Quebec has released its 2023 list of jobs eligible for simplified Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) processing. This list affects salaried workers, but not those who are self-employed, and applies to all of Quebec. It takes into account the labour needs of all regions and has grown by more than 100 occupations in the last two years. The list of eligible occupations for 2023 now includes over 300 job titles, up from 181 in 2021. The Quebec government offers a transitional grace period to employers and their representatives, during which LMIA applications may be examined based on last year’s eligible occupations list. This grace period ends on March 24, 2023.
The LMIA Process in Quebec is Different From the Rest of Canada
LMIA applications made by employers in Quebec must be approved by both the provincial and federal governments. Therefore, Quebec-based LMIA applicants must simultaneously submit an LMIA application to both governments and provide the required documents. Any applications that are not submitted simultaneously will be rejected.
Adjustments to LMIA Aligned with NOC 2021
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, all LMIA applications received on or after November 16, 2022, will be processed according to NOC 2021.
General Eligibility Criteria 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. The first is offering competitive working conditions, where 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. The second condition is complying with laws and regulations, where employers seeking an LMIA with simplified processing are required to prove that their business exists in Quebec, can meet all the conditions 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 and does not negatively impact the province’s labour market. The third condition is providing health insurance, where Quebec employers must provide free medical coverage until the hired worker is eligible for coverage from the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec.
Employers offering a low-wage position, where the hourly wage is less than the median in Quebec ($25), must meet additional criteria, including housing, transportation, and health insurance. 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. Additionally, 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
Certain types of employment are excluded from eligibility for simplified LMIA processing, including 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 labour dispute settlements, 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, and jobs that are in industries ineligible for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
In conclusion, Quebec has released its 2023 list of jobs eligible for simplified LMIA processing. Employers seeking to hire temporary foreign workers in Quebec must comply with certain conditions outlined by the province of Quebec. Additionally, LMIA applications made by Quebec employers must be approved by both the provincial and federal governments. It is important for employers to understand the eligibility criteria and exclusions.