Skilled workers in francophone minority communities outside Quebec exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment required for a work permit

Global Publication April 2016

On March 17, 2016, Canadian immigration, refugees and citizenship minister John McCallum announced that the federal government will soon be adding a Mobilité Francophone stream to its International Mobility Program. That’s great news for employers struggling with a shortage of skilled labour in francophone minority communities outside Quebec.

Facilitating the hiring of francophone temporary foreign workers in francophone minority communities outside Quebec

Before they can hire temporary foreign workers and obtain work permits for them, employers usually need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment confirming that the job offer will have a neutral or positive impact on the local job market. Barring exceptions, this often requires recruitment and training efforts to be made and a plan to be put in place for the eventual transition to the use of Canadian labour.

The International Mobility Program includes a number of exemptions from the Labour Market Impact Assessment. Effective June 1, 2016, the Mobilité Francophone stream will be added to the program, providing a further exemption that will facilitate, under certain conditions that are yet to be specified, the hiring of French-speaking temporary foreign workers in managerial, professional and technical and skilled trades occupations in francophone minority communities outside Quebec.

Objective of the government

This measure is substantially similar to the Francophone Significant Benefit Program, which was discontinued by the federal government a few years ago.

The new Mobilité Francophone stream of the International Mobility Program is part of the federal government’s strategy to stimulate immigration and reach its goal of having francophone newcomers make up at least 4% of all economic immigrants settling outside Quebec by 2018 and 4.4% of all immigrants outside Quebec by 2023.

This is good news for employers and, as soon as details concerning the conditions of application of this new exemption become available, we will update you in a future legal update.

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