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Recent Changes to Quebec Immigration: A Summary

March, 2012

On 21 March 2012, the Quebec Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Communities (MICC) issued a statement outlining new policies for Permanent Residency (PR) immigration to Quebec through the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSW). These new policies took effect retroactively on 20 March 2012, and will dictate what applications Quebec will accept for the upcoming fiscal year, which stretches until 31 March 2013.

Potential applicants to the QSW program are now divided into three groups based on their “areas of training”, or fields of study, as well as additional selection criteria. The groups are determined as follows:

Group 1

Applicants fall into Group 1 if they fulfill one or more of seven criteria. An unlimited number of applications from Group 1 will be accepted for processing by Quebec Immigration. The following individuals are eligible to apply:

1. Temporary workers currently residing in Quebec

2. Students who have obtained, or are about to obtain, a diploma awarded by a Quebec institution

3. Young people in Quebec on a youth exchange program subject to an international agreement, such as the Working Holiday Program, who are working full time in Quebec

4. Applicants residing in and submitting an application to Quebec who were formerly Canadian citizens

5. Applicants who have already been informed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) that they are admissible for PR processing.

6. Applicants, or their spouses, who hold a diploma awarded by a teaching institution in an area of training (field of study)which allows them to receive 12 or 16 points on the province’s selection grid

• The diploma must be obtained less than five years before the date of application, or the applicant must have practiced in this field on a full-time basis for at least one of five years preceding the date of application.

• Areas of training may receive different points depending on whether the degree was obtained inside or outside of Quebec.

7. Applicants with a validated offer of employment from a Quebec employer

Group 2

A maximum number of 14,300 applications will be accepted between 21 March 2012 and 31 March 2013 in this category. Applicants will be classified into Group 2 if they fall under one of the following two situations:

1. Applicants, or their spouses, who hold a diploma awarded by a teaching institution in an area of training which allows them to receive 6 points under the province’s selection grid may apply under Group 2.

• The diploma must be obtained less than five years before the date of application, or the applicant must have practiced in this field on a full-time basis for at least one of five years preceding the date of application.

• Areas of training may receive different points depending on whether the degree was obtained inside or outside of Quebec.

2. Applicants, or their spouses, who hold or are currently pursuing a Quebec diploma or the equivalent outside of Quebec. This could apply to holders of other Canadian diplomas, or individuals who hold foreign diplomas in a regulated trade or profession who have already received authorization to practice this trade in Quebec.

• As above, the diploma must be obtained less than five years before the date of application, or the applicant must have practiced in this field on a full-time basis for at least one of five years preceding the date of application.

Group 3

Potential applicants who do not fall under Groups 1 and 2 fall under Group 3. This year, no applications from Group 3 will be accepted for processing.

Processing fees for the primary applicant under the QSW will be raised on 1 April 2012 from $406 to $750.

Additional Changes

Additional changes have also been made to Quebec Business Class applications. For the Quebec Immigrant Investor program, a maximum of 2,700 applications will be received up until 31 March. For Quebec Entrepreneurs and Quebec Self-Employed candidates, a maximum of 215 will be accepted.

Quebec Government Rationale

The primary reason for enacting the above measures is so that Quebec immigration can reduce its current backlog of applications, and better serve those applicants who do get processed. In recent years, the number of applications has risen dramatically, from around 30,000 in 2008 to over 65,000 in 2011. Because of this huge increase, processing times have risen, and can now take more than 2 years for some categories of permanent residency. The Quebec government believes that taking such time to produce a decision on a subject that will so greatly affect the lives of applicants and their families must be addressed.

“I understand that Quebec is taking steps to better serve the needs of both the province and its future residents,” says Attorney David Cohen. “Given the new system, especially with regard to Group 2 applicants, I encourage those who are eligible and committed to immigrating to Quebec to submit quickly to ensure their place in the processing queue”.

The government hopes that by narrowing the selection criteria of the QSW program, the province will be able to more readily choose immigrants that will satisfy it’s economic and labour market needs. It anticipates that it will be able to stabilize the amount of applications processed in the next three years to 50,000 a year, with the hope that a greater percentage of those reviewed will be admitted to the province in a timely manner, and that that refusals will be diminished.

It is important to note that these changes have been announced specifically for the upcoming year, and may or may not persist after March 2013. Regardless, it is crucial that potential immigrants to Quebec are aware of their possible changes in eligibility, and take steps accordingly to address any changes that arise on both the regional and federal levels.

To find out if you are eligible for Quebec immigration or one of the over 60 Canadian immigration programs, please fill out Canadavisa’s free online assessment.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

amjad naseem March 28, 2012 at 9:53 pm

canada is my favorite country i want live and work and bisness in canada

Tekeba Eshetie Nega March 29, 2012 at 6:17 am

Thank you for these information which is very help full. For my case, I am still in group 3 therefore, will not be eligible for Quebec skilled workers list. In any case I am still a student and wait for finishing my career by the coming September.
Thank you

MBEYEAH DAVID March 29, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Thanks very much for always updating me on the happening in the domain of immigration over there.
It is really a good innovation in that area which gives more advantage to those who are already in Quebec and in the field of teaching. I think it has given more orientation to immigrants.

OLOHE BIN OKITO ERIC PRINCE April 6, 2012 at 11:44 am

j’aime le Canada et je veux vivre là bas

Anonymous April 6, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Mr. Cohen,
Thank you for regular posts and useful notifications.

Gordana Popovic

aman April 9, 2012 at 12:38 pm

hank you for these information which is very help full. For my case,
canada is my favorite country i want live and work and bisness in canada
I am still in group 3 therefore, will not be eligible for Quebec skilled workers list. In any case I am still a student and wait for finishing my career by the coming September.t is really a good innovation in that area which gives more advantage to those who are already in Quebec and in the field of teaching.

Thank you

Joe Raymond L. Geron April 11, 2012 at 4:03 am

Looking for a better and greener future for my family, I would like to take this opportunity in applying for Citizenship/Immigrating to Quebec Canada although this application is quite late already. I can see that my family will defenitly have a better life in Canada.

tcheuwa padji david April 19, 2012 at 9:45 pm

canada is my favorite country i want live and work and bisness in canada

Carlos Estrela Nessuca Carlos June 12, 2012 at 1:49 pm

je veux au Canada avec ma famille

LOVE August 13, 2012 at 11:50 am

We like Canada very much. Its environment, freshness, seems great there. I applied for my and my 2 kids, already received a file number after a payment made to Government of Quebec now I pray that i will receive the CSQ soon and wish to mover there as soon as possible. As for kids it will be great if they can profit to max the education exists there. Live canada!!!!!!!

Tsegaye Arefaine August 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm

i like Canada which is mu favorite country in world.and i like join there for the rest of my life.

brinda September 5, 2014 at 12:33 pm

When will the Quebec Government start to accept application under QSW Program in 2015?

We welcome your comments on the news article above. However, we do not respond to specific questions in this space. If you have a question, you may Contact Us If you want to know if you qualify for Canadian immigration, you may complete our Free Assessment