Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard has announced that Quebec plans to welcome more immigrants into the province through the economic classes. He made the announcements at the 32nd annual Quebec Liberal Convention in Montreal, held on June 14, 2015.
Quebec currently accepts roughly 50,000 new immigrants each year. As a result of the province’s low birth rate and increasing rate of retirement, however, Couillard believes that increasing immigration is essential in order to meet the labour needs of Quebec.
“Immigration is not a choice, it’s an obligation. We must attract and retain, here in Quebec, talented individuals from across the world,” said Couillard.
Moreover, after the negative reputation that followed the charter of values debate last year, Couillard seeks to remedy the consequences and have Quebec, Canada’s only predominantly French-speaking province, known as a welcoming society worldwide.
Although the Quebec Skilled Worker Program is currently closed for applicants not currently living in Quebec, the government of Quebec has already announced that it plans to open the program to 6,300 applicants later in 2015 or 2016.
Quebec also has a Quebec Experience Class (Programme d’Experience Québecoise, or PEQ), which helps students and Temporary Foreign Workers in Quebec transition to permanent resident status.
So far in 2015, the Quebec government has revealed a number of proposed amendments and updates to current immigration policies and operations.
It was announced that future immigration policies will take inspiration from the Canadian model and that Quebec may be looking closely at the Express Entry immigration selection system for guidance. The Quebec Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness, Kathleen Weil, also stated earlier this year that the Liberal government would be treating immigration reform as a priority in 2015, beginning with a public consultation covering issues relating to immigration, diversity and inclusion.
Furthermore, the government of Quebec announced that it will be moving to an online application system for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program when it reopens.
“All the immigration-related news from Quebec so far this year is positive news for prospective applicants, both those currently working or studying in Quebec and skilled workers abroad. With the current provincial government having years left in office, the scope for positive change is a reality — and that’s good news for anyone interested in living in Quebec,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“Quebec remains 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 in terms of living standards.”
To find out if you are eligible for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program or Quebec Experience Program, or any of Canada’s over 60 immigration programs, please fill out a free assessment today.