Quebec workplaces can now have up to 20% temporary foreign workers on staff.

A previously-announced measure allowing Quebec employers to recruit more temporary foreign workers took effect on January 10.

Quebec workplaces can now support staff of up to 20% temporary workers, up from 10%. The measure applies to business in the following specific sectors identified by Quebec:

  • Retail Trade excluding Food;
  • Accommodation and Food Services;
  • Food, Beverage and Tobacco Manufacturing;
  • Management of Companies and Enterprises and Administrative, Support and Other Services;
  • Health Care;
  • Forestry and Logging;
  • Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing;
  • Plastic and Rubber Product Manufacturing;
  • Wood Product Manufacturing.

This measure is the latest in a series of initiatives implemented by the province to provide increased flexibility for Quebec employers hiring under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).

On December 6, 2021, Quebec announced that certain low-skilled and unskilled occupations (level D) of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) were now exempt from the advertising and recruitment requirements of the TFWP.

On August 31, 2021, the government announced that temporary foreign workers who reside in Quebec and who have been selected by Quebec as skilled workers could apply for Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) to work for the employer of their choice while their application for permanent residence is processed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

A new pathway is also expected to be created under the International Mobility Program (IMP), to be called IMP+, which may lead to 7,000 LMIA-exempt work permits being issued per year to CSQ holders who are abroad. The IMP+ will allow these individuals to speed up their arrival in Quebec to take up employment and help fill labour needs in key sectors.

These changes are part of a pilot project that runs until December 31, 2024, and is designed to increase the number of temporary foreign workers in Quebec businesses that face a critical need for employees.

Quebec ended 2021 with the lowest unemployment rate in Canada at 4.6%. Nationally, the unemployment rate was 5.9% in December, close to its pre-pandemic level, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada.

How to Hire a Temporary Foreign Worker in Quebec

It is the employer’s responsibility to initiate and complete the initial immigration process. Generally, an offer of employment is the first step in the recruitment process.

With the exception of occupations exempted from a Labour Market Impact Assessment, you will need an LMIA and a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) for the prospective employee.

The employee will need to apply for a work permit from IRCC. To apply for a work permit, the worker will generally need documents such as a job offer letter, a contract, and a copy of the LMIA.

An LMIA is a document, provided by Employment and Social Development Canada, that allows a foreign national to be hired under the TFWP. A positive LMIA indicates that no Canadian worker or permanent resident is available for the proposed job.

Upon arrival in Canada, the foreign worker will need to report to the border services office to obtain a temporary work permit and then begin work.

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