Specific Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) holders currently in Quebec [R205(a)] – International Mobility Program 

All in-Canada visitor record, study permit and work permit applications must be submitted electronically, with some exceptions. See the list of programs that are exempt from the in-Canada mandatory electronic application requirement.

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

On June 1, 2012, Quebec’s Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) implemented provisions that allow some temporary workers who are present in Quebec to submit an application to renew or extend their work authorizations in Canada without the employer having to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) or Service Canada (SC) and a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) from MIFI.

Section 108 of the Règlement sur l’immigration au Québec (RIQ), which came into effect on August 2, 2018, specifies that Quebec Selection Certificates (CSQs) issued after the coming into force of the RIQ are valid for a duration of 24 months or until a decision is rendered on the permanent residence application by virtue of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

Therefore, since August 2, 2018, MIFI no longer renews CSQs. CSQs are now issued for 24 months and are valid for the duration of the permanent residence application, even if the 24-month period has passed. In addition, CSQs issued before August 2, 2018, that are valid for 36 months remain valid for the duration of the permanent residence application, even if the 36 months have passed.

Background

All provinces and territories in Canada, with the exception of Nunavut and Quebec, have signed immigration agreements with Canada authorizing them to nominate foreign nationals who intend to establish themselves permanently in a province or territory through the provincial nominee class (PNC). Work permits may be issued to these foreign nationals under paragraph 204(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). For more information, see International Mobility Program: Federal-provincial or territorial agreements.

In the absence of such an agreement, paragraph R205(a) provides the possibility for LMIA-exempt work permits to be issued to certain individuals whose job for which the work permit was issued would create or maintain significant social, cultural or economic benefits or opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

  • Foreign nationals selected by Quebec under its Programme régulier des travailleurs qualifiés (PRTQ) and its Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ) who currently reside in the province of Quebec may be able to have their work authorizations extended with their current employer or renewed with a new employer without having to obtain an LMIA.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for a work permit under paragraph R205(a), foreign nationals must

  • currently reside in Quebec
  • be in one of the following situations:
    • have a valid work permit (including an open work permit)
    • have applied to extend their work permit before it expired (maintained status)
    • be eligible for restoration as a worker
  • have an offer of employment submitted by the employer to IRCC
  • hold a CSQ under the Quebec skilled worker class; the CSQ must indicate one of the following codes in section 9, Catégorie:
    • Travailleurs qualifiés
    • “IQ – Travailleurs qualifiés
    • “IP – Travailleurs
    • “IT – Travailleurs qualifiés
    • “IZ – PEQ Travailleurs
    • “IY – PEQ Étudiants
    • “I6 Travailleurs Art. 40”
  • be in one of the following situations:
    • have a CSQ (for which the issuance date is within the 24- or 36-month validity period, if applicable) at the time of their initial work permit application under this exemption if they have not yet submitted their permanent residence application
    • have submitted their permanent residence application, for which processing is still ongoing, before the expiry date of the CSQ; the work permit (initial application or renewal) may be issued under this LMIA exemption, even if the CSQ is expired
  • fall under one of the following categories:
    • applicant seeking to extend or to obtain an employer-specific work permit for an employer in the province of Quebec
    • student who has obtained a post-graduation work permit and who has an offer of employment in the province of Quebec
    • student who has a co-op work permit and who has an offer of employment in the province of Quebec
    • work permit holder through participation in one of the following categories under the International Experience Canada (IEC) Program:
      • Working Holiday
      • Young Professionals
      • International Co-op (Internship)

If a nominated individual has a CSQ, they do not need a statement from Quebec that confirms they are urgently required by the province-based employer who has made them a job offer in that province or territory, as is the case for foreign workers nominated by a province or territory other than Quebec.

Operational instructions

Work permits are valid for the duration of the job offer or until the expiry of the travel document, whichever is earlier, and should not exceed 2 years. The work permit validity should not be impacted by the CSQ’s validity. This time limit should allow the applicant sufficient time to submit an application for permanent residence before the work permit expires and should also allow the worker to continue working during the processing of their permanent residence application.

Work permits are issued by the authority of paragraph R205(a).

Only employer-specific work permits are to be issued (no open work permits). Entrepreneurs and self-employed applicants are not eligible to apply under this exemption (they may be eligible as Entrepreneurs/self-employed candidates seeking to operate a business under the LMIA exemption code C11).

Spouses or common-law partners, whether or not they are already in Canada, who are accompanying the principal applicant are entitled to apply for an open work permit for the duration of the principal applicant’s work permit or until the expiry of their passport or travel document, whichever is earlier, irrespective of the skill level of the principal applicant’s occupation. The LMIA exemption code to use is A75.  

Validity limitation for extensions: If a permanent residence application is in process but has not been finalized, a work permit extension is considered on a case-by-case basis through the normal extension process at the case processing centre. The validity limitation on an extension past the original 2 years is 1 year. However, officers may use their discretion, depending on current processing times for Quebec skilled worker permanent residence applications.

Employer compliance fee

The regulations concerning the International Mobility Program provide that when hiring LMIA-exempt foreign workers, employers must pay an employer compliance fee and submit an Offer of Employment to IRCC.

Some employers may be exempt from paying the employer compliance fee under subsections R303.1(5) and R303.2(2). 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 exempt from paying the fee under subsection R303.1(5) or 303.2(2); or
  • the employer has not submitted an Offer of Employment, as per section R209.11.

Refunds 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.

Work permit issuance in the Global Case Management System (GCMS)

Note: If the employer has been authorized to use an IMM 5802 form instead of completing the offer of employment through the Employer Portal, the officer may need to enter some of the codes listed below.

Under the “Application” screen, officers should enter or confirm the following information in the specified fields:

Field Selection or input
Case type: 52
Province of destination Quebec
City of destination:

Address of physical job location

If there is more than one location, enter the primary location in the “City of Destination” field and the secondary location in the “Remarks” field.

Exemption code

A75

(automatically filled in based on the offer of employment)

NOC

NOC code

(automatically filled in based on the offer of employment)

Intended occupation

Job title

(automatically filled in based on the offer of employment)

LMIA/LMIA-exempt # Number beginning with “A” from the offer of employment submitted in the Employer Portal
Employer

Business operating name

(automatically filled in based on the offer of employment)

Duration

Based on the offer of employment (maximum of 24 months)

Extension is possible if the application for permanent residence is still in processing.

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