Quebec Immigration Programs - Canada Visa & Immigration
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Quebec Immigration Programs

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The province of Quebec administers its own immigration programs and the selection criteria are distinct from those of federal and other provincial immigration programs. 

Candidates must undergo a two-step immigration process:

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1. Candidate must be selected by the Ministère de l’immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI), Quebec’s immigration authority. 

You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.

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.

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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 into Canada.

NOTE:
If you wish to settle in Québec permanently and you are a foreign student, Québec graduate or skilled temporary foreign worker employed in Québec, you can apply for a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ) in the skilled worker class. Note that you must be age 18 or older and plan to settle in Québec with the intention of being gainfully employed.

2. An approved CSQ holder must file a permanent residence application with IRCC within 24 months since 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.

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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 immigration selection system for Quebec Skilled Workers is designed to identify immigration candidates who are most likely to become economically established in the province.

Skilled Worker applicants who intend to reside in Montreal or in another city or region within the province of Quebec are assessed under a different system than applicants who wish to settle elsewhere in Canada.

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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

On September 18, 2018, 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.

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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)

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Factors Points
Education Up to 14 points (Cutoff Score = 2 points)
Area Of Training Up to 12 points
Validated Employment Offer Up to 14 points
Work Experience Up to 8 points
Age Up to 16 points
Language Proficiency 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
Financial Self-Sufficiency 1 point

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.

2. Quebec Experience Program (PEQ)

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

The Quebec Experience Program (Programme de l’expérience Québécoise, or PEQ) is a popular immigration pathway for foreign students and individuals with work experience in Quebec.

The PEQ is an accelerated selection program for skilled workers who wish to obtain a CSQ with a view to becoming permanent residents. The program is intended for Québec graduates and temporary foreign workers who meet certain conditions, such as demonstrating advanced intermediate knowledge of oral French.

As previously described above, immigration to Quebec is a two-step process in which an individual interested in immigrating to Quebec must first apply for a Certificat de sélection du Québec (also known as a Quebec Selection Certificate or “CSQ”) from MIDI, 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.

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.

If you hold a post-graduation work permit, you may apply for permanent selection as a Québec graduate or temporary foreign worker based on the selection conditions that are the most advantageous for you, using the appropriate form.

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:

3. Quebec Business Immigration Program

Entrepreneur Program

To be eligible for this program, you must meet the following conditions:

Stream 1

  • 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.

Stream 2

  • 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 age
Your level of education 
Your knowledge of French and English 
Your financial self-sufficiency 
Your visits to Québec 
Your family in Québec

Investor Program

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 practising 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 practise your trade or profession:
  • C$25,000 start-up deposit if you intend to practise your trade or profession outside the Montréal Metropolitan Community (MMC) area
  • C$50,000 start-up deposit if you intend to practise 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 practise 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 practise 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 practise your profession or trade in Québec.

A diploma or licence obtained outside Québec does not automatically confer the right to practise a regulated profession or trade in Québec.

In addition, to practise a profession governed by a professional order in Québec, you must pass a French language examination if you cannot provide proof that you have an appropriate knowledge of French, in accordance with Section 35 of the Charter of the French Language (chapter C-11)

If you are a self-employed worker and you do not meet the conditions of the Self-Employed Worker Program, check if you qualify for the Regular Skilled Worker Program. See Permanent workers – Requirements of the Québec Immigration Program for Skilled Workers.


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You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.