What are the requirements for Quebec immigration?
Quebec’s immigration programs are often treated separately from other provinces. The slight or major differences in immigration policies needed to be well studied before starting an application.
Candidates must undergo a two-step immigration process:
1. Selected by the Ministère de l’immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI), Quebec’s immigration authority.
Applicants selected by MIDI will receive a Quebec Certificate of Selection (CSQ). A CSQ is valid for 24 months or until a decision has been rendered by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) with respect to the permanent resident visa application.
The CSQ merely attests to the fact that the candidate has been selected by the province. It is not a visa, so it cannot be utilized to enter Canada.
2. An approved CSQ holder must file a permanent residence application with IRCC within 24 months from the date the CSQ was issued.
The federal government’s role in evaluating a Quebec application for permanent residence is mainly limited to issues of health and criminality. The candidate must submit an application for PR with IRCC and provide police certificates and medical exams.
What are the programs administered by Quebec?
Currently, candidates who want to settle in Quebec can apply for a CSQ in one of the following categories:
- Quebec Skilled Worker Program
- Quebec Business Immigration
- Quebec Experience Program (PEQ)
1. Quebec Immigration – Skilled Worker Program
The Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSW) is one of Quebec’s immigration pathways to permanent residence. In a skilled worker program, all applicants are required to demonstrate a minimum amount of skilled work experience. Quebec skilled worker program requirements is a points-based immigration program, meaning applicants must meet a minimum score on a points assessment grid in order to be eligible.
This program does not require that an applicant be proficient in French to apply, but French proficiency may lead to an increased score on the points assessment grid.
Eligible candidates must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the online Arrima portal to be considered for this program.
Skilled Workers or international graduates in Quebec may apply to immigrate to Quebec under what the Government of Quebec calls its ‘Regular Skilled Worker Program’, also known as the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP), or the Quebec Experience Program — PEQ.
Quebec’s Expression of Interest System
On August 2, 2018, Quebec’s new Expression of Interest System came into effect as part of the province’s efforts to streamline the processing of QSWP applications. Individuals interested in applying for immigration to the province will begin the process by declaring their interest in applying to the program by entering a profile in the Quebec Expression of Interest Bank.
Quebec’s Arrima portal
Who is elligible for Arrima? Quebec’s immigration ministry, the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI) began accepting expressions of interest to apply for the Quebec Skilled Worker program through the Arrima portal. All potential applicants to the QSWP must first submit an expression of interest for free by completing a profile using the Arrima portal. The Arrima portal will remain open year-round and individuals looking to immigrate to Quebec under the QSWP will be able to submit an expression of interest profile at any time.
Mon Projet Québec
Candidates invited to apply for immigration to Quebec through the QSWP must use the secure Mon projet Québec portal in order to submit an application. Mon projet Québec allows candidates to complete their application for a CSQ, make their payment online, follow the status of their application, make changes to their application, and access personal electronic messaging throughout the process.
What are the Quebec Skilled Worker Program Eligibility Requirements?
Applicants who are successful under the Quebec Skilled Worker Program are issued a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) and can then apply to the Government of Canada for permanent residence. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will conduct a medical and criminal background check as part of its approval process.
In order to qualify for a CSQ, you must score enough points under the Quebec Immigration selection factors described below. A single (unmarried) applicant must score at least 50 points based on this system, while an applicant with a spouse or common-law partner must score at least 59 points.
What are the Quebec Skilled Worker Selection Factors?
Selection is made on the basis of a selection grid, with points awarded on the basis of various selection factors and criteria. The assessment of your application will determine whether you obtain a sufficient number of points to be selected by Québec. The Summary grid of factors and criteria used to select skilled workers (PDF, 138 kB) presents the selection factors and criteria, but also the weighting and the passing scores that apply to skilled workers, as stipulated in Québec Immigration Regulation and the Regulation respecting the weighting applicable to the selection of foreign nationals.
Below is a summary of the selection factors (courtesy of CanadaVisa.com)
|Up to 14 points (Cutoff Score = 2 points)
|Area Of Training
|Up to 12 points
|Validated Employment Offer
|Up to 14 points
|Up to 8 points
|Up to 16 points
|Up to 22 points
|Stay And Family In Quebec
|Up to 8 points
|Spouse/Common-law partner Characteristics
|Up to 17 points
|Presence Of Accompanying Children
|Up to 8 points
Please note that under section 114 of the Québec Immigration Regulation (Order in Council 963-2018), applications for selection certificates filed under the Regular Skilled Worker Program before August 2, 2018, will continue to be processed according to the provisions of the Regulation respecting foreign nationals (chapter I-0.2, r. 4) and the Regulation respecting the weighting applicable to the selection of foreign nationals (chapter I-0.2, r. 2), as it read on August p1, 2018. Applications filed before August 2, 2018, are therefore processed using the selection grid in effect on August 1, 2018 (in French only – PDF, 134 kB).
The selection factors and criteria are designed to assess your social and professional profile (as well as your spouse’s, if applicable) and help determine your potential for integrating into the Québec labour market and Québec society? The factors and criteria considered are:
- Your training (level of education and area of training). Please note that since December 31, 2015, only diplomas obtained before the submission of your application are considered in the attribution of points for the Education Level criterion;
- Your work experience
- Your age
- Your knowledge of French and English
- Your stays in Québec and family relationship with a Canadian citizen or a permanent Québec resident
- Having an employment offer validated by the Ministère. See the section International recruitment – Hiring a permanent foreign worker
- Characteristics of your accompanying spouse or de facto spouse, if applicable
- Other factors, including the number of children under the age of 22 who will be accompanying you to Québec
- Your capacity for financial self-sufficiency (you must sign a contract in which you undertake to provide for your needs and your family’s needs for at least the first three months following your arrival in Québec).
Many of the documents required in order to apply for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program must be certified true copies.
Language test results must be submitted along with immigration applications to be awarded points for language proficiency.
- For more information on approved French tests, see Proving French Language Ability (Quebec Skilled Worker Program).
- For more information on the approved English test, see Proving English Language Ability – International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
2. Quebec Experience Program (PEQ)
The Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) is one of Quebec’s immigration pathways to permanent residence. The program requires that candidates have experience in the province of Quebec, either as temporary foreign workers or international students. PEQ applicants must demonstrate advanced intermediate knowledge of oral French. There are additional eligibility requirements for this program, including that the applicant is legally residing in Quebec at the time the application is submitted and processed.
The Québec Experience Program does not use a selection grid and does not take into account the characteristics of the spouse or de facto spouse.
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.
You must meet all the conditions of the Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ – Québec Experience Program) when you submit your application for permanent selection. You must:
- Intend to settle in Québec to hold a job
- Have stayed temporarily in Québec for the primary purpose of studying and have respected the conditions of your stay
- Have stayed in Québec for at least half the duration of your study program
- Hold an eligible Québec diploma
- Demonstrate advanced intermediate knowledge of oral French
- Undertake to provide for your basic needs and, where applicable, those of your spouse or de facto spouse and dependent children included in your application for permanent selection, for a minimum period of three months
- Be at least 18 years old, hold a valid passport and, if you are applying from Québec, be legally in Québec at the time of application
If you hold a post-graduation work permit, you can apply under the PEQ as a temporary foreign worker (see requirements later below) if the selection conditions are more advantageous for you.
Knowledge of French Language
You must have advanced intermediate knowledge of oral French and provide, depending on the situation that applies to you, an official document to demonstrate this. The Ministère may conduct an interview to verify the level of French knowledge attested to.
If you are a graduate or future graduate, you may submit:
- a final transcript attesting to the successful completion of a study program in Québec completed entirely in French (including the master’s and doctoral theses, if applicable); or
- an attestation of results of a French test or diploma recognized by Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion that demonstrates a level of proficiency in oral comprehension and oral production of 7 orhigheron the Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français des personnes immigrantes adultes or its equivalent (Level B2 or higher of the Common European Framework of Reference).
The attestation must be issued by an organization that offers these tests (Centre international d’études pédagogiques, Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris Île-de-France) to be recognized by Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion, and the results must have been issued less than two years prior to the date your application was submitted
The following tests and diplomas are recognized by the Ministère:
- Test d’évaluation du français adapté pour le Québec (TEFAQ), Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris Île-de-France (CCIP)
- Test de connaissance du français pour le Québec (TCF-Québec), Centre international d’études pédagogiques (CIEP)
- Test d’évaluation du français (TEF), CCIP-IDF
- Test d’évaluation du français pour le Canada (TEF Canada), CCIP-IDF
- Test de connaissance du français (TCF), CIEP
- Diplôme d’études en langue française (DELF)*, CIEPDiplôme approfondi de langue française (DALF)*, CIEP
3. Quebec Business Immigration Program
To be eligible for this program, you must meet the following conditions:
- You must settle in Québec to create and operate a business for which you have already received a service offer from a business accelerator or incubator or a university entrepreneurship center You can carry out your project alone or with others, up to three of whom can be foreign nationals who have submitted selection applications as entrepreneurs for the same project.
- You must present your project in the form of a business plan.
- You must settle in Québec to create or acquire and operate a business.
- You must make a startup deposit and a security deposit at a financial institution with an establishment in Québec with whom you have signed a deposit agreement:
- You must use the startup deposit to set up your business. The required amount is lower (CAD $200,000) if you set up your business outside the Montréal metropolitan area (CMM). A startup deposit of CAD $300,000 is required if the business is located in the CMM.
- The security deposit of CAD $200,000 serves as insurance that your business will actually be created. It will be refunded when you demonstrate that your business plan has been carried out.
- You must also have a minimum net worth of CAD $900,000, alone or with your spouse or de facto spouse, and you must demonstrate that this money has been legally acquired.
- You must present your project in the form of a business plan.
- If you choose to create a business, you must own and control at least 25% of its equity capital. If you choose to acquire a business, you must own and control at least 51% of the its equity capital.
- Your business must not be involved in any of the following activities:
- Payday loans, cheque cashing, or pawnbroking
- Real estate development or real estate or insurance brokerage
- Production, distribution, or sale of pornographic or sexually explicit products or services related to the sex industry such as nude or erotic dancing, escort services or erotic massages
- Your business
- Must have been in operation during the five years prior to your date of application
Your application will also be assessed on the basis of other factors and criteria including:
Your level of education
Your knowledge of French and English
Your financial self-sufficiency
Your visits to Québec
Your family in Québec
To be eligible for the Investor Program, you must:
- Have, alone or with your accompanying spouse or de facto spouse, legally acquired net assets of at least C$2,000,000, excluding any amounts received by donation less than six months before your application is submitted
- Have management experience
- For at least two years in the five years preceding the application for a selection certificate, of duties related to the planning, management and control of financial, human or material resources under your authority. This does not include experience acquired in an apprenticeship, training or specialization leading to a diploma
- Intend to settle in Québec
- Sign an investment agreement with a financial intermediary (broker or trust company) authorized to participate in the Investor Program
- Make a five-year term investment of C$1,200,000 with Investissement Québec – Immigrants Investisseurs Inc.
Self-Employed Worker Program
To be eligible for this program, you must:
- Come to Québec to create your own job by practicing a profession or business activities, alone or with other immigration candidates, with or without paid help
- Make a start-up deposit at a financial institution located in the region where you intend to practice your trade or profession:
- C$25,000 start-up deposit if you intend to practice your trade or profession outside the Montréal Metropolitan Community (MMC) area
- C$50,000 start-up deposit if you intend to practice your trade or profession in the MMC area
- Have minimum net assets of C$100,000 in conjunction, if applicable, with your accompanying spouse or de facto spouse, and proof of its source and lawful acquisition
- Have at least two years of experience as a self-employed worker in the profession or trade you intend to practice in Québec
Your application will also be assessed on other factors and criteria, such as:
- Your age and the age of your spouse or de facto spouse, if applicable
- Your level of education and that of your spouse or de facto spouse, if applicable
- Your language skills in French and English and those of your spouse or de facto spouse, if applicable
- Your financial self-sufficiency
- Your visits to Québec
- Your family in Québec
If you wish to practice a regulated profession or trade in Québec as a self-employed worker, you must contact the competent regulatory body in Québec as soon as possible. You must familiarize yourself with the conditions and take the steps required to obtain legal authorization from that regulatory body to practice your profession or trade in Québec.
A diploma or license obtained outside Québec does not automatically confer the right to practice a regulated profession or trade in Québec.
In addition, to practice a profession governed by a professional order in Québec, you must pass a French language examination if you cannot provide proof that you have appropriate knowledge of French, in accordance with Section 35 of the Charter of the French Language (chapter C-11)