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Montreal Expats: Work Permits for Quebec

In a number of different sectors, companies based in Montréal are among the world leaders in their respective fields. All the more reason for expats to be interested in working there! Our expat guide to working in Montréal gives you a first overview.
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What You Need for Your Temporary Work Permit

Our article on moving to Montréal takes an in-depth look at the requirements that apply to anyone interested in temporary relocation to Québec. These requirements are a direct effect of the special status of the province in relation to the rest of Canada, and go beyond those that expats face in Vancouver or Toronto, for example.

However, one of the main requirements you have to meet in order to get your temporary work permit applies to all of Canada. The Labor Market Impact Assessment ensures that no suitable, qualified personnel from within the country or region could be found for the position, thus making the hiring of expats necessary. Your future employer has to apply for such an analysis and can only hire you after they get clearance from the Department of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

Unique to Québec is the need for you to send a completed application for a certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) to your prospective employer, who will then undertake the necessary steps for you. Only afterwards can you apply for a Canadian temporary work visa at Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). We have outlined this process in our other article on working in Canada.

Make Sure to Consider Labor Shortages and Regulated Professions

We have briefly discussed the heightened chances, or simplified process, of getting a work permit for Québec if you are working in a sector or trade with a shortage of labor. A list of professions in which Québec lacks qualified personnel and further information (in French) can be found on the Immigration Québec homepage.

However, keep in mind that a somewhat large number of professions are regulated, meaning that for an expat to be able to start working in one of those fields, they must first get in touch with the regulatory body — often a government institution or a professional order — and prove they possess the necessary skills and qualifications that are required to meet local standards. Once you have proved your qualifications, you usually get a certificate and are free to pursue your profession. Once again, the government of Québec has compiled lists of regulated professions and details on their website.

Accreditation of Professional Qualifications

Although it is not absolutely necessary in most cases, acquiring an Évaluation comparative des études effectuées hors du Québec — a comparative evaluation of studies done outside Québec — could prove very useful when looking for employment in Montréal. With it, your future employer will be able to easily assess your qualifications on the basis of the standards of the province. For details, please see the website of Immigration Québec.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.

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