The Ministre de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) held its first draw of 2021 on January 26th. A total of 95 invitations were issued to candidates to submit a permanent selection application in Quebec.
Who was invited to apply?
The invitations were extended to two groups of candidates:
- Foreign nationals who had submitted an expression of interest on the ARRIMA portal through the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) and had a validated offer of employment from a Quebec employer;
- Foreign nationals who had submitted an expression of interest on the ARRIMA portal, who are currently residing in Quebec as diplomats or consular officers of a foreign country or the United Nations and who are accomplishing official duties associated with their position in the province.
Prior to this draw, the last round of invitations was held on December 16th, 2020 where 233 candidates received their invitation to apply for permanent selection. In 2020, the MIFI hosted a total of 4 draws, each with limited amounts of issued invites.
In recent draws, an obvious trend has been observed in the selection of candidates for permanent selection in Quebec. For the last 3 consecutive draws, the invitations have been extended to applicants holding a validated job offer from an employer in Quebec. Therefore, foreign nationals looking to immigrate to Quebec, should strongly consider the possibility of obtaining a validated offer of employment, as this could be an interesting and beneficial route to explore in order to increase their chances of selection.
What is a Validated Offer of Employment in Quebec?
Although the process of obtaining a validated job offer (VJO) in Quebec is similar to that of applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) at the federal level, the VJO must undergo its own evaluation by the MIFI.
Before submitting a validated job offer application, the offered job position must meet the minimal requirements as set forth by the government:
- The employment must be a permanent and full-time position;
- It must be a skill level classified as an NOC 0, A, B or C;
- The foreign national must have the needed qualifications to occupy the position;
- The employment must be offered by an employer who has been in business for a minimum of 12 months;
- The job position being offered must not come into conflict with a labour dispute of another employee.
In addition to the job offer requirements, the employer will also need to show proof of recruitment efforts in order to fill the position. However, if the foreign national is already working for the employer and is a holder of a valid work permit, the employer is exempted from this obligation.
Upon submission of the VJO application, the employer and the foreign national must provide a number of supporting documents, including:
- A written offer of employment letter provided by the employer confirming the position once the permanent residence is issued,
- A written letter from the foreign national committing to the position once the permanent residence is issued,
- Recent financial statements signed by an accountant and documents provided by the employer.
The processing time for these applications currently stands between three to four months. Should the MIFI determine that the position being offered is valid and meets all the requirements, the foreign national will be issued the validated job offer for their expression of interest on the ARRIMA portal.
What a Validated Job Offer Can do For a Foreign National
Not only does a VJO increase a foreign national’s chances of being invited to apply for permanent selection, a VJO could also significantly impact their QSWP scoring. Since the Quebec Skilled Worker Program is a points-based system, a candidate interested in applying under this stream can secure up to 14 points for the validated offer of employment criteria alone. Applicants who do not meet the minimal scoring to be eligible for this program may secure a validated job offer in Quebec in order to help them meet the passing mark to qualify for the QSWP.
With the number of annual draws for permanent selection in Quebec being limited, those interested in immigrating permanently in Quebec, are encouraged to inquire about the possibility of obtaining a validated job offer from a Quebec employer in order to increase their chances of being selected by the province when the invitations are issued.