ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 403 - April 5, 2012

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

This document has expired. Please refer to the appropriate Program Delivery Instructions for current information.

MIDI will no longer issue CAQs for unpaid internships in Québec


This Operational Bulletin provides instructions to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers for the processing of work permit (WP) applications for temporary foreign workers, specifically for applicants seeking unpaid internships in Quebec.


Under Section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), work is defined as an activity for which wages are paid or commission is earned, or that is in direct competition with the activities of Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the Canadian labour market.

Under the IRPR, an unpaid activity may constitute work in Canada, and in the absence of a WP or Labour Market Opinion (LMO) exemption, foreign nationals who wish to undertake such an activity must obtain an LMO in order to obtain a WP.

Under the Canada-Quebec Accord, Quebec’s consent is required before any temporary foreign worker can be admitted to work in Quebec. The same principle of concurrence is required for all LMOs submitted by employers seeking to hire foreign workers to undertake work in Quebec. Under paragraph 200(3)b) of the IRPR, a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) is required for a WP to be issued.


Effective February 24, 2012, Quebec’s Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI) will no longer issue CAQs for unpaid internships. In these cases, LMOs will continue to be evaluated by Service Canada/Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.

WP applications submitted on or after February 24, 2012 for unpaid internships, are not required to be accompanied by a CAQ and the absence of a CAQ does not constitute a reason for refusing this type of application. Note that some unpaid internship applications may still include a CAQ during the transition period.

The LMO requirement remains unchanged.

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