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Quebec announces deals to help hire and retain temporary foreign workers

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Canada’s government announced today that it is taking steps to make it easier for Quebecers to find temporary workers.

After months of negotiations, Quebec reached an agreement to partner with the Canadian federal government in order to implement three new measures that will help businesses and employers facing shortages of labour. Quebec is the first province to sign such an agreement with Ottawa in order to address its current workforce crisis. The economy has been recovering, and labour shortages in Quebec have worsened since the pandemic.

These are the three new measures to be implemented over the next few weeks:

Making the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, (TFWP), more flexible in order to facilitate hiring

Access to an open work permit is available for holders of a Certificate de sélection du Quebec (CSQ), who are awaiting permanent residence in Quebec.

Holders of CSQs from abroad who are awaiting permanent residency will be issued a work permit.

Receive a free consultation about obtaining a Canadian Work Permit

Program for Temporary Foreign Workers

Companies can currently hire foreign workers at a rate 10% of their workforce. This percentage will increase to 20%.

Certain sectors of activity will see an increase in the number of temporary foreign workers allowed per job. This will also include some low-skilled occupations that are in high demand and those who can be facilitated processed. According to today’s press release, the Quebec government will collaborate with the Commission des partenaires du marche du travail, a provincial consultative body that brings together labor market stakeholders, in order to identify which sectors will be benefited from this measure.

Open Work Permit to Permanent Residence Applicants

Ottawa also approved Quebec’s request for a measure to allow temporary foreign workers to work in Quebec while they wait to become permanent residents.

Temporary foreign workers may be granted a bridging work permit that allows them to continue their work while they wait for a decision on whether or not they are eligible for permanent residence. This permit was not available to workers who applied through Quebec.

Receive a free consultation about obtaining a Canadian Work Permit

Workers who have a CSQ (skilled worker) and have a receipt confirming that the federal government has received their application for permanent residency will be eligible to apply for an open work permit.

The initial duration of the work permit is 24 months. It can be renewed for another 12 months. The restriction will be that the work permit must be used in Quebec.

An open work permit can also be obtained by the spouse or partner of the principal applicant, regardless of their level of employment.

International Mobility Program Plus

The federal government and Quebec have also agreed to create a new pathway through the International Mobility Program (IMP). This would be known as IMP+. It would allow for an annual issuance 7,000 work permits that are exempted from Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA) for some CSQ holders still in Canada. These individuals will be able to arrive in Quebec faster to find employment or meet their labour needs in key sectors of the Quebec economy through IMP+.

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