Quebec Immigration FAQ's

Quebec Immigration

Q. What is the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP)?

Quebec’s Ministère de l’immigration, de la francisation et de l’intégration (MIFI) has set up a program known as Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) for people who seek economic immigration to Canada with the intention of settling down in Quebec.

These candidates apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate (Certificat de sélection du Québec, or CSQ) which is dependent on certain factors like age, education, work experience, proficiency in French, etc. in their Expression of Interest profile.

Q. What is the Arrima Portal?

All foreign persons that seek immigration to Quebec via QSWP can do so using the Arrima portal. Everyone who is above 18 years of age can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to apply under the QSWP through this open portal.

Q. What is an Expression of Interest?

Expressing one’s interest about wanting to immigrate to Quebec is the first step in the process of immigration under the revised Quebec immigration system. There is an online Expression of Interest form available on the Arrima portal and all foreign nationals must fill that if they want to do so under the QSWP.

This form has questions relating to:

  • Area of training
  • Educational level
  • Work experience
  • Language experience

You may have to provide additional information too.

The submission of your application lands you in the pool of candidates. Periodically, the Ministère sends out invitations to candidates from this pool that meet certain criteria. Their primary focus is on individuals that can meet the labor market needs in Québec. They also take into account the candidate having received a validated job offer.

Q. What is Mon projet Québec?

The QSWP receives applications via an online system known as Mon projet Québec.

To submit an application:

  • You should first register an account on this system.
  • Complete the application profile.
  • Submit the form.

Q. What is a Quebec Selection Certificate/Certificat du sélection du Québec (CSQ)?

When an applicant is selected for immigration to Quebec, they receive a Quebec Selection Certificate (Certificat du sélection du Québec – CSQ). This certificate allows them to apply for permanent residence from the Federal government.

Do note that the CSQ is not a permanent residence visa. It is not valid for entry into Canada.

Q. When does the program accept submissions?

An EOI profile can be created at any time through the Arrima portal by applicants.

Q. Can an applicant make an application to the QSWP without using Mon projet Québec?

No, it can’t be done. The Mon projet Québec is at present the only way in which a candidate can submit an application to the QSWP once they have received an invitation to apply by the MIFI. So, they must create an online account in Mon projet Québec.

Q. How long does it take to obtain a CSQ?

This time period depends on your country of residence. It may vary from country to country.

Q. What are the eligibility criteria for the QSWP?

The QSWP’s eligibility is based on a points system. You will have to gain a certain number of points to gain eligibility.

These points are granted for the following:

  • Education
  • Work experience
  • Knowledge of languages
  • Family situation

And some other criteria.

The points’ threshold depends on the applicant’s family situation:

All single applicants should get 50 points. If their application includes a spouse/common-law partner, they should get 59 points.

Q. Who can be included in an application?

The following persons can be included in the application:

  • Spouse/common-law partner (Canada recognizes same-sex unions)
  • Dependent children (aged 18 or younger)

Q. Does an applicant have to provide proof of English language knowledge?

They may have to. Under this program, an applicant is selected on the basis of points. If you are able to meet the selection requirements without having to provide the IELTS test result, you stand a chance of getting the CSQ.

Q. If a French or English test submitted to obtain eligibility points expires, does the candidate lose the points?

French program attestations are not accepted as proof of language ability in Quebec. Now, applicants have to demonstrate their language ability via any of the following:

  • They can take a standardized test.
  • They can try and meet the criteria of a professional order.
  • They can show that they have completed three years of French language study at the secondary/post-secondary level.

Q. If an applicant ages during the application, does he or she lose eligibility points for the age factor?

That does not happen as the day you submit your application, your age, and those of your family members are locked in. So, these ages remain the same throughout the process, even when the points are calculated.

Q. If a candidate gains new experience while his or her application is being processed, can he or she gain points?

Yes, they can.

If there is a change that affects your application, you must declare it within 30 days of the change coming into effect.

A few examples of such changes are:

Change in address, education, employment

Addition of new family member/s

If these changes are applicable for your accompanying spouse, you have to declare those too. For these, you stand to gain eligibility points. Do note that even if they do not affect your score, you still have to declare them.

Q. What happens if an applicant moves to a different country during the processing of his or her application?

You must declare any change in address to the MIFI. You can also ask for a transfer of the territory your application will be processed in if you move to a country that has a shorter processing time period.

Q. Is an educational credential assessment accepted as proof of education history?

No, the MIFI does not recognize these. You will have to submit certified true copies of all your diplomas and transcripts as proof of your educational credentials.

Q. Does an applicant’s spouse have to be included in the application?

Not if they are not accompanying you. In that case, even if you are married or in a common-law relationship, you can still apply as a single applicant.

If you want to include your children in your application, you will have to get parental permission from your non-accompanying spouse.

Q. Can a candidate submit an application to the QSWP if he or she intends to live elsewhere in Canada?

The QSWP program has been put in place to help people who wish to settle in Quebec. You should apply to it only if you intend to do that. In case the MIFI or the federal immigration authorities think your intention is not so, they will refuse your application.

Upon receiving a permanent resident visa, you and your family must arrive in Quebec. Do note that you are a permanent resident of Canada if you have come here through the QSWP and you have the same rights as Canadian citizens and permanent residents in other Canadian provinces. You can move around anywhere in Canada without facing any impediments.

Q. Can an application for permanent residence be refused at the federal level, after the applicant has obtained a CSQ?

Yes, on the basis of a variety of reasons, such as:

  • criminal background checks
  • medical examinations
  • if any of your claims are believed to be untrue
  • if the authorities doubt your intention of residing in Quebec

Q. If an applicant qualifies as a Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker and obtains a CSQ, does he or she then have to meet the points requirement for the Federal Skilled Worker Class?

No. Different selection criteria are present for a Quebec Skilled Worker and the Federal Skilled Worker Class.

Once you get a CSQ, you have to submit an application at the federal level for security and medical checks. Upon clearing those, you will be granted permanent residence.

Your qualifications are not reassessed at the federal level as they are already approved for you and your family (if applicable) for immigration to Quebec.

Q. Does an applicant first have to be in the Express Entry pool in order to make an application for a CSQ under the QSW Program?

No, they don’t. These systems are different from one another and for immigrating to Quebec, you have to apply via the MIFI-set systems only.

Q. How is immigrating to Quebec different from immigrating to the rest of Canada?

Quebec’s immigration system is separate from the rest of Canada.

Here are the steps an applicant must follow to immigrate to Quebec:

  • First, you have to get a CSQ, which is not a Permanent Residence Visa.
  • When you submit an application for a CSQ, your qualifications are assessed at the provincial level.
  • Post-approval, you get the CSQ. Then, you have to apply for medical and security checks at the federal level.
  • Once you get approval from there, you gain permanent residency in Quebec.

Q. Why are the requirements different for a CSQ than for a Federal Skilled Worker application?

There are several reasons behind this.

  • Quebec is culturally different from the rest of Canada.
  • It is a predominantly francophone province.
  • Quebec got the right to select immigrants through its own set of criteria on the basis of the Canada-Quebec Accord (1991).
  •  While Quebec’s residents stayed as part of Canada, the province prefers to select immigrants according to their own criteria.
  • Your ability and willingness to stay, work and adapt to the way of life in Quebec greatly influence your chances of being selected by Quebec.
  • Do note that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the Canada-Quebec Accord gives you the right, as a permanent resident, to move around freely in Canada.

Q. What is the Quebec Experience Program/Programme de l’expérience Québécoise?

If you have studied or are presently working in Quebec, you get priority in this Canadian immigration program.

Q. Is the PEQ program the same as the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP)?

No, it is not. Both of these are different methods in which one can apply first for a CSF, and then for Canadian permanent residence.

Q. Is there a minimum points requirement for the PEQ?

No.

Q. Who is eligible for the PEQ?

The main eligibility criterion is the applicant’s experience in Quebec, whether it is as:

  • A graduate with a valid diploma
  • A foreign worker

They also have to demonstrate their advanced intermediate ability in oral French, which is speaking and listening.

Q. What is the PEQ - Diplomé du Québec?

If you have obtained a diploma from a recognized educational institution in Quebec, you can apply under the Diplomé du Québec (Quebec Graduate) category.

Do note that your diploma should be in a valid area of training unless you were studying in Quebec on November 1, 2019.

Q. What is the PEQ – Travailleur étranger temporaire category?

If you have been working in Quebec and have 12 months or more of skilled work experience in the last 2 years (24 months), you can apply under the Travailleur étranger temporaire (Temporary Foreign Worker) category.

Q. When can applicants submit an application to the PEQ?

  • If you want to apply under the graduate category, you can do that upon getting your diploma. Also, you have to apply within 3 years (36 months) of graduating.

If you want to apply under the foreign worker category, you can do so upon meeting all the set eligibility criteria and only if you are presently working in a full-time job in Quebec.

Q. How is an application submitted?

You have to mail your application to the MIFI offices in Montreal, Quebec, as PEQ is paper-based, not online like for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program.

Q. How long will it take to get a CSQ?

Most applications in which further documents or audit interviews are not needed are processed within 20 working days, barring any postal delays. In case an application is incomplete, it is returned to the applicant.

Q. Is there an interview process for the PEQ?

Yes, PEQ applicants can be called in for an audit interview.

Q. Can a spouse or common-law partner be included in the application for a CSQ?

Yes, you can include an accompanying spouse/common-law partner in your application.

Q. Are there any eligibility requirements for accompanying spouses?

No, only the principal applicant has to show proof of language proficiency.

Q. Can children be included in the application for a CSQ?

Yes, you have to declare all your children in the application form, whether they are accompanying you (principal applicant) or not.

You can include your children that are aged 19 and below and born outside Canada in your application. If any of your children were born in Canada, they would already be Canadian citizens.

Q. Must Canadian-born children be declared on the application?

You have to declare all your children in your application.

Your child is already a Canadian citizen if they were born in Canada. You do not have to declare them as accompanying you in your application for a CSQ as they don’t need a CSQ. Also, you don’t have to pay the government processing fees for your Canadian-born children.

Do note that you have to pay the entire government processing fees along with your application else it shall be considered incomplete.

Here is the government fee chart for 2019 to help you get an idea of the charges involved.

Applicant Fees
Principal Applicant CAD $798
Spouse/de-facto spouse CAD $171
Each dependant child CAD $171

Q. What documents do I need to provide?

The application form has a complete list of all documents that are required from the applicant. While this form is in the French language, you can submit the required documents in both French and English.

If any of your documents are in another language than English or French, you will have to provide an official translation of the same.

Your application must be complete and have all required documents in the correct format before you submit it to MIFI along with the full payment. In case anything is missing, your application will be returned to you.

Q. Is French required for the PEQ?

As the principal applicant, you must provide proof of advanced intermediate ability in oral French, which means clearing a B2 level in an eligible and recognized test of the French language. You will have to take this test within two years of sending in your application.

For graduate category:

As proof, you can submit the final transcripts of your Quebec diploma in French.

For foreign worker category:

As proof, you can submit papers that show you’re having satisfied the set French language requirements of the professional order that governs your occupation in Quebec.

For both these categories, you have to submit the following documents:

  • Papers that show you’re getting a B2 level in oral French in a recognized French test
  • Papers that show that you have completed at least three years of secondary/post-secondary education entirely in the French language. If the country you took the course of study in does not have French as the official language, you can provide a letter from your study institution that declares you having completed your studies entirely in the French language.
  • Final transcripts from a recognized institution that show you’re having taken an eligible French course

Q. Does the accompanying spouse have to prove French language ability?

No, they don’t.

Q. Which diplomas are eligible for the PEQ – diplomé du Québec category?

Here’s the list of eligible diplomas:

  • a bachelor’s degree
  • a master’s degree/ MBA
  • a doctorate
  • Diplômed’étudescollégiales techniques (DEC – Diploma of College Studies)
  • Diplômed’étudesprofessionnelles (DEP – Diploma of Vocational Studies) that shows at least 1800 hours of study or more
  • Diplômed’étudesprofessionnelles (DEP – Diploma of Vocational Studies) followed by an attestation de spécialisationprofessionnelle (ASP – Attestation of Vocational Specialization) that in total amount to at least 1800 hours of continuing education which leads to a particular trade
  • If you have two separate DEPs that in total amount to 1,800 hours, they won’t be considered eligible.

Q. What jobs are eligible for the PEQ – travailleur étranger temporairespécialisé category?

Before you, as a foreign worker applicant, submit the application, you should have 12 months or more of full-time work experience which is at a minimum of 30 hours a week.

For PEQ, you cannot add up all your part-time work experiences to show the total as full-time work experience, like you can for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program.

If you are meeting all PEQ requirements, the following work experience may be considered:

  • Full-time work done under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program
  • International Experience Canada (IEC)
  • Working Holiday Young Professionals or International Co-op Internship
  • Work Placement that’s unrelated to a program of studies in Quebec

Q. Can applicants submit an application to the PEQ from abroad?

  • For graduate applicants – yes
  • For foreign worker applicants – you must be currently employed and present in Quebec

Q. After obtaining a CSQ through the PEQ, can an applicant leave Canada and work abroad during the federal processing stage?

Yes, they can. For entering Canada, however, they have to meet all set conditions for re-entry.

Q. Can transcripts from a French university be submitted as proof of French language ability?

Yes. A secondary/post-secondary diploma of at least three years of a study done entirely in the French language can be submitted under both graduate and foreign worker categories.

Q. What happens if an applicant’s work permit expires before he or she obtains permanent residence status?

If you are unable to get your work permit renewed before it expires and you are not a permanent resident yet, you will have to apply to the IRCC for visitor status to stay in Quebec as a visitor.

Else, you can leave Canada till you gain permanent residency.

Q. If an application is returned or refused, can the applicant submit it again?

In case your application has been returned to you as it is incomplete, you can resubmit it after attaching all necessary documents.

However, if it has been refused as you do not meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for the Quebec Skilled Worker program if you meet that program’s eligibility criteria.

Alternatively, you can reapply for PEQ once you become eligible at a later date.

Q. If a potential applicant is not eligible for the PEQ, is there another way to apply for a CSQ?

Yes. In case you are not eligible for PEQ but have experience studying or working in Quebec, you can apply for a CSQ under the Quebec Skilled Worker Program.

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