Quebec – Canada Immigration Programs


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Known as “la belle province” (the beautiful province) to its locals, Quebec is Canada’s largest province and home to more than 8.2 million people. Quebec is a vibrant multicultural province, often earning it recognition as the “Europe of North America”. Quebec is also famous for its vast forests, rolling hills and countless waterways. In fact, Quebec has approximately 1 million lakes and waterways, giving it more fresh water than any other province.

Quebec is the only province whose official language is French. The capital city is Quebec City, with a population of nearly 800,000. Quebec is also home to Canada’s second largest city, and the second largest French speaking city in the world, Montreal (more than four million people). Other major cities located in proximity to the St. Lawrence river,which links Quebec and Montreal to the Atlantic Ocean, include Hull-Gatineau (314,000), Trois-Rivieres (155,000), Sherbrooke (212,000), and Saguenay (160,000).

According to the Canada-Quebec Accord, the province of Quebec selects the immigrants that settle within its borders. Just as the Federal Skilled Worker Program does, the Quebec Skilled Worker Program uses a points-based system to assess applications of individuals who wish to settle in the province. Though the categories are slightly different than the federal ones, in much the same way the system is meant to evaluate which immigrants are most likely to become economically established after arrival. After receiving a positive assessment from the government of Quebec, immigrants are issued a Quebec Selection Certificate which approves them for immigration pending medical and security clearances.

Today, Quebec welcomes approximately 50,000 immigrants each year. With the province’s economy growing and the birth rate declining, immigration to Quebec can be expected to grow in the future. Immigrants come to Quebec each year from more than 100 countries, helping to contribute to the multicultural character of the province and driving the Quebec economy.

If you have studied or worked in the province of Quebec, you may be eligible to immigrate under this fast-track Canadian immigration program.

There are two categories under the Quebec Experience Class (Programme de l’expérience Québécoise, or PEQ): one for foreign students and another for individuals with work experience in Quebec.

Immigration to Quebec is a two-step process in which an applicant first applies for a Certificat de sélection du Québec (also know as a Quebec Selection Certificate or “CSQ”), a document that allows the holder to immigrate to Quebec. Once the applicant obtains a CSQ, he or she must then submit an application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for federal approval before the Canadian Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visa can be issued. Federal immigration authorities will primarily be responsible for processing criminal and medical checks.

Potential applicants who do not meet the eligibility criteria for the PEQ, but who have experience working or studying in Quebec, may also be eligible to apply for a CSQ through the Quebec Skilled Worker Program. Read more about the differences between the PEQ and QSW programs.

Foreign Students

Foreign students in Quebec will be eligible to apply under this program if they meet the following requirements:

  • The student must have obtained a degree or diploma from an educational institution recognized by the Quebec Ministry of Education within the past 36 months;
  • The student must have studied in Quebec for at least 1,800 hours (two years); and
  • The student must show that he or she has successfully completed an advanced intermediate level French course at a Quebec educational institution, if his or her studies were not completed in French, or prove French ability by way of a standardized language test recognized by the government of Quebec.

Temporary Foreign Workers

Temporary Foreign Workers in Quebec will be eligible to apply under this program if they meet the following requirements:

  • The worker must have 12 months of work experience in Quebec in a skilled, managerial, or professional occupation in the 24 months prior to submission of the application;
  • The worker must be employed and show legal status in Quebec at the time of his or her application; and
  • The worker must show that he or she has successfully completed an advanced intermediate level French course at a Quebec educational institution, if his or her studies were not completed in French, or prove French ability by way of a standardized language test recognized by the government of Quebec. Alternatively, he or she can show that he or she has satisfied the French language requirements of the professional order governing his or her occupation in Quebec.

Quebec immigration authorities expect the assessment of applications under the PEQ to be completed on a fast-track basis.

It is important to note that all applications from individuals who have obtained a CSQ are then processed in a separate priority queue at the federal level.

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