Advice for Temporary Workers

Temporary Worker Status

The term “temporary worker” designates a foreign national who holds a work permit issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). This permit authorizes its holder to work only in the specified position and for the company indicated on the permit. To change employers or positions at the same firm, the foreign national must request a new permit. The work permit is valid for the duration of employment, usually for a period of one to three years. It is renewable under certain conditions, but the total duration must not exceed four years, except under unusual circumstances.

Permanent Residency

Permanent residency allows you to plan long-term projects, both at the professional and personal levels. To benefit from all the services and privileges available to Canadian citizens, the best thing to do is obtain permanent residency, as it enables you to enjoy all the advantages of living in Greater Montréal.

Here are some advantages:

  • You no longer have to request a work permit renewal.
  • Unlimited validity period, as long as you remain in Canada for at least two years (730 non-consecutive days) out of five (obligation to live in Canada).
  • Permanent residents have the same rights as Canadian citizens, except for the right to vote and to hold a Canadian passport. They are able to live, work and study anywhere in Canada.
  • The spouse and dependent children of the applicant also receive permanent resident status.
  • This status gives foreign workers and their families more professional mobility.
  • Permanent residents have better access to credit and property ownership.
  • It is the only way to become a Canadian citizen.

Only permanent residents can request Canadian citizenship. They can do so after three years of continuous permanent residency, or two years of permanent residency combined with two years of temporary status.

How to Obtain Permanent Residency

The Québec and Canadian governments share jurisdiction with respect to immigration.

To immigrate to Québec, candidates and their families must meet selection requirements AND admission requirements.


Québec is responsible for the selection of workers wishing to settle on its territory.

Québec’s power to select is guided by criteria aimed at achieving its immigration objectives.

If the candidate is selected, he or she will receive a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Québec Selection Certificate), the official immigration document issued by the Gouvernement du Québec.

Two Programs

1. Regular Program 


Selection process

Official immigration application

For more information:

Information service

  • Montréal area: 514-864-9191
  • Elsewhere in Québec (toll free): 1-877-864-9191
  • Outside Québec: + 1 514 864 9191

2. Québec Experience Program

This program applies to you if you are currently employed, if you have held a skilled job in Québec for at least 12 of the last 24 months and if you have a knowledge of spoken French.

To learn more, visit the Immigration Québec website.

For more information:

Information service

  • Montréal area: 514-864-9191
  • Elsewhere in Québec (toll free): 1-877-864-9191
  • Outside Québec: + 1 514 864 9191


Canada is responsible for the admission of workers wishing to settle on its territory.

The Government of Canada admits to Québec solely those workers that Québec has selected. To be admitted, you must successfully apply for permanent residency (this also applies to family members), and successfully pass a medical examination and the required security checks.

If the health of an applicant or that of a family member (accompanying or not) is deemed to present a health or public safety risk or to result in an excessive burden on the health and social services in Canada, the application for permanent residency is rejected, even if a CSQ was obtained.

Upon arrival in Québec, permanent residency is granted. This status confers the same rights as those enjoyed by all Canadian citizens but for the rights to vote and obtain a passport. After three years of permanent residency, these rights can be had by applying for Canadian citizenship.

How to Apply

After obtaining your CSQ, you can apply for permanent residency. Find out how. 

For more information:

The Call Centre can answer questions, in English and French, about Citizenship and Immigration (CIC) services and programs, or applications in process inside Canada.

Call Centre telephone number: 1-888-242‑2100

Visit the Permanent Residency website.

Find out more :

– Help to Find Work
– All You Should Know to Settle in Greater Montréal