Whether you're a company looking to hire from abroad, or an individual living abroad and planning to immigrate to Canada, we can provide you with information and support you throughout the process.
While many questions can be answered with the help of the guides, sample letters and forms in our legal toolkit, an independent jurist affiliated with PSP Legal will always be happy to help you by answering any questions you may have.
Of course, if you prefer to have an experienced practitioner take charge of your situation and intervene directly and quickly on your behalf, you can also request that one of the independent jurists affiliated with PSP Legal represent you by clicking here.
The two-step process
It's always a good idea to remember that Canada's Constitution gives jurisdiction over immigration matters to both levels of government, which necessarily means that applications must be made to both the federal government (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) and the provincial government (Immigration, Francisation et Intégration Québec).
Thus, skilled workers, temporary workers, business people and foreign students will begin the process with Immigration, Francisation et Intégration Québec to be selected either permanently (i.e. by obtaining the Québec selection certificate) or temporarily (i.e. by obtaining the Québec acceptance certificate).
Once selected by Quebec, the applicant can continue the process with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, which will verify his or her health and conduct a security screening. Since the federal government is solely responsible for admitting foreign nationals to Canada, it is important to understand that the Certificat de sélection du Québec alone does not give the holder any status in Canada.
Temporary foreign workers
Temporary work permits are generally limited to a specific job within a given company. The duration of such a permit cannot exceed a maximum of four years. The immigration process varies according to the type of job the applicant wishes to occupy. For example, certain professions are exempt from work permit requirements. These include athletes and their coaches, emergency service providers, military personnel, performing artists and foreign students.
Applicants whose occupation is not on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada list will need to obtain a work permit. It should be noted that some jobs are subject to a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which means that the employer will have to apply to the federal and provincial governments at the same time as the applicant.
For jobs exempt from LMIA, the applicant may exceptionally apply directly to the federal government for a work permit.
Those wishing to settle permanently and work in Quebec should familiarize themselves with the Regular Skilled Worker Program (PRTQ). Quebec has exclusive jurisdiction over the selection of permanent workers. Training, work experience, age, knowledge of Canada's official languages and financial self-sufficiency are among the criteria that the Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Intégration takes into consideration when reviewing applications.
As of 2019, the permanent selection process at PRTQ proceeds in four stages:
- Submission of an expression of interest by the prospective immigrant;
- The file is compiled and sent;
- Selection interview, if applicable;
- Issuance of the Certificat de sélection du Québec.
Once these four steps have been completed, the candidate will be able to submit an application for permanent residency to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, which will evaluate his or her medical file and conduct a criminal record check.
The Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Intégration offers three programs for people wishing to immigrate to Quebec and start a business here:
- Entrepreneur Program ;
- Investor Program; and
- Self-employed program.
Depending on the program under which the applicant is applying, the Ministère will examine, among other things, the applicant's intention to settle in Quebec, management experience, investment agreement, level of education, language skills, net worth and business plan.
Hiring a foreign worker
Before bringing in a worker from abroad, employers must ensure that their labour needs cannot be met by the workforce available in Quebec.
It is then up to the employer to check whether the job he intends to offer is exempt from the requirement to obtain a work permit and a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). He should also consider whether the foreign worker he intends to bring in is exempt from the requirement to obtain the Ministère's consent to stay in Quebec for the purpose of temporary employment.
In the event that an EIMT is requested, the employer must submit an application to Services Canada (federal level) and to the Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Intégration.
For example, the employer will have to demonstrate to the federal government that it has made reasonable efforts to meet its labour needs using workers already present in Quebec. To do this, the employer can send Services Canada copies of resumes received and records of interviews conducted.
Once the LMIA has been accepted, the employer will receive a decision letter signed jointly by the two levels of government. It is the employer's responsibility to forward this letter to the foreign national. The foreign national will then obtain a Certificate of Acceptance from the Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Intégration, and apply to the federal government for permanent residency.
It should be noted that a simplified procedure is available for employers who are exempt from EIMT. In this case, the employer will only need to provide the job offer number generated by the Employer Portal and proof of payment of the required fees.
How we can help
Our legal toolkit includes a variety of online resources and links to templates and guides to help you better understand your obligations.
However, should the Legal Toolkit prove insufficient in your situation, you can obtain additional assistance by speaking with one of PSP Legal's affiliated jurists:
Of course, if you prefer to have an experienced practitioner handle your situation, you can always request that one of the independent jurists affiliated with PSP Legal intervene on your behalf by clicking here. He or she will then be able to intervene directly and rapidly on your behalf by:
- Preparing, negotiating and drafting applications, procedures or any other legal documents related to your situation;
- Assisting and advising you on your legal rights and obligations;
- Representing you before the courts when legal action is taken;
- Guiding you through the choices available to you, leading to a fair and satisfactory solution.
PSP Legal, because you deserve expert advice!
Subscribe to our newsletter