Candidates for Canadian immigration who wish to submit an application through the upcoming application cycle for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) are being advised to move quickly to complete the first step of a new online system, known as Mon projet Québec. The government of the Canadian province of Quebec recently posted new guidelines for the system, as well as a new date for the beginning of the submission period.
The QSWP is a popular Canadian immigration program, with successful applicants and their families becoming eligible to obtain Canadian permanent resident status after receiving a Quebec Selection Certificate/certificat de selection du Québec (CSQ).
New guidelines and dates for the QSWP
The original opening date for the next application intake period was set to be January 18, 2016. However, the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI), the government department overseeing immigration to Quebec, has allotted additional time.
The MIDI has issued the following guidelines:
During the period from February 16 to March 31, the MIDI will receive a maximum of 2,800 applications for a CSQ under the QSWP through the Mon projet Québec. All applications under the QSWP must be submitted online through Mon projet Québec; the previous paper application system will no longer be in use. Due to technical maintenance, Mon projet Québec will be out of service on January 25, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
On January 21, 2016, the MIDI announced that it will be again be possible to create an online account as of February 18, 2016. However, candidates who wish to have a chance of submitting a successful application for the upcoming intake period must create an account before 8.30 a.m. EST on January 25.
Candidates have up to 90 days to submit supporting documentation in Mon projet Québec. Once the application has been submitted, candidates will have 30 days to pay the fees. If a candidate does not submit and pay the fees within the prescribed timeframe, the application will be deleted.
Candidates are required to create their own accounts
While other Canadian immigration programs that operate through an electronic system allow candidates to retain the services of an immigration lawyer or consultant in order to complete an online account on their behalf, the QSWP does not currently allow candidates to delegate the creation of their account to a representative. Consequently, candidates for the upcoming application cycle are required to create their own accounts. However, candidates may retain the services of a certified representative for the purposes of reviewing and preparing supporting documents and completing submission forms; this may be done before or after the account is created, but the actual creation of the account must be done by the candidate.
A time to be proactive
At the time of writing, there remains a matter of days before Mon projet Québec closes for new registrations. Individuals interested in submitting an application are therefore encouraged to create an account as soon as possible. It should be noted that the Mon projet Québec system allows a limited number of users to access the system simultaneously. Users who are unable to create an account the first time they attempt to register are advised to try again until they may do so.
The QSWP has undergone a series of changes over recent weeks and months. These changes, which include modifications to the area of training factor and the removal of the time-consuming adaptability interview, were summarized in the previous issue of CICNews, published earlier this month.
Individuals who are either ineligible for the QSWP or unable to create an account in Mon projet Québec should note that the QSWP is one of many Canadian immigration programs that lead to a permanent resident visa.
Quebec Skilled Worker: present and future
The upcoming application intake period may be the last application cycle where Quebec offers a first-come, first-served Skilled Worker Program. Quebec’s Minister of Immigration recently proposed a bill that, if passed, could result in Quebec implementing an economic immigration system similar to the Express Entry system currently used by the government of Canada, whereby candidates must make an ‘Expression of Interest’ before being invited to apply based on their credentials.
“The Quebec Skilled Worker Program may be an attractive option for individuals who wish to make an application to immigrate to Canada without first having to be invited to apply. Moreover, individuals in the Express Entry pool and who wish to increase their chances of successfully immigrating to Canada may be well served by looking to Quebec as a place to settle,” says Attorney David Cohen.
According to the governments of Quebec and Canada, candidates can apply under the QSWP and submit an Express Entry profile, as long as they withdraw one when either a CSQ or Invitation to Apply (ITA) is issued.
“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. I have had the good fortune to reside here for most of my life, and it is an exciting place with unique career opportunities, as well as a near-perfect place to raise a family. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the towns and cities of Quebec to any potential newcomer to Canada,” added Attorney Cohen.
Note: Candidates in either of the following situations are not subject to the cap and may submit an application for a CSQ outside the aforementioned dates:
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