LMO Exemption for Some Quebec CSQ Holders and Francophones

On June 1, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) introduced two new Labour Market Opinion (“LMO”) exemptions.  The first is for some Certificat de sélection du Québec (“CSQ”) holders.   The second is for certain francophones intending to work outside of Quebec.  As well, on June 11, 2012, CIC updated its re-configuring of the U.S.processing network.

LMO Exemption for Some CSQ Holders

Effective June 1, 2012, temporary foreign workers residing in Quebec who hold a skilled CSQ and who are waiting for a decision in regards to their applications for permanent residency will be able to renew their work permits without having to obtain LMOs.  Such applicants must either be:

  • seeking to extend their work permit for their current employer; or
  • seeking to renew their current work authorization with a new employer in theprovinceofQuebec; or
  • be a foreign student who has obtained a post-graduation work permit and has a job offer in theprovinceofQuebec; or
  • be a work permit holder through the International ExperienceCanadaprogram.

The work permits will be valid for the duration of the job offer and cannot exceed two years.

Only employer-specific work permits may be issued.


Quebec Caps Economic Immigration

Quebec Caps Economic Immigration

On March 21, 2012, the Government of Quebec announced that it is capping the maximum number of applications that it will receive in its economic programs.  The programs that will be subject to a cap are the Quebec Investor Program, the Quebec Entrepreneur Program, the Quebec Self-Employed Worker Program, and the Quebec Skilled Worker Program .  The introduction of the caps follows a dramatic increase in applications to these programs following the implementation of caps to corresponding federal programs.

The caps will last from March 21, 2012 to March 31, 2013.

During this time, the maximum number of applicants that can apply to immigrate to Quebec in the business stream are:

  • Investors – 2700
  • Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed Workers – 215

Meanwhile, for the purpose of determining the cap, the Quebec Skilled Worker Program has been divided into three groups.

There will be no limit on the number of people who can apply to the Quebec Skilled Worker Program – Group 1.  To be eligible for Group 1, an applicant must be (please note that most of the following requirements contain specific additional provisions that are beyond the scope of this bulletin):

  • A temporary foreign worker in Quebec who meets the requirements of the Quebec Experience Class (“PEQ”);
  • A foreign graduate in Quebec who meets the eligibility requirements of the PEQ;
  • A foreign student in Quebec who is eligible to apply for a selection certificate under the regular skilled workers program;
  • A participant in Quebec under an International Experience Canada program who is eligible to apply under the regular skilled worker program;
  • A recent graduate in an area of training that is eligible for 12 or 16 points under the Quebec Skilled Worker Program selection grid;
  • In possession of an employment offer made by a Quebec employer which has been validated by the Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles;
  • Be someone who has an application for permanent residence in Canada in processing that Citizenship and Immigration Canada has determined is admissible for processing; or
  • Be a former Canadian citizen residing in Quebec who is submitting an application in Quebec.

Only 14,300 people will be eligible to apply to the Quebec Skilled Worker Program – Group 2.  To be eligible for Group 2, an applicant must be:

  • A recent graduate in a field of training that is eligible for 6 points under the Quebec Skilled Worker Program selection grid; or
  • A recent graduate from a Quebec institution.

Group 3 will consist of individuals who used to be eligible for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program but do not fall under Group 1 or Group 2.  The Government of Quebec will not accept applications from these individuals this year.

More information about the cap can be found on the Government of Quebec website here: http://www.immigration-quebec.gouv.qc.ca/en/informations/applications-receipt.html

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about this change.


Who are the Quebec Investors?

The Quebec government has data regarding the amount of people applying to immigrate to Canada under the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program.  The data contains interesting trends about who is using the program.

The first thing to note is the dramatic rise in the number of people applying to the program from June 2010 to January 2011, followed by the collapse in the number of applicants.  Those familiar with Canadian immigration knew that the Quebec from benefited greatly from the close of the Federal Investor Program in 2010.  This chart confirms that.  It will be interesting to see whether there will be a similar increase in the number of applicants now that there is a moratorium on Federal Investor applications.

The second thing, which was obvious to everyone familiar with immigration, is how dominant Asia and the Middle East are in terms of source countries for investor immigrants.

What would be especially interesting to know would be the distribution of investor immigrants among the facilitator banks.  However, to my knowledge, such data has never been made publicly available.


Quebec Regulates Immigration Consultants

Fresh off the heals of the Federal Government introducing new regulations for immigration consultants, the Quebec government has announced similar regulations that will come into force effective November 4, 2010.

The regulations, which are outlined in the Gazette, contain the following provisions of interest:

  • The regulations do not apply to members of the Quebec bar, or members of another bar who are authorized to practice in Quebec.
  • All immigration consultants must pass a test on Quebec immigration consultants.
  • All immigration consultants must be proficient in French, the standards of which are specified in the regulations.
  • An immigration consultant must pay $1000 every two years to keep his/her license.
  • There must be a “mandate” (which sounds like a retainer) with each client.

Requiring that immigration consultants be proficient in French is an interesting development. An individual will be proficient if he/she can show that he/she has:

  • passed an examination recognized by the Minister;
  • received, on a full-time basis, no less than 3 years of secondary or post-secondary instruction provided in French;
  • passed the fourth or fifth year secondary level examinations in French as the first language; or
  • obtained a secondary school certificate in Québec from and after the school year 1985-1986.

What do you think? Is it fair to require that immigration consultants be proficient in French (or English for the rest of Canada for that matter) even if their individual lack of proficiency does not prevent their firm from completing applications?