Quebec skilled workers can now apply for open work permits through IMP+

Quebec skilled workers can now apply for open work permits through IMP+

The new pathway for skilled workers, who have been chosen by Quebec and are currently waiting for permanent residency, is now available for applications.

The International Mobility Program plus (IMP+), offers a new work visa option to permanent residents who have been selected by Quebec. This is a way Quebec can increase the number of skilled workers to alleviate the current labor shortages.

As Canada's economy continues its recovery from the pandemic and growth, it is important to address the challenges facing employers in the labor market. We are aware that Quebec has a shortage of labor workers. The IMP+ initiative will help to speed up the arrivals of skilled workers in the province and help newcomers settle in their new communities, said Sean Fraser, Minister Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Quebec typically requires foreign skilled workers to wait for their permanent residence application to be approved before they can live and work in Quebec. A Quebec permanent resident applicant will be able to apply for the IMP+ work permit and move to the province to start working and settle down much faster.

A foreign national must meet the following requirements to be eligible for an open work permit under IMP+:

  • Applicants must be able to live in Quebec
  • A Quebec Selection Certificate is required to prove that they are eligible for permanent residence under either the Regular Skilled Workers Program or the Permanent Immigrant Pilot Program. This certificate can be used for workers in the visual effects, artificial intelligence, and information technology sectors.
  • You have been invited by the Ministere de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Integration to participate in the IMP+ program.
  • Submit a complete application to obtain a work permit.

If the application is accepted, a province-specific open work permit will be issued and valid for three years.

The cap on accepted applications for the year 2022 has been set at 14,700 IMP+. The annual limit on accepted applications will increase to 7,350 starting in 2023.

In August 2021, IRCC extended eligibility for bridging work permits to skilled workers already in Quebec who had applied for permanent residence. Workers could continue working while they waited for their permanent residence application to be processed.

Both the Canadian and Quebec governments have agreed to participate in the immigration decision-making process. Quebec selects immigrants from certain categories of immigration, including economic, to move to the province, while the federal government decides on permanent residence applications.

The IMP+ launch announcement ensures that Quebec-selected applicants have more options than applicants from other Canadian provinces or territories. Under other federal-provincial/territorial immigration agreements, applicants who have been nominated for permanent residence under a PNP are generally eligible for a work permit when they apply for permanent residence with IRCC.

Government of Canada data shows that more than 25,000 Quebec skilled workers were granted permanent residence in 2021. This is more than twice the number of approximately 12,000 who were allowed to reside in 2020 due to significant pandemic-related restrictions.

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