Labour Market Impact Assessment and Quebec Acceptance Certificate

If an employer in Quebec requires a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in order to hire a foreign national, the foreign national will also need to obtain a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) to be eligible to work in Canada.

Obtaining an LMIA and CAQ based work permit involves a four step process:

  1. If required, the employer must complete recruitment activities for the position;
  2. The employer must apply for an LMIA with Employment and Social Development Canada (Service Canada);
  3. The foreign national must apply for a CAQ with the Ministère de l’immigration, de la diversité, et de l’inclusion (Immigration Quebec); and
  4. Once the LMIA and CAQ are both issued, the foreign national must apply for their work permit with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (Immigration Canada). 

Obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment

The LMIA application is submitted, by the employer, to the local Service Canada office where the individual will be working. An application for a LMIA is subject to a number of criteria, including the following:  

  • Whether the job offer is genuine;
  • Whether the wages and working conditions are comparable to those offered to Canadians working in the occupation;
  • Whether the employer has conducted reasonable efforts to hire or train Canadians for the job before offering it to the foreign worker (more information on this below);
  • Whether the foreign worker will fill a labour shortage;
  • Whether the employment of the foreign worker will directly create new job opportunities or help retain jobs for Canadians;
  • Whether the foreign worker will transfer new skills and knowledge to Canadians;
  • Whether the hiring of the foreign worker will affect a labour dispute or the employment of any Canadian worker involved in such a dispute; and
  • Whether the employer has a plan to transition to a Canadian workforce or, if applying for a renewal, has followed through on a previously-submitted transition plan.

Typically an employer will be required to post the position in multiple locations (such as the Job Bank, other websites, newspapers, etc) in order to demonstrate that there are no qualified Canadians available for the position. An employer will also need to submit a Transition Plan in order to demonstrate how they will transition their workforce to being mostly made up of Canadians and permanent residents of Canada. 

Obtaining a Quebec Acceptance Certificate

Applying for a CAQ involves submitting a completed application form to Immigration Quebec, along with a copy of the complete LMIA application, and other supporting documentation. A foreign national’s CAQ application is reviewed and processed at the same time as the LMIA application. Service Canada and Immigration Quebec will issue a joint decision on the LMIA and CAQ. 

The CAQ is not only required for obtaining the foreign national’s work permit, but will also be required to register for health care and other social services in the province of Quebec. 

Obtaining a Work Permit 

Once the LMIA and CAQ have been approved, then the foreign national may apply for their work permit with Immigration Canada. If the individual is a citizen of a non-visa requiring country, the work permit application may be presented at the port of entry. If the individual is a citizen of a visa-requiring country, the work permit and temporary resident visa applications must be submitted through a Canadian visa post prior to travel. Additional time should be provided to allow for visa processing.