The government of Quebec has announced that it will receive a maximum of 6,300 applications for a Quebec Selection Certificate through its Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP), which is due to reopen later this year.
The cap for the most recent application cycle, which was filled within four months between April 1 and July 30, 2014, was 6,500. New rules regarding the intake of and processing of new applications for the QSWP were expected to be announced by April 1, 2015. While the government of Quebec has announced that the new regulations will be in effect for the period April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016, it has not yet specified precisely when it will begin accepting applications under the program. Recent application cycles for the QWSP did not require candidates to have a job offer from an employer in Quebec, and this factor is not expected to change.
Immigration to Quebec through the QSWP is a two-step process. Potential candidates are assessed based on a points-based system that awards points for a candidate’s age, level of education, area of training, work experience, language proficiency, adaptability, and whether or not the candidate has a validated job offer from an employer in Quebec. Points may also be awarded for the characteristics of an applicant’s spouse or common-law partner and dependent children, if applicable. It remains to be seen whether any changes will be made to the existing points grid, which was updated as recently as December, 2014, before the program begins receiving applications later this year.
Eligible candidates who successfully submit a complete and accurate application are issued a Quebec Selection Certificate, at which point they may apply for a Canadian permanent resident visa. Though successful applicants to the QSWP become permanent residents of Canada, which entails the freedom of movement and labour rights within Canada that comes with permanent resident status, candidates are required at the outset to have the intention to reside in Quebec.
Interest in the program is thought to be substantial because it operates completely outside the government of Canada’s new Express Entry immigration selection system. Candidates eligible for the QSWP may submit an application directly to the program, whereas candidates in the Express Entry pool may only submit an application if they are invited to apply for permanent residence.
On January 26, 2015, Quebec released the Area of Training list that is expected to apply to the upcoming application cycle for the QSWP. This news was reported by CICnews. The new list was positive news for individuals who have degrees in areas such as Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Accounting, Banking and Financial Operations, as these areas of training, among others, will be awarded significantly more points than was previously the case.
A candidate may be exempt from the program cap of 6,300 if he or she:
- is eligible for an submit an application under the Quebec Experience Program (Programme de l’expérience québécoise);
- has enclosed a valid employment offer with the application for a selection certificate that was submitted under the Quebec Skilled Worker Program;
- has been informed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada that it has agreed to process his or her application for permanent residence in Canada; or
- is a temporary resident and eligible to submit an application for a Quebec Selection Certificate.
Immigration to Quebec
“The Quebec Skilled Worker Program is typically quite popular, and this year it may even be more popular than usual. First and foremost, Quebec is an attractive immigration destination, particularly the Greater Montreal Area. Indeed, Montreal was recently named by The Economist magazine as the second-best city in the world to live in. I have lived in Quebec for most of my life, and would most certainly recommend this province to potential newcomers to Canada,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“Furthermore, potential candidates may be particularly attracted to the program this year as they may make an application directly. Whereas candidates in the Express Entry pool may be reliant on improving their ranking, candidates for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program are in charge of their own destiny. That being said, the most recent application cycle for the program filled up in a rather short period of time, which benefited applicants who had made a head start by collecting documents to prepare an application. I would encourage anyone thinking of applying this year to do likewise.”
To find out if you are eligible for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program, or any of Canada’s over 60 immigration programs, please fill out a free assessment today.
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