On February 24, 2023, Quebec revealed its latest list of jobs eligible for simplified Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) processing. The Quebec Ministry of Immigration frequently updates this list to reflect the ever-changing labor market demands in the province. In this article, we'll delve into the details of the new occupations list and its implications for employers and temporary foreign workers in Quebec.
- Expanded List of Eligible Occupations: Quebec's 2023 list of jobs eligible for simplified LMIA processing now includes over 300 job titles, addressing the diverse labor needs across the province.
- Transitional Grace Period: Until March 24, 2023, Quebec employers can still have their LMIA applications assessed based on the previous year's eligible occupations list.
- Dual Government Approval: LMIA applications in Quebec require approval from provincial and federal governments, and applicants must submit their documents to both simultaneously.
- Updated NOC System: Since November 16, 2022, all LMIA applications have been processed according to the updated NOC 2021 system, reflecting current occupation classifications.
- Eligibility Criteria and Exclusions: Employers must meet specific criteria for simplified LMIA processing, including offering competitive working conditions, compliance with laws and regulations, and provision of health insurance. Certain types of employment are excluded from simplified LMIA processing.
- Growth in Eligible Occupations for 2023
- Transitional Grace Period for LMIA Applications
- Distinct LMIA Process in Quebec
- Adoption of NOC 2021
- General Eligibility Criteria for Simplified LMIA Processing in Quebec
- Offer Competitive Working Conditions:
- Compliance with Laws and Regulations:
- Provision of Health Insurance:
- Additional Criteria for Low-Wage Positions
- Exclusions from Simplified LMIA Processing
Growth in Eligible Occupations for 2023
Over the past two years, Quebec's list of eligible occupations has expanded by more than 100 jobs. As a result, the list comprises over 300 job titles, significantly increasing from the 181 positions in 2021. This expanded list addresses the labor needs of all regions in Quebec and applies to salaried workers, excluding self-employed individuals.
Transitional Grace Period for LMIA Applications
While the new occupation list took effect on February 24, Quebec employers and their representatives are granted a transitional grace period. During this time, LMIA applications may still be assessed based on the previous year's eligible occupations list. The transitional period will end on March 24, 2023.
Distinct LMIA Process in Quebec
Unlike other Canadian provinces, LMIA applications in Quebec require approval from both the provincial and federal governments. As such, Quebec-based LMIA applicants must submit their applications and required documents to both governments simultaneously. Failure to do so will result in the rejection of the application.
Adoption of NOC 2021
Since the last update in 2022, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have transitioned from the National Occupation Classification 2016 (NOC 2016) system to the updated NOC 2021 version. As of November 16, 2022, all LMIA applications will be processed according to NOC 2021.
General Eligibility Criteria for Simplified LMIA Processing in Quebec
To qualify for simplified LMIA processing in Quebec, employers must meet three general conditions:
Offer Competitive Working Conditions:
Employers must provide working conditions, including salary, comparable to those offered to Canadian citizens or permanent residents for similar jobs in the same sector.
Compliance with Laws and Regulations:
Employers must prove their business's existence in Quebec, demonstrate the ability to meet all job offer conditions, have no convictions for offenses listed in section 99 of Quebec's immigration regulations within the past two years, and offer jobs that meet legitimate labor needs without negatively impacting the province's labor market.
Provision of Health Insurance:
Employers must supply free medical coverage, including urgent care until the hired worker becomes eligible for coverage from the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ).
Additional Criteria for Low-Wage Positions
For low-wage positions (hourly wage below Quebec's median of $25), employers must also fulfill the following conditions:
Employers must help temporary workers find suitable and affordable housing or provide it themselves.
Employers must cover round-trip airfare expenses for temporary workers traveling between their country of permanent residence and their workplace in Quebec.
Extended Health Insurance:
Employers must provide low-wage workers with health insurance coverage equivalent to the RAMQ plan until they become eligible for RAMQ coverage.
Exclusions from Simplified LMIA Processing
Certain types of employment are ineligible for simplified LMIA processing, including:
- Jobs occupied by temporary workers who control the business
- Jobs that meet the labor needs of a third-party client, person, or public body instead of the employer
- Jobs that interfere with or are likely to interfere with ongoing labor dispute settlements (strikes) in the workplace
- Jobs that harm or are likely to harm individuals affected by a labor dispute
- Jobs that conflict with Chapter C-27 of Quebec's Labour Code
- Jobs in industries not eligible for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Quebec's 2023 list of jobs eligible for simplified LMIA processing reflects the evolving labor market needs in the province. With an expanded range of eligible occupations, employers in Quebec have more significant opportunities to hire temporary foreign workers to fill their labor gaps.
Employers must stay informed about the general and specific eligibility criteria and any exclusions from the simplified LMIA processing. By adhering to these requirements, employers can ensure a smoother application process and contribute to a healthier labor market in Quebec.
In summary, the updated list of eligible occupations and the streamlined LMIA process provides a more accessible path for Quebec-based employers to hire temporary foreign workers. In addition, by offering competitive working conditions, complying with laws and regulations, and providing essential benefits such as health insurance, housing assistance, and transportation coverage, employers can successfully navigate the simplified LMIA process and strengthen their workforce.