Vimal Sivakumar - 22 March, 2023
The list of eligible occupations for this year was released by Quebec's Ministry of Immigration on February 24, 2023.
The purpose of a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is to verify that the hiring of a temporary foreign worker will not have a negative impact on Canada's labour market.
In some cases, employers hiring for certain roles are eligible for simplified LMIA processing in Quebec, although the occupations that are eligible change every year. This year, more than 300 jobs appear on the province's list, up from 181 only two years ago. The Government of Quebec notes that the list of occupations “applies to all of Quebec and takes into account the labour needs of all regions.”
Notably, Quebec employers and their representatives are given a one-month grace period after the new occupations list comes into effect every year. During this time, submitted LMIA applications “may be examined [based on] last year’s ... list” [of eligible occupations]. The 2023 grace period ends on March 24 this year.
For the first time, Quebec will be processing LMIA applications in line with a new National Occupation Classification (NOC) system. Since the last occupations list update on February 24, 2022, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has transitioned to an updated NOC 2021 system. This NOC system will be used to assess all LMIA applications going forward.
Eligibility criteria for simplified LMIA processing
All employers looking to take advantage of simplified LMIA processing must adhere to the following three conditions:
1. Employers must offer competitive working conditions (salary etc.) that are equal to what would be offered to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident employed in a similar role within the same employment sector
2. Employers must prove that their business complies with provincial laws and regulations
3. Employers must provide temporary foreign workers with free medical coverage (including urgent care) for as long as they are ineligible for Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) coverage
Additional eligibility criteria must be met by employers offering low-wage positions to temporary foreign workers in Quebec.
Quebec LMIAs involve a two-step approval process
Quebec-based employers are required to have their LMIA applications simultaneously approved by both the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec. Any applications that are not simultaneously submitted to both government bodies will be rejected.
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