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Quebec Skilled Worker Programme

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 Diversitéet 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.

Quebec Expression of Interest

Quebec operates its own Expression of Interest immigration system under its Quebec Skilled Worker program, called Arrima. It functions in a similar way as the federal Express Entry system and replaces the former first-come, first-served process.

The system is designed to allow candidates with the best credentials to get to the front of the line for Quebec economic immigration.

According to Quebec Ministry to Immigration, diversity and Inclusion (MIDI), the Arrima portal is designed to maintain a continuous flow of new Quebec skilled workers with profiles that meet the needs of Quebec businesses.

How Does Quebec Expression of Interest Work?

  1. Candidates submit an online expression of interest profile to the MIDI.
  2. Profiles enter into an Expression of Interest pool, where they are ranked against each other and are valid for 12-months.
  3. Profiles will be classified in two categories: one for candidates who are living in Quebec or have a job offer and meet specific criteria, and the another for candidates living outside Quebec and meet specific criteria.
  4. The highest-ranking candidates will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for a Quebec Certificate of Selection under the Quebec Skilled Worker Program.
  5. Quebec will conduct periodic draws, inviting candidates to apply for a Quebec certificate of selection (CSQ).
  6. Candidates receiving an invitation have 60 days to submit a full application.
  7. Approved candidates who receive a nomination certificate (CSQ) may then apply for Canadian permanent residence.

What Are the Requirements for Quebec Expression of Interest?

Candidates are ranked under many factors including education, work experience, age, language ability and time spent in Quebec. A valid job offer is also an important factor.

The qualifications of a candidate’s spouse or partner will also be considered.

Quebec publishes lists of High Demand Occupations and Areas of Training that could weigh considerably in the assessment.

According to the decision published on August 1st, 2018, the first category refers to candidates who:

  • Have a validated job offer outside the Metropolitan Community of Montreal;
  • Have a validated job offer in the Metropolitan Community of Montreal;
  • Are currently living in Quebec AND:
    • They have a post-graduate work permit, obtained following the graduation from an eligible study program in Quebec (diploma attesting at least 900 hours of instruction, diploma of collegial studies attesting at least 12 months of full-time studies, undergraduate degree of at least 12 months of full-time studies, or graduate degrees such as masters, specialized graduate diplomas or PhDs); or
    • They have a work permit with a validity of at least 12 months and they have worked in Quebec full-time for at least 6 months.

These candidates will be ranked based on the following criteria:

  1. Age
  2. Level of education
  3. Diploma obtained in Quebec
  4. Proficiency in French
  5. Proficiency in other languages
  6. Work experience in Canada or in the United States
  7. Spouse/common-law partner’s qualifications: level of education and proficiency in the French language.
  8. Transferability skills:
    1. Level of education with French proficiency (either the main applicant’s or the spouse’s, depending on which score is highest)
    2. Level of education with French proficiency and work experience in Canada or US
    3. Foreign work experience with French proficiency
    4. Foreign work experience with French proficiency and work experience in Canada or US

The second category refers to candidates who are not residing in Quebec. They will be ranked on the following criteria:

  1. Age
  2. Level of education
  3. Are of training in-demand, as published by the government
  4. Diploma obtained in Quebec
  5. Proficiency in French
  6. Proficiency in other languages
  7. Work experience in Canada or in the United States
  8. Spouse/common-law partner’s qualifications: level of education and proficiency in the French language.
  9. Transferability skills:
    1. Level of education with French proficiency (either the main applicant’s or the spouse’s, depending on which score is highest)
    2. Level of education with French proficiency and work experience in Canada or US
    3. Foreign work experience with French proficiency
    4. Foreign work experience with French proficiency and work experience in Canada or US
What Points Are Available Under the Quebec Skilled Worker Program?

Quebec has not yet published the points structure of the selection criteria above.

However, candidates selected to apply for a CSQ under the Quebec Skilled worker program must also pass the threshold for the Selection factors, which is 50 points for a single candidate and 59 points for a married candidate.

Selection factors in the point grid

Profile factor Max points available
Education 14
Areas of training 12
Work experience 8
Age 16
Language proficiency 22
Time spent and family in Quebec 8
Spouse/common-law partner 17
Job offer 14
Accompanying children 8
Financial self-sufficiency 1
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.

Conditions to qualify for the Quebec PEQ program (Graduate of Quebec Stream):

Completion of one of the following eligible diplomas

  • Bachelor Degree (University Undergraduate);
  • Maitrise/Master (et le MBA), Doctorat ;
  • DEC – diploma of college studies, technical training;
  • DEP – diploma of vocational studies) attesting to 1800 hours of study or more;
  • DEP followed by ASP – attestation of vocational specialization) attesting to a minimum of 1800 hours of continuing education and leading to a particular trade

You must have resided temporarily in Quebec for at least half of the study program on a study permit and have respected the conditions of your stay.

  1. Providing a final transcript attesting to the successful completion of an advanced intermediate level French course taken in Québec, in a recognized educational institution included on the list of French courses eligible under the PEQ; Or
  2. Providing a regular licence to practise from a professional order in Québec or an attestation of the fulfilment of the language requirements of a professional order in Québec or an attestation of successful completion of an examination administered by the Office québécois de la langue française for the purposes of obtaining a regular licence to practise.
  3. Providing a final transcript to attest to the successful completion of at least three years of full-time secondary or post-secondary study completed entirely in French.

NOTE: You must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid passport and, if you are submitting your application within Canada, be legally residing in Québec at the time of submission of your application.

When to submit an application?

You may submit your application no later than 36 months following receipt of your degree or diploma.

Starting in October 2018, candidates are no longer permitted to submit their application 6 months prior to obtaining their diploma. They are required to have graduated and provided the diploma or an attestation of successful completion as well as the final transcript of their grades in order to submit an application.

Financial Requirements

In order to pursue studies in Quebec, proof of unencumbered available funds is required to cover tuition and living expenses.

Tuition is estimated at $15,000 a year. This amount varies between institutions and study programs.

In addition to tuition, you must have adequate funds to support yourself and any family members that would accompany you.

When you submit an application under PEQ, you will be required to sign an undertaking to provide for your basic needs and, where applicable, those of your accompanying dependents, for a minimum period of three months.

The undertaking is under the form of a Contract respecting financial self-sufficiency.

You are not eligible for the Quebec Experience Program if:
  • you hold a bursary with a clause stipulating a return to your country unless you have already fulfilled this condition;
  • you have started a new study program in Québec.

Quebec Immigration Application Fees

The processing fees are indexed every year.

Type of application From January 1, 2020
Permanent immigration
Applications for a Certificate of Selection of Québec (CSQ)
Business: Investor $15,496
Business: Entrepreneur and self-employed $1,080
Skilled worker $798
Each accompanying family member (except investor class) $171
Employer requesting validation of permanent employment $199
Undertaking applications (sponsorships)
For the principal sponsored person or the first sponsored minor $284
For each other sponsored person $114
Temporary immigration
Applications for a Certificate of Acceptance of Québec (CAQ)
Temporary worker $199
Employer posting a temporary employment offer (except seasonal agriculture) $199
Foreign student $114
Person on a temporary stay for medical treatment $114
Comparative evaluation for studies done outside Québec
(Additional translation fees may be required) $119

What are the new processing times?

The Quebec governments promise that under the new system the processing times will decrease from 32 months to less than 12 months.

https://www.immigration.ca/quebec-expression-of-interest (page source)

https://www.immigration.ca/quebec-skilled-worker-immigration (page source)

https://www.immigration.ca/quebec-experience-program (page source)

https://www.immigration.ca/conditions-qualify-quebec-experience-program-graduate-studies-stream (page source)

https://www.immigration.ca/quebec-immigration-application-fees (page source)