Quebec Update: Proposed Changes to Selection Guidelines
The Quebec government recently released a draft Regulation setting forth proposals for the amendment of the existing selection criteria for immigrants destined for the Province of Quebec.
The following is a summary of the main changes proposed in the draft Regulation:
In addition to the existing criteria required to qualify as a Sponsor, the draft Regulation adds the following conditions to the undertaking on behalf of a foreign national of the family class:
- Not having been convicted of violence against a family member during the past 5 years;
- Demonstrating that the sponsored relative is aware of the terms of the undertaking made by his or her sponsor with respect to providing for the essential needs of the sponsored relative;
- Spouses must be at least 16 years old;
- Undertakings given abroad on behalf of dependent children may only refer to children under 19 years of age who are unmarried and have no children.
Note that the stated goal of the legislator is to counter cases of violence against the family and to ensure that an immigrant is informed of the terms of the undertaking given on his or her behalf by the Canadian sponsor.
Quebec Certificate of Selection:
The draft Regulation proposes extending the validity period of the Quebec Certificate of Selection from one year to three years. Note that Independent applicants destined for the Province of Quebec must first be "selected" by Quebec. Once selected, they receive a Certificate of Selection and, in most cases, it is only at this point that the Federal authorities evaluate the applicant’s medical and criminal admissibility. Since the Federal evaluation may sometimes take longer than one year to complete, many Quebec applicants have been obliged to renew their Quebec Certificates of Selection after the expiry of the one year validity period. The proposed amendment will help alleviate this complication.
Quebec Selection Criteria:
The draft Regulation attempts to further broaden the criteria of schooling and stay in Quebec. It also attempts to standardize the concepts of occupational experience, specifying that the occupational experience must have been acquired within the past eight years, and that the employment must have been remunerated. The draft Regulation also seeks to restrict the criterion relating to having ties in Quebec to close relatives only. Finally, for those applicants who are married, they would only be awarded points in respect of their spouses’ characteristics in situations where the spouse is between the ages of 23 and 30.