Quebec Immigration Update: Changes to the Quebec Skilled Worker Program will allow the province to welcome more immigrants

CIC News
Published: October 29, 2009

In the July, 2009 edition of our Newsletter, we reported that the province of Quebec, which is responsible for its own immigration program as part of an agreement with the federal government, would be making changes to the Quebec Skilled Worker Program. The changes to the program were announced and implemented on October 14, and the new selection system for Quebec Skilled Workers may make it easier for some applicants to qualify.

The most significant change reduces the overall selection pass mark from 59 to 55 for a single applicant, and from 68 to 63 for a couple.

The breakdown of points awarded for education has been amended to recognize more types of diplomas than under the previous system. Undergraduate diplomas attesting to 1 or 2 years of university education and more vocational and technical diplomas are now considered.

In addition, the “Areas of Training” criterion, which awards bonus points to applicants with certain educational or training backgrounds, has been changed to reflect the current needs of Quebec’s economy and labour market. Applicants with certain educational backgrounds will not only benefit from more points, but will also qualify for priority processing.

The breakdown of points awarded for an applicant’s age has also been adjusted, so that it declines less rapidly after the age of 35 than under the previous system.

The more favourable weighting of the education and age criteria could make it easier for some applicants, who did not qualify under the previous system, to become eligible to immigrate to Canada under the Quebec Skilled Worker category.

Successful applicants obtain a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ), and must then submit their application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (a Canadian visa office) for medical and security checks and the issuance of a Canadian immigration (permanent resident) visa.

This new selection system is in effect as of October 14 2009. Applications that were received by Quebec immigration offices before that date will be assessed under whichever system is more favourable to the applicant, while those received on or after October 14 will be assessed under the new system.

The new Programme d’expérience Québecoise, which we highlighted in the June 2009 Edition of our Newsletter, is expected to come into effect in early 2010.

Do you qualify under the Quebec Skilled Worker Program? Our new assessment form allows us to assess your eligibility across the more than 60 different Canadian immigration programs that are currently in place. Find out which program is right for you.

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