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On July 19, the government of the Canadian province of Quebec announced that its Quebec Skilled Worker program (QSWP) will open to receive up to 5,000 new applications as of August 16, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard (Montreal) Time. The intake period may remain open until August 22, though the intake cap is expected to be reached before that date.
The announcement that another intake period will take place in just a few weeks will give individuals and families the opportunity to make an application to a Canadian immigration program that still operates on a first-come, first-served basis, as opposed to the ‘Expression of Interest’ systems that have become popular throughout the rest of Canada.
The QSWP and Mon projet Québec
Individuals wishing to submit an application to the QSWP for a Quebec Selection Certificate/certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ) must do so online through the online intake management system Mon projet Québec. With a CSQ, applicants may then apply to the federal government for Canadian permanent residence. Before making an application, potential applicants must create a Mon projet Québec account and enter the required information.
The government of Quebec has stated that no interruptions are planned in the ability to create a Mon projet Québec account before August 16.
The first step can be made today
During the upcoming intake period, candidates with an existing account on Mon projet Québec will have the opportunity to submit a complete application. At this time, it is possible for individuals who have not yet created a Mon projet Québec account to do so. Without an account, it will not be possible to submit a QSWP application on or after August 16. When creating an account, individuals are required to enter personal information related to their civil status, work history, education history, family, and previous visits to Quebec, if applicable.
Intake period expected to be brief
The previous intake period opened on June 13, 2016 and closed within hours, when the cap of 5,000 applicants was reached. That intake period was restricted to individuals who had already created a Mon projet Québec account during the January registration period. Since June 20, it has been possible to create new accounts in preparation to submit an application for the QSWP for this upcoming intake period.
The upcoming QSWP intake period may be the last in 2016 — indeed, it may be the last of its kind. While the program currently operates on a first-come, first-served basis, Quebec’s Minister for Immigration, Kathleen Weil, is pushing to enact legislation to shift the province to a system similar to Canada’s Express Entry system, whereby candidates submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) and await an Invitation to Apply based on their credentials. Under such systems, only those candidates with the most competitive qualifications and attributes are typically selected. The intake period from August 16 to August 22, 2016 may be the last chance for some individuals to submit a QSWP application without first being invited to apply.
The QSWP: How does it work?
The QSWP is a points-based immigration program, whereby points may be awarded for an individual’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 point 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.
Potential applicants should also note that they may be awarded points for French proficiency, though it is not an eligibility requirement for the program. Individuals who do not have knowledge of French, but who have strong credentials in other areas, may be eligible to apply to the QSWP.
Moreover, Quebec awards a significant number of points for an individual’s ‘area of training’. In particular, occupations in engineering, health care, IT, natural sciences, business, and trades are prioritized under the QSWP. To view an interactive area of training table, click here.
New EOI system expected after this intake period
“The government of Quebec, to its credit, has been quite clear about its future immigration goals. It sees its future economic immigration policy — with the Quebec Skilled Worker Program as the flagship program — centred around an Expression of Interest, Invitation to Apply system,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“Consequently, this upcoming intake period may be the last of its kind — a way to apply for and obtain Canadian permanent residence on a first-come, first-served basis. I would encourage individuals interested in immigrating to Canada under such a program to review the requirements and determine their eligibility as soon as possible. Because the intake period will be upon us in less than a month, preparation is essential.”
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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