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Labor, employment and immigration

Temporary workers: what employers need to know to be compliant

8 November 2023

The general consultation on the 2024-2027 immigration plan for Québec took place last September. Several issues were discussed, including non-permanent residents (NPRs), which include foreign students and foreign workers. According to Statistics Canada, in July 2023, the number of NPRs in Québec exceeded 470,000, 17% of whom were temporary workers, or nearly 80,000 people. However, it is estimated that Québec could be short about 90,000 foreign workers by 2025, especially in the regions.

In this context, employers in Québec must not only seek to attract this workforce, but do so in a way that is respectful of workers’ rights and applicable legislation and policies. To hire a temporary foreign worker, an employer must obtain joint authorization from the governments of Québec and Canada. This authorization is obtained by submitting an application for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and a Certification d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) – employer component.

For their part, employees must also complete a Certification d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) – volet employé application form, along with supporting documents, and submit it to their employer for transmission to the Québec government.

The EIMT application must be filed online, which requires the employer to register on the new platform created by Service Canada for this purpose. Documents will accompany the submission of the EIMT demonstrating, among other things, the existence and financial and legal health of the company seeking to employ a foreign national for a specific temporary job and, if applicable, evidence of a search for permanent resident or Canadian citizen employees.

At the same time, a printed copy of this application must accompany the employer’s and employee’s CAQ applications to the Québec government, at the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la francisation et de l’intégration (MIFI).

The employer will receive a joint decision from Service Canada and MIFI. If this decision approves the application, the foreign worker must then submit an online work permit application, which will be processed by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Finally, it’s important to note that once the employee has arrived, the employer remains responsible for complying with applicable employment legislation and policies, including ensuring that the employee’s work permit remains valid. All to avoid facing an investigation that could, unfortunately, result in serious sanctions such as a financial penalty and a ban on hiring temporary workers for a certain period of time.

If you have any questions about hiring temporary foreign workers, contact our immigration lawyers!