January 11, 2024

Quebec Streamlines Hiring of Foreign Workers

Quebec's vibrant economy and dynamic business landscape often require employers to look beyond the local talent pool to find the skilled workers they need. Hiring foreign workers can be an effective way to fill essential roles, but the process can be complex and time-consuming. Fortunately, there are ways for Quebec employers to expedite the hiring of foreign workers, saving time and resources while ensuring compliance with regulations.

Exemptions and Streamlined Processes

One of the key advantages for employers in Quebec is the exemption from advertising requirements for certain occupations. This means that employers don't need to publicly advertise the position before hiring a foreign worker, which can significantly reduce the hiring timeframe. Currently, certain TEER 4 and 5 occupations are exempt from advertising requirements until December 31st, 2024. These occupations are typically in high demand and have low unemployment rates, making it difficult to find qualified Canadian candidates.

Additionally, Quebec offers a facilitated work permit process that can expedite the LMIA application process for certain occupations. This process typically takes 10 business days, compared to the standard 4-6 months for non-facilitated LMIA applications. To be eligible, the occupation must be on the list of approved facilitated occupations, and the employer must meet all other LMIA requirements.

General Requirements for Hiring Foreign Workers

While certain exemptions and streamlined processes exist, all employers in Quebec must still adhere to specific requirements when hiring foreign workers. These include:

  1. Obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA): This document demonstrates that hiring a foreign worker won't negatively impact the Canadian labour market. It involves proving that there are no qualified Canadians or permanent residents available for the position and that the foreign worker's salary and benefits meet federal and provincial standards.
  2. Ensuring the worker meets educational and experience requirements: The foreign worker must possess the necessary qualifications and experience outlined for the position and the National Occupation Classification (NOC).
  3. Providing a transition plan: For high-wage LMIA applications, employers must submit a transition plan outlining how they plan to transition to a Canadian workforce over time. However, under the facilitated process, this requirement only applies for second or subsequent LMIA applications submitted for the same occupation and location.
  4. Demonstrating best efforts to recruit Canadians: Although advertising isn't required for certain occupations, employers should still make their best attempts to recruit Canadian citizens and permanent residents before hiring a foreign worker.

Benefits of Hiring Foreign Workers

Hiring foreign workers can offer several benefits for Quebec employers, including:

  1. Access to a wider talent pool: Businesses aren't limited to local candidates and can access skilled individuals from around the world, leading to a more diverse and qualified workforce.
  2. Filling critical skill shortages: In sectors experiencing labor shortages, foreign workers can help fill essential roles and ensure business continuity.
  3. Boosting economic growth: Foreign workers contribute to the local economy by paying taxes, spending money on goods and services, and investing in communities.

By understanding the regulations and utilizing available exemptions and streamlined processes, Quebec employers can expedite the hiring of foreign workers and build a strong and diverse workforce. It's crucial to stay informed about current requirements and seek professional assistance when needed. With careful planning and adherence to regulations, employers can leverage the benefits of foreign workers while contributing to the success of Quebec's economy.

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