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Quebec Experience Program reopens for graduate applications

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International graduates can once again submit applications for a permanent residence selection certificate through the Quebec Experience Program (Programme de l’expérience québécoise, PEQ).

Quebec’s Immigration Ministry (MIFI) reopened the PEQ’s graduate stream November 1 after suspending it in July.

Temporary foreign workers with eligible work experience in Quebec can continue applying to the PEQ as before.

New PEQ eligibility criteria now in effect for graduates and workers

Moving forward, all international graduates applying to the PEQ who weren’t living in Quebec on November 1, 2019, will have to have a degree or diploma in an eligible area of training.

International students who completed a program of at least 900-hours (one year) in Quebec can apply to the PEQ as long as they have at least six months of work experience in their area of training that was obtained after graduating. This work experience is not required of candidates who completed a program of 1,800 hours (two years) or more.

Updated work experience requirements will also apply to temporary foreign workers who weren’t already in Quebec on November 1, 2019, whose job is rated skill level C or D under Canada’s National Occupation Classification (NOC). These candidates must have 18 months of work experience while candidates working an in-demand occupation that is rated skill type/level 0, A or B only require 12 months of work experience. 

Beginning January 1, 2020, language requirements for both student- and worker-stream applicants and their spouse or common-law partner will also change. 

Both applicants and their spouse or common-law partner will have to demonstrate an advanced intermediate knowledge of oral French by way of:

  • a standardized language test recognized by the Government of Quebec; or
  • satisfying the French language criteria set by the professional order governing their occupation in Quebec; or
  • completing at least three years of full-time studies in French at the secondary or post-secondary level.

The new criteria do not apply to international students or workers who were already in Quebec on November 1, 2019.

New business program quotas now in effect

New quotas go into effect for Quebec Immigrant Entrepreneur program applicants who do not speak French at a high intermediate level, CLB 7 or 8.

There is no cap for applicants who have a high level of oral French.

MIFI will accept 25 applicants for Component One of the entrepreneur program, and 35 from Component Two between now and September 30, 2020. 

MIFI will also accept 50 applications for its Self-Employed Worker Program between November 1 and September 30, 2020,

The Quebec Investor Program is now suspended until July 1, 2020. Individuals with $1.2 million to invest in Quebec will not be able to apply for a permanent selection through this program.