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The Canadian province of Quebec has confirmed that its flagship immigration program, the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP), will have at least one more application intake period in 2016. An exact opening date has not yet been made public, but the government of Quebec has stated that it is scheduled for the summer months.
Through the QSWP, successful applicants and their families may obtain Canadian permanent resident status after receiving a Quebec Selection Certificate/certificat de selection du Québec (CSQ) from the government of Quebec.
The announcement that another intake period will take place in just a few months will give candidates who do not successfully submit an application over the course of the current intake period another opportunity to submit an application later in 2016.
Moreover, potential candidates who do not currently have an account in the government of Quebec’s secure online space Mon projet Québec — through which all applications for the QSWP must be submitted —are, at the time of writing, scheduled to be able to register an account as of February 18, 2016. Registration in Mon projet Québec has been closed since January 25 in anticipation of the current intake period, which was scheduled to open on February 16 but has been slightly delayed due to a technical issue. The current intake period may run until March 31 at the latest, but the 2,800 available spaces are widely expected to be filled soon after the system finally opens for the submission of new applications.
The QSWP: How does it work?
The QSWP uses a points-based system, where points are awarded for an applicant’s area of training, work experience, age, language proficiency, prior relationship with Quebec (through visits or family), the human capital factors of the applicant’s spouse or common-law partner (if applicable), and whether or not the applicant has a validated job offer in Quebec. If an individual satisfies the minimum points requirement for these factors, he or she may then gain additional points for any accompanying dependent children and proof of financial self-sufficiency. Candidates should note that a job offer is not required for the QSWP.
Applicants should also note that they may be awarded points for French proficiency, though it is not an eligibility requirement for the program. Applicants who do not have knowledge of French, but who have strong credentials in other areas, may still be eligible to apply.
Summer intake period may be the last of its kind
This latest immigration news from Quebec is perhaps the most significant to come from the province over recent months. The Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI), the government ministry overseeing immigration to Quebec, has made a number of changes to program procedures over the past year, including the removal of the time-consuming adaptability interview and modifications to the area of training factor.
Currently, the QSWP operates on a first-come, first-served basis. Quebec’s Minister of Immigration recently proposed a bill that, if passed, would likely 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.
It is expected that the QSWP application intake period that opens this summer will operate on the same first-come, first-served basis that is currently in place. Consequently, the summer 2016 QSWP application intake period may be the last of its kind — a way to apply for immigration to Canada through an economic immigration program without having to first be invited to apply.
It is unknown exactly how many applications may be accepted during the planned summer intake period. However, the MIDI has said that up to 7,000 applications may be accepted for the period 2016-2017.
Old systems meeting new
“This calendar year may end up being the only year in which the province of Quebec offers a skilled worker program that is both first-come, first-served and managed online, namely through the Mon projet Québec application management system,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“Individuals interested in immigrating to Canada who do not wish to be at the whim of immigration programs that involve expressions of interest and invitations to apply, and who also wish to have everything done online, may not have another opportunity like this down the line. For many potential candidates, this summer’s Quebec Skilled Worker intake period may provide the best of both worlds.”
Largest city: Montreal
Capital city: Quebec City
Language: French is the most predominant language, though nearly half of all residents report having proficiency in both French and English.
Economy: While the province’s substantial natural resources have long been the mainstay of its economy, sectors of the knowledge economy such as aerospace, information and communication technologies, biotechnology, and the pharmaceutical industry also play leading roles. These many industries have all contributed to helping Quebec become a highly influential province within Canada, second only to Ontario in economic output.
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 intake periods:
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