Focusing on foreign skilled workers

Montréal, August 23, 2016 – As part of the public consultation on the government’s 2017–2019 immigration policy, Montréal International (MI) submitted a report recommending that the Québec government enhance its immigration strategy by focusing more on skilled foreign workers to attract foreign investment to Greater Montréal.

“The availability of talent is the first thing foreign investors look at when choosing where to locate or expand their business. To stay ahead of other jurisdictions competing for skilled talent, Québec needs an immigration system that is fast, flexible and accessible,” said Hubert Bolduc, President and CEO of Montréal International.

Proposed measures include granting Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemptions for occupations that experience skill shortages or high levels of demand, and creating an immigration program dedicated exclusively to foreign entrepreneurs, including a special component for start-ups.

“Greater Montréal ranks Number 20 among the world’s top start-up ecosystems (Compass, The Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking 2015) and is known for its ideas, creativity and ability to innovate. That’s why it is essential that we take the right action to deepen Québec’s talent pool by bringing in some of the world’s greatest business people and entrepreneurs,” added Mr. Bolduc.


Montréal International’s report includes six recommendations on how to simplify Québec’s immigration process and attract more foreign talent.

Temporary Immigration

  • Speed up the processing of applications for work permits, LMIA and Québec acceptance certificates (CAQ – Certificat d’acceptation du Québec) and make sure the process is
    flexible and predictable.
  • Grant LMIA exemptions for occupations on the simplified process list, as such occupations are in high demand in Québec.
  • Include university professors and researchers on the list of occupations that qualify for the simplified process.
  • Create a temporary immigration program to fast-track the immigration process for foreign entrepreneurs coming to Québec.

 Permanent Immigration

  • Consider candidates’ education and/or experience when reviewing their files to meet the current needs of creative industries.
  • Create a fast and accessible permanent immigration program to help foreign entrepreneurs and their key employees settle in Québec.

Since its creation, Montréal International has helped bring in and retain over 10,000 skilled foreign workers. Since 2010, the organization has also coordinated the participation of Greater Montréal businesses in 13 overseas recruiting drives, including Journées Québec, helping to recruit over 900 skilled and experienced workers.

Click here to read Montréal International’s report and full recommendations online (french only).

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