New immigration policies to counter the shortage of skilled labour in Quebec

Concerns about the skilled labour shortage have led provincial and federal authorities to launch new policies aimed at simplifying and accelerating the immigration process for people in certain professions and trades. The list of professions eligible for simplified processing will also soon be expanded to include more high-demand occupations.

The Quebec and federal governments have agreed to ease measures for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), including by increasing the limit on the number of temporary workers per place of employment in certain sectors of activity. Measures to ease the TFWP will be in effect until December 31, 2023.

Additionally, as of late August, temporary foreign workers who hold a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Québec Selection Certificate) as skilled workers and who have submitted an application for permanent residence will be able to apply to the federal government for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP). This work permit, which was previously only available to permanent residents outside of Quebec, will now allow these workers to hold a job of their choice while they wait to obtain their permanent residence. They were previously required to have a job offer from an employer in Quebec before applying for a work permit, among other conditions.

Lastly, a new channel will be created under the International Mobility Program Plus (IMP+), allowing 7,000 work permits to be issued to individuals who hold a CSQ, are still abroad and have submitted an application for permanent residence. The IMP+ will speed up the arrival of these workers so that they can hold a job in Quebec while waiting for their permanent residence to be processed. This will help meet Quebec’s labour needs in key sectors of the economy. Additional details on the qualification requirements for this new stream will be announced shortly.

The benefits of immigration to Canada are broad and synergistic, both for the newcomers who make Canada their home and for the country as a whole. Canadian immigration programs that prioritize high-skilled workers and university-educated newcomers have also led to strong job creation in high-wage sectors such as professional, scientific, and technical services.

With a higher rate of entrepreneurship than their Canadian-born counterparts, immigrants also contribute to innovation and job creation. And through their impact on the structure of the Canadian workforce, from its size to age range and available skillsets, they drive economic growth for everyone in the country.

As immigration policies and processes keep evolving, it is important to seek advice from legal professionals.