Quebec Selection Certificate holders can extend their stay in Canada
Foreign nationals selected by Quebec through its Regular Skilled Worker Program and the Quebec Experience Program can have their work permits extended without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
If you work in Quebec and hold a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ), you will need a valid work permit while you wait for a decision on your immigration application.
When it comes time to extend your work permit, the next steps will vary depending on whether you are applying for permanent residency. If you have applied for permanent residence, the type of work permit depends on whether you have received an Acknowledgment of Return (AOR) from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
If you have an AOR, you can apply for an Open Bridge Work Permit. Conversely, if you have applied but have not yet received an AOR or applied for a PR, you can apply for an employer-specific work permit that is exempt from Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) under the CSQ. It’s a bite, but let’s explain.
As the name suggests, an LMIA-exempt work permit means that the employer of the foreign worker does not need an LMIA, which is required for a Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) work permit. The LMIA is designed to demonstrate to the Canadian government that foreign workers will not replace Canadian workers.
The LMIA exempt work permit is part of the International Mobility Program (IMP), which supports a wide range of social, economic and cultural interests in Canada. The IMP work permit does not require an LMIA or a Quebec Certificate of Acceptance (CAQ) to achieve these goals.
Employer-specific work permits, also known as closed work permits, are associated with an employer. They are the opposite of open work permits, which allow the holder to work anywhere in Canada.
Who is eligible for a CSQ-based closed work permit?
Foreigners are eligible for this LMIA exempt work permit as long as they have a job offer in Quebec and can be described as:
· Postgraduate Work Permit Holder (PGWP);
· A study permit with a co-op work permit;
· Hold a work permit in one of the following categories under the Canadian International Experience (IEC) program: Working Holiday, Young Professionals, International Cooperative (Internship); any one
· Closed work permit holder.
To qualify for an LMIA-exempt work permit, your CSQ must be within 24 months of validity, or you must apply for a PR before it expires.
As of August 2, 2018, Quebec will no longer renew CSQs, as they are valid for the entire duration of the PR application, even after the 24-month period has passed. So once your CSQ expires, you can technically apply for an LMIA-exempt work permit as long as you have applied for permanent residency.
It is not possible to apply for this work permit at the port of entry. It is designed for those who are already working in Quebec. You must have a valid work permit or be eligible for rehabilitation.
Your CSQ must fall under the Quebec skilled worker class and must indicate one of the following codes in section 9, categories:
· IQ — Travailleurs qualifiés
· IP — Travailleurs
· IT — Travailleurs qualifiés
· IZ — PEQ Travailleurs
· IY — PEQ Étudiants
· I6 — Travailleurs Art. 40
· IU — Préposé aux bénéficiaires — Volet travailleur étranger
· IR — Préposé aux bénéficiaires — Volet diplômé du QC
· IX — Travailleur — Transformation alimentaire
· IV — Intelligence artificielle — Volet travailleur étranger
· IW — Intelligence artificielle — Volet diplômé du QC
· IS — Travailleur — TI — Effets visuels
Also, your employer will have to pay a compliance fee and submit an offer of employment to IRCC. Otherwise, your application will be refused.
Who is not eligible?
The following foreigners are not eligible for a CSQ-based closed work permit:
· Applicants applying for a work permit at a port of entry, as they must be present as a temporary resident of Canada to be eligible.
· Open work permit applicants, including spouses or common-law partners.
· Self-employed and job seekers, as they may be eligible for another LMIA-exempt work permit to conduct business.
· The applicant’s job opportunity is different from the occupation specified in their CSQ.
Interim authorizations to work
On August 24, 2020, IRCC implemented a temporary public policy to allow eligible visitor visa holders with a job offer in Canada to apply for a work permit in the country.
Visitors to Canada can apply for work permits and temporary work permits if they have held a valid work permit within the past 12 months.
To be eligible, a foreign national must:
· Be in Canada;
· An employer-specific work permit application has been submitted using the Application to Change Conditions, Extend My Stay, or Remain in Canada as an Employee [IMM 5710];
· have resided in Canada since filing the application;
· Submit your application by February 28, 2023.