Quebec hit a new record for temporary residents in the fourth quarter of this year with the number of these residents spiking 42.3 per cent to hit 528,034, the latest data from Statistics Canada reveals.
A year earlier, there were only 360,936 temporary residents in that province which has under the leadership of its premier, François Legault, repeatedly stated it will hold the line on immigration.
In November, Legault again stated his government’s immigration target in 2024 would be about 50,000 newcomers, about the same as this year, in a stated attempt to prevent the erosion of the French language and Quebecois culture.
“We chose … to keep the thresholds, so the total number of permanent immigrants accepted per year at 50,000,” Legault reportedly said in November.
“We had evaluated the possibility of increasing it to 60,000, but it’s important for us, to stop, to reverse the decline of French.”
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The dramatic rise in the number of temporary residents to the province, though, underscores the need of employers in Quebec to find solutions to the labour shortages they face and the desire of universities and colleges there to tap into the lucrative international student market.
Often, those temporary workers and international students then seek to immigrate to Canada through either the federal Express Entry system’s Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program, Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) or the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) of the provinces.
The spike in temporary residents to Quebec suggests the province is poised to see dramatically higher numbers of permanent residents in the future – or that its temporary residents may later seek permanent residence in other parts of Canada.
In Quebec, the number of asylum claimants hit 160,651 in the fourth quarter of 2023, up 51.3 per cent from the 106,189 only a year earlier
Temporary residents holding only work permits soared to 225,684, up 60.9 per cent from the 140,227, during the same period.
International students holding only study permits increased from 64,918 to 72,620 and those holding both a study permit and a work permit rose by 33.9 per cent from 33,862 to hit 45,341.
When their family members are included, asylum claimants and their relatives totalled 367,383 in the fourth quarter of 2023, or 69.6 per cent of the total number of temporary residents.
In mid-December, Quebec immigration began letting employers in the province send in their job offers online for validation under the Quebec Skilled Worker program and the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
That started Dec. 11 and the use of the online application process will become mandatory for employers starting Jan. 11, except for agricultural employers and homecare providers.
Quebec Immigration Minister Christine Fréchette has said the online submission of job offers for validation will streamline and speed up the process for employers.
Online Process For Job Offer Validation Is Expected To Speed Up Processing In Quebec
“The electronic transmission of requests represents a significant improvement which will offer greater flexibility and increased efficiency,” she said. “Employers will be able to benefit from non-identifying Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) which will give them better predictability of their needs and speed up their procedures.”
With this new process, employers will be able to submit an LMIA without having to identify the actual employee, allowing them to actively recruit foreign workers at the same time as the LMIA is being processed and saving them time.
Quebec’s immigration department, the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI), is promising employers the online platform will be secure and allow them to transmit their requests and documents, pay the required fees, communicate with the department and check up on the progress of their applications.
Applicants need to provide one photograph for each person on their application and their fingerprints. All biometric fees must be paid when submitting the application.
Fees to be paid will include:
- processing fees for the applicant and anyone included on the application;
- the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF);
- biometrics, and;
- third-party fees.
- Depending on the applicant’s situation, he or she may also need to pay third parties for:
- medical exams;
- police certificates, or;
- educational credential assessment.