came as a big news for small and medium size companies that are interested in hiring temporary workers from overseas as the procedure is costly and somehow complex in nature.

Quebec, known for its unique immigration requirements, makes it complicated and lengthy for foreign nationals to enter this province for work. Most foreign nationals need the Minister’s consent to stay in Quebec for temporary work and study, which is done through the Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ)- with an exemption for certain workers depending on their job conditions. This certificate must be issued before the foreign worker applies for work permit to the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The CAQ requirement exists for the spouses of foreign workers who have offers of employment in Quebec and the school age dependant children (6 years old or older) who are accompanying their parent to Canada. When it comes to applications filed under the Global Talent Stream, the employer should also take an extra step by filing the French version of the GTS application to MIFI (carrying employer’s original signature) at the same time as filing the English version of the application to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Note that MIFI requires all CAQ applications to be submitted with employee’s original signature as well. This creates extensive amount of extra work in preparing and submitting paper work to MIFI, whereas rest of Canada are unanimously handling the same procedure in a more modern, technological driven way.

All being said, Quebec’s immigration process is clearly more onerous compared to other provinces in Canada. Government’s new announcement to allocate more funds for this province is surely a positive step forward, but there are certainly other measures required to modify the foreign worker program in this province, modernize the system and cut down the processing time of applications.

You may click here for more information about the immigration procedures in Quebec.


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