The deadline for submission of applications to the Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW) Program is March 31, 2014. On that date, the current regulations governing the program are set to expire. The Government of Quebec has yet to announce its plans for the QSW program going forward, leaving many to speculate as to what the future of the program, and Quebec immigration in general, may hold.
With the deadline for applications rapidly approaching, potential applicants to the QSW program must move quickly to ensure their completed applications are received in time to be considered.
The QSW Program Today
At present, applicants to the QSW program are eligible if they achieve a minimum number of points on a selection grid and have at least a high school level of education.
An intake cap of 20,000 skilled workers was put in place last year. However, as of December 31st a little more than 6,000 applications had been received. Quebec has provided no further information since the year ended.
The program is particularly suited to individuals with experience in fields such as nursing or civil engineering. Nurses receive 16 points for their educational qualifications, the highest amount possible according to the QSW selection grid. Civil engineers, on the other hand, have seen the number of points awarded for their experience rise from 6 points previously to a full 12 points in this current application cycle.
The QSW Program Moving Forward
At this time, no news has been shared as to what the QSW Program will look like after March 2014.
“The Government of Quebec is within its rights to modify the program as it sees fit,” said Attorney David Cohen. “It could reopen the program under new rules, extend it under the same rules, or temporarily close it all together. Right now, immigration professionals and hopefuls alike are waiting to hear word on what the future holds.”
In 2013, the program’s criteria were changed not once but twice.
“This program is currently quite popular because, when contrasted with the Federal Skilled Worker Program, its intake cap and eligibility criteria are somewhat less restrictive,” said Attorney Cohen. “I hope that Quebec will choose to continue welcoming high numbers of skilled immigrants, both in 2014 and after.”
To find out if you are eligible for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program, or one of over 60 Canadian immigration programs, please fill out a free online assessment form.