On 24th February 2020, Emploi-Québec in collaboration with the Quebec Immigration authority – Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration – published a new list of occupations that are entitled to premium processing of Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications. Typically, this list is updated annually to include all occupations for which employers do not have to advertise job vacancies before hiring foreign talent to occupy open positions.
In order to extend a job offer to a foreign national, Canadian employers need to apply for an LMIA. Before doing so, the employer must prove that they have sufficiently advertised the job vacancy and made efforts towards recruiting workers who are already Canadian citizens or permanent residents. This may include advertising the open position for at least 28 days, interviewing suitable candidates, and proving that no existing Canadian worker is willing or able to be hired for the job. This justifies hiring a foreign worker to fill the position.
However, employers in Quebec who wish to hire workers for certain positions or occupations are not required to demonstrate evidence of advertising and recruitment activities. Thus, these employers can follow a ‘facilitated’ procedure for obtaining the LMIA. Occupations under which LMIAs can be facilitated are published on a list, after taking into account skills shortages in the province’s job market.
Occupations in this list are featured alongside their National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes. The NOC categorizes occupations on the basis of job duties and skill level. Unlike last year’s regional lists, this year’s list is based on labor market requirements across the province of Quebec, and includes 116 new occupations – such as bakers, architects, dentists, human resources and investment managers, etc. On the other hand, the following nine occupations, which were present in the previous list, have been excluded from the updated list:
The list of facilitated-LMIA occupations is extremely useful for those planning to apply for a Quebec immigration program, as it gives applicants – especially skilled workers – an idea of which occupations will have a more simplified and less time-consuming LMIA process. Those who wish to live and work in Quebec must make note of these changes, and check if their primary occupation features on the facilitated LMIA list.
The updated list is applicable with immediate effect. However, employers (or their representatives) will be granted a transitional period of 30 days, to allow for due examination of applications submitted according to the 2019 list. Receiving a job offer is a significant advantage in the Quebec immigration procedure, as it enhances the eligibility of a candidate. Candidates under the regular Skilled Worker Program – wherein eligibility is determined through a point-based system – can in fact avail additional points for having a job offer from an employer in Quebec.