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CANADA – Quebec - Termination of IT Worker Program and New Simplified LMO Process

The Information Technology Worker Program for expedited processing of specific IT worker occupations now been fully terminated in all provinces. Additionally, there are new processing rules for workers in Quebec which simplify Labour Market Opinion processes.

Closure of IT Worker Program

The closure of the IT Worker program began on 30 September, 2010 with the termination of the program in all cases except for workers destined to British Columbia and Quebec. Effective December 31, 2011, the Program was terminated for workers destined to British Columbia. The last remaining part of the program, Quebec, has now been terminated, effective 23 February 2012.

Current Applications

Work permit applications submitted by 24 March 2012, with a valid Quebec Certificate of Acceptance (CAQ) dated on or before 23 February 2012, will continue to be processed pursuant to the IT Worker Program. The Quebec Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Communities (MICC) is in the process of determining how to treat CAQ applications submitted to MICC before 24 February 2012 which have not yet been issued.

The New Processing Rules for Workers in Quebec

Employers in Quebec seeking to hire foreign workers in 44 occupations (see Schedule A; link in the left hand column) are no longer required to provide proof of recruitment efforts. The occupation list includes higher skilled positions that are in demand, as well as occupations within industry sectors experiencing labour shortages in the province of Quebec.

Note that the seven Information Technology Worker positions affected by the closure of the IT Worker Program are included in the new occupation list.

Quebec’s New Labour Market Opinion (LMO) Process

The application is now filed first with the Quebec Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Communities (MICC) which will undertake the majority of the assessment and will work jointly with Service Canada to conduct compliance reviews.

Comparison of Existing and New Process

Regular LMO Process Quebec’s Simplified LMO Process for the 44 Occupations
RECRUITMENT EFFORTS At least: advertise for 14 calendar days; review resumes and interview potential candidates; record the number of Canadian applications and why they were rejected; and retain records of efforts for a minimum of 2 years. No recruitment required.
PREVAILING WAGE Based on average wage for occupation in region, regardless of experience. Varies based on years of experience required for the position (0 years to 2 years; 3 years to 9 years; 10+ years)
FILING OF APPLICATION LMO application made to Service Canada in Montreal. CAQ application made separately to the MICC. LMO and CAQ applications submitted to the MICC with additional documentation.
PROCESSING TIMES 14 to 16 weeks Not published – Priority processing anticipated.

Determining Correct NOC Classifications

It is critical that employers determine the most appropriate and strategically beneficial National Occupational Classification (NOC) in order to avail themselves of the simplified LMO process available for the 44 listed occupations where possible.

Illustration A:

Scenario: Your company urgently requires a foreign worker to assume the role of a Senior Systems Integration Consulting Officer. The position can be classified under NOC 0213 (Computer and Information Systems Manager) or 2171 (Information Systems Analysts and Consultants).

Strategy: NOC 2171 is included in the list of 44 occupations. As such, where the candidate can equally qualify under NOC 0213 or NOC 2171, it would be more time efficient and cost effective to apply for an LMO under NOC 2171. Your company can forego advertising and file the CAQ/LMO application immediately.

Tiered Wage System

The simplified LMO process still requires the employer to compensate the foreign worker with at least the "prevailing" wage. Unlike the regular LMO process, the prevailing wage will be determined based on the years of experience required for the position. This could result in lower wage requirements to qualify.

To determine prevailing wage for one of the 44 listed occupations, MICC will consult Emploi-Quebec’s Labour Market Information (LMI) data for the classified positions according to the number of years of experience required by the employer and not the number of years of experience held by the foreign worker.

Illustration B: Calculating the Minimum Wage:

Scenario: Your company has hired a Junior Information Systems Analyst and a Senior Information Systems Analyst, both NOC 2171. The junior position requires 2 years of experience, the senior position requires 8 years of experience. Both require LMOs.

  • Under the Regular LMO Process: Junior Position: $64,000, Senior Position: $64,000
  • Under the Simplified LMO Process: Junior Position: $46,800 to $50,680.50, Senior Position: $58,500 to $68,230.50

Illustration C: Wages Varying By Destination Province

Scenario: Your company requires two foreign workers to assume the position of Software Engineer; one position is in Montreal, Quebec, while the other is in Toronto, Ontario. The position is fairly junior and requires 0 to 2 years of experience. The two foreign workers identified for the position both have 2 years of experience.

NOC Title Montreal, Quebec – Prevailing Wage Toronto, Ontario – Prevailing Wage
2173: Software Engineers and Designers As this NOC is part of the 44 listed occupations, the simplified LMO process applies.
  • 0 to 2 years: $58,500 to $68,230.50
  • 3 to 9 years: $58,500 to $68,230.50
  • 10+ years: $78,000 to $87,730.50

Schedule A – List of 44 Occupations

  1. 0112 Human Resources Director
  2. 0611 Sales, Marketing and Advertising Director
  3. 0621 Retail and Wholesale Trade Managers
  4. 1111 Financial Auditors and Accountants
  5. 1221 Administrative Officers
  6. 1222 Executive Assistants
  7. 1243 Medical administrative assistants
  8. 2131 Civil Engineers
  9. 2146 Aerospace Engineers
  10. 2171 Information Systems Analysts and Consultants
  11. 2173 Software Engineers and Designers
  12. 2174 Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers
  13. 2231 Civil Engineering Technicians and Technologists
  14. 2232 Mechanical Engineering Technicians and Technologists
  15. 2241 Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technologists and Technicians
  16. 2253 Drafting Technicians and Technologists
  17. 2282 User Support Technicians
  18. 2283 Information Systems Testing Technicians
  19. 3111 Specialist Physicians
  20. 3112 General Practitioners and Family Physicians
  21. 3113 Dentists
  22. 3114 Veterinarians
  23. 3131 Pharmacists
  24. 3141 Audiologists and Speech Therapists
  25. 3142 Physiotherapists
  26. 3143 Occupational Therapists
  27. 3152 Registered Nurses
  28. 3211 Medical Laboratory Technologists
  29. 3214 Respiratory Therapists, Clinical Perfusionists and Cardiopulmonary Technologists
  30. 3215 Medical Radiation Technologist
  31. 3222 Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists
  32. 3233 Licensed Practical Nurses
  33. 4131 College Professors and Other Instructors of Program Improvement
  34. 4141 High School Teachers
  35. 4152 Social Workers
  36. 4212 Social and Community Service Workers
  37. 5125 Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters
  38. 6211 Retail Sales Supervisors
  39. 6221 Technical Sales Specialist – Wholesale Trade
  40. 7231 Machinists and Machining and Tooling Inspectors
  41. 7311 Construction Millwrights and Industrial Mechanics
  42. 7312 Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics
  43. 7321 Automotive Service Technicians, Truck and Bus Mechanics and Mechanical Repairers
  44. 7333 Electrical Mechanics

This news alert was prepared using information provided by Greenberg Turner. Greenberg Turner’s Alerts are intended for informational purposes only and do not create a lawyer-client relationship. The information provided in this Alert is a preliminary summary in nature and does not constitute legal advice. The changes announced in Quebec are under continuous revision by MICC and HRSDC/Service Canada. Appropriate advice should be obtained in processing work permits under this new process

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2021 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.