The Quebec Ministry of Immigration recently released its latest list of occupations eligible for simplified Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) processing. Briefly, LMIAs must be obtained by certain employers who intend to hire temporary foreign workers for their business. These documents are designed to provide assess the hiring of a temporary foreign worker and verify that the hire will have either a neutral or positive impact on Canada’s labour market.
According to the Government of Quebec, the list, which affects salaried workers and not those who are self-employed, “applies to all of Quebec and takes into account the labour needs of all regions.” In the last two years, the number of eligible jobs has grown by more than 100 occupations. The list of eligible occupations for 2023 now includes over 300 job titles, just two years after being at 181 total positions in 2021.
Note: Although the occupation list for 2023 took effect on February 24, Quebec employers and their representatives are granted a transitional grace period, during which LMIA applications “may be examined on the basis of last year’s eligible occupations list.” This transitional period ends on March 24, 2023.
How LMIAs differ in Quebec compared to the rest of Canada
LMIA applications made by employers in Quebec must be approved by both the provincial government and the federal government. Therefore, Quebec-based LMIA applicants must “simultaneously submit [an LMIA] application” to both governments and send in the required documents.
Any applications that are not submitted simultaneously to the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec will be rejected.
LMIA changes in line with NOC 2021
Since the last update made to Quebec’s occupation list in 2022, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has transitioned from the National Occupation Classification 2016 (NOC 2016) system to an updated NOC 2021 version.
In line with this transition, as noted by the Government of Quebec, “LMIA applications received on or after [November 16, 2022] will be processed according to NOC 2021.” As it is now March 2023, all applications will be processed using the updated NOC 2021 system.
General eligibility conditions for simplified LMIA processing in Quebec
The province of Quebec outlines three general conditions that must be met by all employers seeking to hire foreign workers through a simplified LMIA.
1. Offer competitive working conditions
From salary to working conditions, Quebec employers must offer a working environment that is “equivalent” to what is offered to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident “for a similar job [in that] sector.”
In their LMIA application, employers are required to describe the job offered in a way that reflects the “conditions and requirements of people already employed in [a particular] field.”
2. Comply with laws and regulations
Employers seeking an LMIA with simplified processing are required to prove that their business:
- Exists in Quebec
- Can meet all the conditions (financial and material) included in the job offer
- Is free of convictions for offences listed in section 99 of Quebec’s immigration regulations going back two years from the date of application submission
- Is offering a job that meets legitimate labour needs
- Is offering a job that does not negatively impact the province’s labour market
3. Provide health insurance
Quebec employers must provide free medical coverage, including for urgent care, until the hired worker is eligible for coverage from the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ).
Additional eligibility criteria for low-wage positions in Quebec
Employers offering a low-wage position – where the hourly wage is less than the median in Quebec ($25) – must meet the following three conditions in addition to the above:
Employers must either help their temporary workers find “suitable and affordable housing” or provide it for them.
Employers are required to cover any costs related to round-trip plane tickets required by the temporary worker to travel from their country of permanent residence to their place of work in Quebec.
3. Health insurance
In addition to the above health insurance conditions, low-wage workers must be supported by coverage that is equal to that of the RAMQ plan until they are eligible for RAMQ coverage.
Simplified LMIA processing exclusions
The following types of employment are excluded from eligibility for simplified LMIA processing:
- Jobs that “will be occupied by a temporary worker who exercises control over [the] business”
- Jobs that meet the labour needs of a third-party client, person or public body rather than the employer
- Jobs that interfere “with or are likely to interfere with [an ongoing] labour dispute settlement (strike) in the place
- Jobs that harm “or [are] likely to harm [any persons] affected by a labour dispute”
- Jobs that conflict with Chapter C-27 of Quebec’s Labour Code
- Jobs that are in industries ineligible for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Source : cicnews.com