A total of new 5,000 applications for immigration to Quebec, Canada were successfully submitted to the government of Quebec the morning of Tuesday, August 16. These applications were made under the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP), which has now reached its intake cap.
The QSWP is a popular Canadian immigration program. Individuals may submit an application for a Quebec Selection Certificate, otherwise known as a CSQ, through the online intake management system Mon projet Québec. Applications may only be submitted during designated intake periods, of which two were scheduled for 2016. The second intake period — and the last one currently planned for 2016 — closed within hours of opening at 8:30 a.m. Montreal time on August 16.
Interested candidates who accessed the Mon projet Québec site on August 16 were redirected to a virtual waiting room. As a first-come, first-served program, only the first 5,000 applications submitted through Mon projet Québec were accepted for processing. The intake cap filled in less than five hours. As the system only received validated and complete application profiles, proactive individuals who had prepared well in advance of the opening date were best positioned to submit an application successfully.
Quebec’s Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (Ministry of Immigration, Diversity, and Inclusion, or MIDI) announced shortly after the closure of the intake period that the overall cap of 10,000 applications for the period of April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017 had been reached.
There are certain exceptions to this cap limit, however. Candidates with a valid job offer in Quebec, as well as candidates who are resident in Quebec and eligible to submit an application to the QSWP, may still submit their Mon projet Québec profiles at any time.
Despite technical setbacks when Mon projet Québec was first introduced in January, 2016, the MIDI introduced certain measures to improve access to the site later in the year. This included the introduction of a virtual waiting room. As a result of these changes, the website successfully received 10,000 applications during the two intake periods in June and August of 2016.
In addition to meeting eligibility requirements, the success of an application for a selection certificate through the QSWP rests on the reliability and accuracy of the documents submitted in support of an application. Once an application is submitted through Mon projet Québec and the document checklist is received, applicants have 90 days to submit the required documents to the MIDI to support their application.
The government of Quebec had previously stated that 2,800 new QSWP online applications would be accepted under Mon projet Québec. Ultimately, however, 10,000 applications were accepted for processing. Moreover, the government of Quebec has stated its goal to increase overall immigration numbers over the period 2017–2019.
Together, we are Québec
Quebec’s Minister of Immigration, Kathleen Weil, has stated the government’s goal to bring about changes to the QSWP that would shift it towards a system more like the federal Express Entry selection system, in which candidates make an Expression of Interest, with the government then issuing Invitations to Apply for permanent residence on a priority basis using a ranking system. Under the proposed new system for Quebec, presented under the name Ensemble, nous sommes Québec (or ‘Together, we are Quebec’), immigrants would be selected according to labour market needs in Quebec.
As is the case across Canada, Quebec’s aging population has led to a greater need for skilled workers in various industries. In addition to employment initiatives, ‘Together, we are Quebec’ includes proposals for cultural integration schemes for new arrivals in Quebec.
For those individuals who did not submit an application through Mon projet Québec during the intake period on August 16, their preparation was not in vain. Many of the documents prepared for immigration programs across Canada are set to expand as both the government of Quebec and the federal government commit to welcoming more immigrants and assisting in their integration.
“Quebec has made a confident step towards accepting more applications for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program. Not only have more applications been received than was previously expected, but the Mon projet Québec system looks set to improve the efficiency of the immigration process. Already, many successful applicants have received their document checklists and are on their way to Canadian permanent residence,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“It is encouraging to see that Quebec is modernizing its most popular immigration program to better welcome the talented individuals and families who wish to make Quebec their new home.”
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