In order to promote francophone immigration in the francophone minority communities, as of June 1, 2016, foreign nationals who have been recruited abroad who are destined for a province or territory outside of Quebec and qualified under a National Occupational Classification (NOC) 0, A or B, may be eligible for an exemption from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) requirement under paragraph 205(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
Recruitment through a francophone immigration promotional event coordinated between the federal government and francophone minority communities is encouraged.
Facilitating entry for these workers under the International Mobility Program (IMP) serves to support paragraph 3(1)(b.1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act by encouraging the development of minority official language communities in Canada. Work that promotes the use of French outside Quebec strengthens and supports the social and cultural fabric of Canadian society while respecting the federal, bilingual and multicultural character of Canada.
The employer must submit an Offer of Employment, as per section R209.11, before a work permit application is made.
Officers should apply the LMIA exemption code C16 to work permit applications received on or after June 1, 2016, if they are satisfied that the foreign national is
- destined to work in a province or territory outside of Quebec;
- qualified to work under NOC 0, A or B.
In applying exemption code C16, officers must be satisfied that the foreign national’s habitual language of daily use is French. Where the officer is not satisfied the foreign national’s habitual language is French, the officer should request an interview or request that the foreign national provide language results demonstrating an advanced intermediate level or above in French. For this purpose, a Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB)/Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) of level 7 or higher in the Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) is required.
The foreign national must be destined to work in a province or territory other than Quebec.
The offer of employment in Canada does not have to require French language ability under these guidelines, as it is anticipated that the foreign worker will contribute to the community.
Foreign nationals cannot make an initial work permit application under this exemption from inside Canada. Initial work permit applications must be submitted online or via a visa application centre overseas.
Employer compliance fee
Regulations for the IMP provide that, when hiring LMIA-exempt foreign workers, employers must pay an employer compliance fee and submit an Offer of Employment to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Some employers may be exempt from paying the employer compliance fee under subsection R303.1(5). However, despite the fee exemption, these employers must submit an Offer of Employment.
A work permit application will be refused under paragraph R200(3)(f.1) if the employer has not
- paid the employer compliance fee, as per section R303.1, unless the employer has been exempted from paying the fee under subsection R303.1(5); or
- submitted an Offer of Employment, as per section R209.11.
A refund of the employer compliance fee may be initiated if
- the work permit application is refused; or
- the employer withdraws their offer of employment in writing prior to the issuance of the work permit, and the work permit application is therefore refused.
Renewals of these work permits, including for applicants who hold a valid work permit under the discontinued exemption “Significant benefit – Francophone destined to work outside of Quebec” may be submitted by mail to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville or online. Because a determination will have been made at the time of initial application that the applicant’s habitual language is French, a reassessment of the language will not be required upon renewal. Renewals of work permits for applicants who hold a valid work permit under the former Francophone significant benefit exemption and who are applying to renew should also be coded as C16.
The initial guidelines must still be met, and the applicant must continue to be employed in applicable NOC 0, A or B occupations outside of Quebec.
Work permit duration
Officers may issue an LMIA-exempt work permit that is valid for the duration of the offer of employment or until the expiry of the travel document, whichever is earlier.
Work permit issuance in the Global Case Management System (GCMS)
Under the “Application” screen, officers should enter the following: “Case Type”: 52.
Based on fields in the “Offer of Employment”, officers should enter the following under the “Application” screen:
- “Province of Destination”
address of physical job location
If there is more than one location, officers should enter the primary location in the “Province of Destination” field and the secondary location in the “Remarks” field.
- “City of Destination”
address of physical job location
If there is more than one location, officers should enter the primary location in the “City of Destination” field and the secondary location in the “Remarks” field.
- “Exemption Code”
- NOC code
- “Intended Occupation”
- job title
- amount per year as indicated wage in Canadian dollars and number of work hours
- business operating name
- Date Modified: