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Quebec Immigration Overview

 

The province of Quebec administers its own immigration programs with selection criteria that are distinct from those of federal and other provincial immigration programs. The Quebec Ministry of Immigration (MIFI) selects candidates considered most likely to successfully settle in the French-speaking province.

Foreign nationals wishing to settle permanently in Quebec must undergo a two-step immigration process.

 

1. They must be selected by the Ministère de l’immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Inclusion (MIFI), Quebec’s immigration authority.

Selected applicants will receive a Quebec Certificate of Selection (CSQ). This is an official document issued by Quebec immigration authorities to attest that the candidate has been selected by the province. It is not a visa, so it cannot be utilized to enter Canada.

According to the Regulations of August 2nd 2018, a CSQ is valid for 24 months or until a decision has been rendered by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) with respect to the permanent resident visa application.

2. An approved CSQ holder must file a permanent residence application with IRCC within 24 months from the date the CSQ was issued.

The federal government’s role in evaluating a Quebec application for permanent residence is mainly limited to issues of health and criminality.

At this stage, an application will be submitted to IRCC, including police certificates and medical exams, when requested.

 

What are the programs administered by Quebec?

Currently, candidates who want to settle in Quebec can apply for a CSQ in one of the following categories:

Quebec Skilled Worker Program

The Quebec Skilled Worker Program identifies and selects candidates who are most likely to establish themselves economically in the province of Quebec. These are workers whose skills respond to provincial market needs and make it easier for them to find work.

Quebec bases its selection on a grid of factors for which points are awarded, namely education, work experience, language knowledge, age, children, spouse’s characteristics and financial autonomy.

Quebec Business Immigration

Wealthy individuals may consider any of Quebec’s business programs, which are: Investors, Entrepreneurs and Self-employed.

 

Quebec Experience Program (PEQ)

Another program is available for those candidates who are already living and working or studying in Quebec called Quebec Experience Program – PEQ. Eligible candidates can apply for a CSQ under an accelerated process. Two streams are available: Quebec Graduate and Temporary Foreign Worker.

Quebec Skilled Worker Immigration

The Province of Quebec administers its own immigration programs with selection criteria that are distinct and more predictable from those of federal and other provincial immigration programs.

Foreign nationals wishing to settle permanently in Quebec must undergo a two-step immigration process:

They must be selected by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI), Quebec’s immigration authority. Selected applicants will receive a Quebec Certificate of Selection (CSQ).

An approved CSQ holder must file an application with Canadian federal immigration authorities. The federal government’s role in evaluating a Quebec application for permanent residence is mainly limited to issues of health and criminality.

The Expression of Interest

Starting August 2018, MIDI has implemented an Express of Interest (EOI) system, to streamline their application process. Interested candidates are now invited to declare their interest to immigrate to Quebec by submitting an online profile to the Quebec’s Expression of Interest Bank (EOIB).

The Arrima Portal

The new system, Arrima, is directed to individuals interested to immigrate to Quebec under the regular Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) and it effectively ended the application process under the principle of “first come, first served”.

The Arrima portal remains open year-round and candidates can submit an EOI at any time, free of charge.

Anyone who meets the age requirements, which is 18 years, can submit an EOI profile online.

According to MIDI, the selection of candidates from the EOI bank will be based on criteria defining the person’s profile in terms of employability and contribution to the vitality of the French language.

More specifically, the invitations are based on three main categories:

  1. Human capital (age, proficiency in French, level of education, etc.) 

  2. Ability to find a job in Québec (having a validated job offer, having earned a degree in Québec, or having temporary worker status with at least six months work experience in Québec)

  3. Changing needs of the job market (areas of training associated with fields experiencing labour shortages) 

 

The Quebec Skilled Worker program aims to select candidates with the highest probability of successful economic settlement potential.

Applicants from outside Canada, who do not have intermediate-advanced French abilities, have the best chances to qualify under Quebec rules if their profession is in high demand in Quebec.

 

The Mon Projet Quebec Portal

Candidates invited to apply for a CSQ will be directed to a secure space in the Mon Projet Quebec portal.

They will be able to complete their application, submit it and pay the required processing fees within a deadline of 90 days. Candidates can also follow the status of their application.

When MIDI is ready to process the application, they will issue a personalized checklist of required documents.

 

The Selection Grid

At this stage, applicants must make sure they meet the passing scores under the selection grid.

For a single candidate, the employability threshold is of 43 points. Here, the credentials considered are such as the age, education, work experience, visits and family in Quebec, language proficiency, job offer.

Then, additional points are awarded for existence of children and financial autonomy. A selection cut-off score of 50 points is required in order to qualify under the QSWP.

When a candidate has a spouse, certain of his or her credentials are also considered: age, education, French proficiency. The cut-off scores are also higher, 52 points under the employability threshold and 59 points under the selection threshold.

 

The submission of documents

The required documents must be submitted within 90 days from the date the customized checklist is received.

MIDI imposes certain formatting requirements regarding the documents they request from the candidates.

 

Processing Times

Processing times for the Quebec Skilled Worker program are divided into two periods: the time required to obtain a CSQ from the Quebec Immigration authorities and time required to obtain the permanent residence visa from the federal immigration authorities.

 

Application Fees

Processing fees for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program for 2023 are:

  • $869 for the main applicant

  • $186 for each accompanying dependent (spouse and children, if applicable)

Learn more about the Quebec Immigration Economic Stream Update.

Contact us for more information about Quebec Skilled Worker Immigration.

Find out whether you qualify to Canada by completing our free on-line evaluation. We will provide you with our evaluation within 1-2 business days.

Quebec Experience Program – PEQ

The Quebec Government encourages foreign workers working in Quebec and international students completing a program of post-secondary studies in Quebec, to permanently remain in the province.

The Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) is a simplified fast-track process leading to permanent residence for the two categories of applicants. The program allows international students and temporary foreign workers to apply for permanent residence from within Quebec, after completing a period of qualified work or approved studies.

A series of changes were made to the PEQ requirements on July, 2023. There are also a series of transitional measures in place for certain candidates already in Quebec when the requirements were changed.

Québec Experience Program for Students:

For students to be eligible, they must have studied in Quebec full time and have completed one of the following types of diplomas:

  • Diploma of Vocational Studies (Diplôme d’Études Professionelles) involving 1 800 hours of study;

  • DVS followed by an Attestation of Vocational Specialization (Attestation de spécialisation professionnelle) totaling 1 800 hours of study;

  • Diploma of College Studies, technical training (Diplôme d’Études Collégiales technique);

  • Bachelor’s degree;

  • Master’s degree (and MBA); or

  • Doctorate.

 

The diploma or degree must be granted by a university or by a public education institution located in Quebec and recognized by the government. Also, the international student must have lived in Quebec for at least half the duration of their study program. In addition, the student must have obtained the following work experience:

Holders of a technical college diploma, a bachelor’s, a master’s or a doctorate:

  • Full-time work experience of at least 12 months after the end of the study program in a job at NOC level 0, A or B.

  • Hold a full-time job at NOC level 0, A or B at the time of the application.

  • Work experience acquired through a full- or part-time internship as part of the course may be recognized up to a maximum of three months.

Holders of a Diploma of Vocational Studies, alone or with an Attestation of Vocational Specialization:

  • Full-time work experience of at least 18 months after the end of the study program in a job at NOC level 0, A, B or C.

  • Hold a full-time job at NOC level 0, A, B or C at the time of the application.

  • Work experience at NOC level 0, A or B, does not have to be related to the study program.

  • Work experience at NOC level C must be related to the diploma obtained in Quebec. 

  • Work experience acquired through a full- or part-time internship as part of the course may be recognized up to a maximum of three months.

 

In addition, the international student must possess an intermediate-advanced knowledge of oral French. The student can prove his knowledge of French by one of the following:

  • Completed one of the above programs in French;

  • Studied in French on a full-time basis for at least three years in a secondary or post-secondary educational institution;

  • Passed a recognized French test, such as the Test d’évaluation de français and others;

  • Satisfied the language requirements of a professional Order in Quebec.

 

Students may submit their application for permanent selection under PEQ – Quebec Graduate stream, from within Quebec or from abroad, upon completion of their program of study.

 

Québec Experience Program for Temporary Workers:

Candidates must meet all the requirement of the Quebec Experience Program when applying​

Quebec Experience Program for Temporary Foreign Workers: Requirements

  • Intention to settle and work in Quebec.

  • Have lived and worked legally in Quebec.

  • Be legally in Quebec as a temporary foreign worker or as part of a youth exchange program.

  • Hold a full-time job at NOC level 0, A or B when submitting your application.

  • Have held a full-time job at NOC level 0, A or B for at least 24 of the 36 months preceding the application.

  • Demonstrate oral knowledge of French equal to at least 7 of the ‘Quebec scale of French language proficiency levels for adult immigrants’ or equivalent;

  • Commit to providing for your basic needs and, where applicable, those of your spouse or de facto spouse and dependent children included in your application, for a minimum of 3 months;

  • Be at least 18 years old and hold a valid passport;

  • Pass a Quebec values test within the prescribed deadlines (including spouse and children aged 18 or over).

 

Priority Processing

Under the PEQ program, the selection decisions are made solely from the information and documentary evidence submitted on file, and this is not a points-based program.

The target processing time for the program is six months.

Once the CSQ is issued, the applicant will apply for permanent residence to the federal government to conclude health, security and related matters.

 

Quebec Business Immigration

 The Quebec government selects business people, entrepreneurs and high net worth individuals wishing to become Canadian permanent residents and settle in the province.

 

Following the acceptance of their application, successful candidates will receive a Certificate of Selection of Quebec (CSQ) and will be able to submit a permanent residence application to the federal government.

Candidates may be eligible to apply under one of three business immigration categories:

 

Quebec Immigrant Investor Program

The Quebec government plans to make changes to the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program, which is currently suspended. The main eligibility conditions of the previous program were:

  1. Demonstrate a personal net worth of at least $2 million legally acquired through conducting business or holding a high-level management position in a private company, government or NGO.

  1. Demonstrate:
    a) Having owned and operated a business for two years in the previous five years, OR
    b) Having held a high-level management position for two years in the previous five years in a private company, government or NGO.

  1. Invest $1.2 million in a passive government-guaranteed investment for a period of five years and receive no interest. Applicants may finance their investments.

Quebec Immigrant Entrepreneur Program

The Quebec Entrepreneur Program aims to recruit individuals who have the skills and experience to operate a business in the province.

The program operates under two streams:

  1. First stream consists in creating a business in Quebec with support from a business accelerator, a business incubator or a university entrepreneurship center.

  1. Second stream consists of creating or buying an existing business, of which the entrepreneur must control at least 25% if it’s a new enterprise or at least 51% of an acquired enterprise.

The candidate must prove that they have legally acquired a net worth of $900,000, alone or with their spouse if applicable.

 

Quebec Immigrant Self-Employed Program

To qualify under the Quebec Self-Employed Program, applicants must meet the following conditions that differentiate them from the Quebec Skilled Worker Program:

  1. have two years of self-employed experience, in the profession or trade they intend to practice in Quebec;

  1. possess a personal net worth of $100,000 CAD, alone or with an accompanying spouse or common-law partner;

  1. register a start-up deposit of at least $50,000 if the self-employed candidate is based in the metropolitan area of Montreal, and $25,000 if the candidate is located outside of Montreal.

Additional requirements

All business candidates are also evaluated according to various selection factors and must obtain a minimum number of points based on their education, work experience, age, language proficiency, business plan and/or investment, ties to Quebec, etc.

Candidates must also demonstrate an intention to reside in Quebec.

Annual intake periods and numerical quotas are imposed by the immigration authorities. In the case of investors, territorial quotas are also applicable.

However, candidates who demonstrate that they have intermediate-advanced knowledge of French language (by presenting French test results of level B2 in speaking and listening) can apply at any time and are not subject to any cap.

Worldway Migration Services

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