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Quebec immigration programs

Quebec operates a number of different immigration programs enabling eligible candidates to secure Canadian permanent residence. The federal government has granted the province of Quebec significantly more autonomy in immigration policies and procedures, which is why Quebec’s immigration programs are often treated separately from other provinces’.

Quebec is the only province in Canada whose only official language is French. For this reason, some of Quebec’s immigration programs require proficiency or offer preference to individuals proficient in French. However, there are also pathways available for non-French speakers who wish to immigrate to the province.

Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ)

Quebec immigration applications are approved through two separate processes: selection and admission. Selection occurs at the provincial level, while admission occurs at the federal level. To immigrate to Quebec, an applicant must meet the requirements for both selection and admission. In the selection step of the process, a foreign national must obtain approval from the province of Quebec itself.

Selection is demonstrated through a certificat de sélection du Québec (Quebec Selection Certificate – CSQ), which is a document issued by the provincial immigration authorities following a successful application through one of Quebec’s immigration programs.

Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSW)

The Quebec Skilled Worker program (QSW) is one of Quebec’s immigration pathways to permanent residence. As a skilled worker program, all applicants are required to demonstrate a minimum amount of skilled work experience. QSW is a points-based immigration program, meaning applicants must meet a minimum score on a points assessment grid in order to be eligible.

This program does not require that an applicant be proficient in French to apply, but French proficiency may lead to an increased score on the points assessment grid.

Eligible candidates must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the online Arrima portal to be considered for this program.

Quebec Experience Program (PEQ)

The Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) is one of Quebec’s immigration pathways to permanent residence. The program requires that candidates have experience in the province of Quebec, either as a temporary foreign worker or an international student. PEQ applicants must demonstrate advanced intermediate knowledge of oral French. There are additional eligibility requirements for this program, including that the applicant be legally residing in Quebec at the time the application is submitted and processed.

Quebec Investor Program

In order to apply to the Quebec Investor Program, applicants must have net assets totaling at least $2 million CAD and the ability to invest at least $1.2 million CAD with a Quebec financial intermediary. Applicants who fit these criteria may be eligible to obtain permanent residence in Canada through the Quebec Investor Program.

Quebec Entrepreneur Program

The Quebec Entrepreneur Program requires applicants to have the financial capacity along with the experience and intention to manage a business project in Quebec or to acquire a business in Quebec.

Quebec Self-Employed

The Quebec Self-Employed Worker Program allows certain self-employed people to immigrate to Quebec and create their own job. In order to qualify for this program, an applicant needs to have net assets of at least $100,000 CAD and two years of experience as a self-employed worker in the field they plan to practice in Quebec. 

Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ)

A number of Quebec’s temporary resident programs require a certificat d’acceptation du Québec (Quebec Acceptance Certificate – CAQ), to authorize temporary stay in Quebec. This includes the majority of study programs for international students. NOTE: A CAQ authorizes temporary stay in the Province of Quebec. Not to be confused with a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ), which authorizes permanent stay in the province.

Validated Job Offer

If a Quebec employer wishes to hire a foreign national, they may be eligible to extend the foreign national a job offer which has been officially validated by MIDI. A validated job offer is a strong advantage in the Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW) program as it gives its holder either 8 points (if the job is located in the Montreal region) or 10 points (if the position is located outside the Montreal region).

As well, holders of validated job offers are exempt from the quota requirement for QSW applications, meaning they can apply for a CSQ at any time. To validate the job offer, the position and the foreign national must meet several requirements:

Job Position Requirements:

  • Must be for a permanent, full-time position at National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Level 0, A, B, or C.
  • Must have a positive or neutral impact on the local labour market.
  • Must be offered, in writing, by a Quebec employer who has been in operation for a minimum of 12 months.
  • Appropriate recruitment efforts must have been made to hire a Canadian citizen or permanent resident for the position, if applicable (see below)

Foreign National Requirements:

  • Must submit copies of identification documents, educational documents, curriculum vitae (CV), and a written copy of the employment offer.
  • Must have license or certificate to practice in the profession if the profession is regulated in Quebec.
  • If the foreign national is already working for the employer, they must submit a copy of their work permit along with three recent paystubs.

If a foreign national is already working for a Quebec employer on a temporary work permit, the employer does not need to show proof that they attempted to recruit a Canadian or permanent resident for the position. In all other cases, the employer must show proof of recruitment efforts. This means that employers must make significant efforts to hire a Canadian to fill the position prior to offering it to a foreign national. If all requirements for the validated job offer are met, the employer may submit an application for validation to MIDI.

What is Arrima?

Arrima is an online portal launched in 2018 to manage applications to the Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW) program. It is an Expression of Interest (EOI) system, so interested candidates can submit an EOI to Arrima to be considered. The Quebec government will then invite select candidates to submit an application to QSW.

What is Mon Project Quebec?

Mon Projet Québec was the online portal used to manage applications to the Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW) program before the new Arrima portal was launched in 2018. Candidates who had active profiles on Mon Projet Québec can still access their profiles to update personal information, but no new profiles can be created on the system. Candidates with active Mon Projet Québec profiles must also still submit an Expression of Interest under Arrima to be considered for QSW.

For more information or to see if you qualify, please make an enquiry with one of our qualified and experienced Migration Consultants.

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