Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate the entry of certain temporary foreign workers into Quebec and to facilitate the issuance of a work permit to certain graduates of Quebec vocational training programs

Electronic Version

Original signed January 25, 2012


BETWEEN

THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA,
represented by the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, hereinafter referred to as “HRSDC” and the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, hereinafter referred to as “CIC

AND

THE GOVERNMENT OF QUEBEC,
represented by the Minister of the Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles, hereinafter referred to as “MICC” and the Minister responsible for Affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes et de la Francophonie canadienne

Whereas, in the Canada-Quebec Accord relating to Immigration and Temporary Admission of Aliens (hereinafter “the Accord”), Canada and Quebec agreed to carry out individual and joint responsibilities with regard to immigration;

Whereas section 22 of the Accord provides that Quebec’s consent is required in order to admit into the province any temporary foreign worker whose admission is subject to Canada’s requirements relating to the availability of Canadian workers;

Whereas section 20 of Annex A of the Accord provides that Quebec shall be responsible for providing prior consent for the granting of entry to any temporary foreign worker whose admission is governed by the requirements concerning the availability of Canadian workers;

Whereas paragraph 20a) of that same annex also provides that Quebec shall be responsible for determining jointly with Canada whether there is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident available to fill the position offered to the temporary worker;

Whereas the admission into the country of a foreign national who wants to stay in Canada temporarily to work or study is governed by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), as well as by the Act respecting immigration to Québec and the Regulation respecting the selection of foreign nationals, when this foreign national intends to go to Quebec and his or her admission is governed by Canada’s requirements regarding the availability of Canadian workers, in accordance with Annex 1;

Whereas MICC would like to modify the process for assessing applications for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) with regard to economic sectors that have a pressing need for specialized labour;

Whereas foreign nationals who have graduated and choose to remain in Canada can be a valuable source of skills for Quebec employers;

Whereas the labour shortages are expected in Quebec in upcoming years, in certain occupations requiring professional training;

Whereas CIC and MICC recognize that offering foreign nationals who recently graduated from a vocational training program in Quebec limited access to the Canadian labour market would enhance the global competitiveness of institutions providing vocational training and the Canadian and Quebec economy;

Whereas section 19 of Annex A of the Accord provides that Canada will consult Quebec on the identification of categories of temporary foreign workers whose work permit is not governed by conditions respecting the availability of Canadian workers, and will advise Quebec of these categories as well as any changes which Canada intends to make to such categories;

Whereas CIC recently granted limited access to the labour market by designating, under subparagraph 205(c)(ii) of the IRPR, the temporary work that could be performed by foreign nationals who recently graduated from certain vocational training programs offered by vocational training centres governed by Quebec’s education legislationand who meet the admissibility criteria set out in clause 9 of this memorandum of understanding.

Whereas this limited access to the labour market is currently offered, under subparagraph 205(c)(ii) of the IRPR, only to foreign nationals who recently graduated from a program of study in post-secondary institutions in Canada;

Whereas vocational training programs are offered across Canada by post-secondary institutions, except in Quebec, where the vast majority of such programs are offered by secondary schools;

Now therefore the parties agree as follows:

Section 1: Simplified process for assessing applications for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO)

1. Purpose

The purpose of this memorandum of understanding (MOU) is to simplify the process for assessing LMO applications that is carried out jointly by HRSDC and MICC in accordance with subsection 203(4) of the IRPR and Annex A of the Accord. The simplified process applies to LMO applications for temporary foreign workers who intend to work in Quebec in a 0, A or B occupation under the National Occupational Classification published by HRSDC, in an economic sector Quebec has identified as having a pressing need for specialized labour.

2. Roles of MICC and HRSDC

a) MICC:

  • Provide HRSDC with the list of occupations for those industries where a labour market shortage has been identified, to ensure applications submitted in relation to these occupations are processed using the simplified process; the list is established using a methodology developed by Emploi-Quebec in collaboration with MICC, and which will be transmitted to HRSDC;
  • Provide HRSDC, at least 60 days before the anniversary date of the effective date of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with the list of in-demand occupations that Emploi-Québec will update annually, along with the methodology used to create the list;

b) HRSDC:

  • will indicate on its website that employers wanting to fill positions in these occupations must send their LMO application directly to the Service Canada Centre;

c) HRSDC and MICC:

  • will post the procedure for employers using the simplified modified process on their respective websites;
  • will post the list of in-demand occupations on their respective websites.

3. Simplified processing of a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) application

a) In the case of an employer wanting to fill a position in Quebec with a temporary foreign worker whose occupation is on the list of in-demand occupations, HRSDC will examine the employer’s LMO application against the requirements set out in section 203 of the IRPR, as stated in Annex 2, and will provide MICC with a written recommendation and elements of the analysis based on the requirements assessed.

b) HRSDC will provide priority processing to LMO applications submitted under clause 3a) of this MOU.

c) MICC will give priority to LMO applications submitted by HRSDC under clause 3a) of this MOU and will examine them against the requirements of the Regulation respecting the selection of foreign nationals set out in Annex 2.

d) HRSDC and MICC will jointly inform the employer of their LMO, in writing.

e) HRSDC will forward the LMO to CIC.

4. Designated contact offices

The following are designated to implement section 1 of this MOU:

a) for HRSDC:

Director General
Temporary Foreign Worker Directorate
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Place du Portage, Phase IV
140 Promenade du Portage, 4th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec  K1A 0J9

b) for MICC:

Director
Direction des politiques et de programmes d’immigration
Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles
360 McGill St., 3rd Floor
Montréal, Quebec  H2Y 2E9

5. Provisions

Annex 2 of this MOU may be amended jointly in writing by the director of MICC and the director general of HRSDC, who are both designated in clause 4 of this MOU.

The conditions for sharing personal information under this MOU will be set out in a separate annex, which will be concluded no later than one year after the MOU takes effect. This agreement will be signed by the parties and must have previously received all the authorizations that would eventually be required.

6. Committee

A committee made up of representatives of HRSDC and MICC is established to monitor the implementation of section 1 of this MOU.

Section 2: Issuance of an open work permit for graduates of an occupational training program in Quebec

7. Purpose

The purpose of this MOU is also to describe the eligibility conditions for issuing a work permit for designated work under subparagraph 205(c)(ii) of the IRPR for graduates of a vocational training program in Quebec.

8. Roles of MICC and CIC

a) MICC will provide, via an internet site identified by the Ministère de l’éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS), information pertaining to professional training educational institutions and professional training programs recognized by MELS.

b) CIC:

  • Will issue a work permit under paragraph 205(c)(ii) of the IRPR to foreign nationals who have graduated from a qualifying professional training program and who meet the eligibility criteria set out in clause 9 of this MOU. This open work permit, which does not specify the employer or the job, is issued for a time period stated in clause 11 of this MOU.
  • Will consult MICC on changes to the policies on and processes for issuing an open work permit to foreign nationals who recently graduated from a course of study in a Canadian institution when such changes could have an impact on this MOU.

9. Eligibility conditions for issuing a work permit

a) The foreign national must have taken full-time professional training in a public or private educational institution in Quebec. 

b) In the public sector, the eligible professional training must be provided by a centre for professional training administered by a school board or a government institution. In the private sector, the training must be provided by an establishment licensed by the Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports to offer a program leading to a degree or an attestation, issued by the Minister, upon successful completion of a program.

c) The foreign national must have successfully completed a professional training program leading to a diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP), issued by MELS, and which is a minimum of 900 hours in length (equivalent to eight months).

d) The application for a work permit must include the DEP or the ASP issued by MELS certifying that the foreign national has successfully completed his or her professional training program, or an official attestation or a transcript from a school board or a recognized private educational institution.

e) The application for a work permit must be submitted within 90 days of confirmation of successful completion of the program.

f) The foreign national must hold a valid study permit when applying for a work permit.

g) The foreign national must be at least 18 years of age when applying for a work permit.

h) The foreign national must meet all requirements under the IRPA and the IRPR, including not being inadmissible.

10. Restrictions

The following foreign nationals may not obtain a work permit under subparagraph 205(c)(ii) of the IRPR (see clause 8b):

  • those who take a distance learning program;
  • those who have previously been granted an open work permit after obtaining another diploma.

11. Other conditions

a) Length of permit

  • The open work permit is valid for three years if the vocational training program runs for 1,800 hours (equivalent to two years) or more.
  • The open work permit is valid for a period equal to the length of the training if the program runs for at least 900 hours (equivalent to eight months), but less than 1,800 hours (equivalent to two years).

b) Specific circumstances

  • Foreign nationals who have changed institutions during their training program must have a combined total of at least 900 hours (equivalent to eight months) of courses in institutions located in Quebec.
  • CIC will consult MICC on improvements to the policies and on processes for granting open work permits to foreign nationals who recently graduated from a course of study in a Canadian institution; such improvements will entail the same changes to this MOU, where they are applicable and subject to Quebec’s approval.

12. Designated contact offices

The following are designated to implement section 2 of this MOU:

a) for CIC:

Director
Temporary Resident Policy and Program Development Division
Immigration Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Jean Edmonds Tower South
365 Laurier St. West, 8th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 1L1

b) for MICC:

Director
Direction des politiques et de programmes d’immigration
Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles
360 McGill St., 3rd Floor
Montréal, Quebec  H2Y 2E9

13. Committee

A committee made up of representatives of CIC and MICC is established to monitor the implementation of section 2 of this MOU.

Section 3:   Other provisions relating to sections 1 and 2 of the MOU

14. Provisions

a) Each party is responsible for the administrative costs it incurs in implementing this MOU.

b) In case of any dispute or disagreement under this MOU or any annex thereof, the parties shall, as much as possible, attempt to resolve the dispute or disagreement through their respective officials or, when necessary, refer the matter to officials at the deputy minister level.

c) This MOU may be amended at any time by written consent of the parties.

d) Each party may terminate this MOU at any time with at least 90 days’ written notice to the other parties.

e) This MOU takes effect in the 30 days following the date of its last signature, for an indeterminate period.

In witness whereof, this MOU is signed in quadruplicate as follows:

FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA

Signed this ___________ day of ____________, 2011:

_______________________________
Ian Shugart
Deputy Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development
on behalf of the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development
(for sections 1 and 3)

AND

Signed this ___________ day of ____________ 2011:

_______________________________
Neil Yeates
Deputy Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
on behalf of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
(for sections 1, 2 and 3)

FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF QUEBEC

Signed this ___________ day of ____________ 2011:

_______________________________
Marie-Claude Champoux
Deputy Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities
on behalf of the Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities
(for sections 1, 2 and 3)

AND

Signed this ___________ day of ____________ 2011:


_______________________________
Yves Castonguay
Associate Secretary General of Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs
on behalf of the Minister responsible for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs and the Canadian Francophonie
(for sections 1, 2 and 3)


ANNEX 1
Statutory and Regulatory Provisions That Apply to the Memorandum of Understanding

1. Section 3.2 of the Act respecting immigration to Québec provides that the Minister shall issue a certificate of acceptance to a foreign national who is seeking temporary admission to Quebec to work and who meets the conditions determined by the Regulation respecting the selection of foreign nationals.

2. Subparagraph 200(1)(c)(iii) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) states that an officer shall issue a work permit to a foreign national if the officer has determined under section 203, the letter of offer presented by the foreign national is genuine and that the employment of the foreign national is likely to have a neutral or positive effect on the labour market in Canada.

3. Subsection 203(1) of the IRPR states that on application under Division 2 for a work permit made by a foreign national other than a foreign national referred to in subparagraphs 200(1)(c)(i) and (ii), an officer shall determine, on the basis of an opinion provided by the Department of Human Resources Development (now the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development, HRSDC), if the job offer is genuine and the employment of the foreign national is likely to have a neutral or positive effect on the labour market in Canada.

4. Subsection 203(2) of the IRPR states that the Department of Human Resources Development (now HRSDC) shall provide the opinion on the request of an officer or an employer or group of employers in respect of:

  1. an offer of employment to a foreign national; and
  2. offers of employment made, or anticipated to be made, by an employer or group of employers.

5. Subsection 203(4) of the IRPR states that in the case of a foreign national who intends to work in the Province of Quebec, the opinion provided by the Department of Human Resources Development (now HRSDC) shall be made in concert with the competent authority of Quebec (MICC).


ANNEX 2
Regulatory Provisions Pertaining to the Modified Process for Assessing Applications for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO)

1. In the case of an application for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) for a temporary foreign worker whose occupation is on the list of in-demand occupations, as defined in clause 1, HRSDC will examine the employer’s application against the requirements set out in section 203 of the IRPR. HRDSC will use information provided by MICC in examining the application against the requirements set out in section 203 of the IRPR, such as the factors set out in paragraphs 203(3)(c) and 203(3)(e).

2. In the case of an application for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) for a temporary foreign worker whose occupation is on the list of in-demand occupations, as defined in clause 1, MICC will examine the application against the requirements set out in sections 50.1 and 50.3 of the Regulation respecting the selection of foreign nationals.

 

Date Modified: