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:
1. Candidate must be 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 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.
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.
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.
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;
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).
TMany 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.
What are Quebec Skilled Worker Program Processing Times?
Processing Times for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program vary from one Canadian Immigration Visa Office to another.
What are Quebec Skilled Worker Program Processing Fees?
Processing fees for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program for 2019 are as follows:
Spouse, de facto spouse
Each dependant child
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.
How to Apply for PEQ as a Québec Graduate
Note: Since October 1, 2018, it is no longer be possible for future graduates to submit, 6 months prior to obtaining their diploma, an application for permanent selection under the Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ – Québec experience program). Candidates must obtain their diploma and provide it or an attestation of successful completion as well as the transcript of their final grades in order to submit an application.
Conditions to be met as a Québec graduate
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.
You are not eligible for the PEQ if:
You hold a bursary with a clause requiring a return to your country (unless you have already fulfilled this condition)
You have started a new study program in Québec
More than 36 months have elapsed between the time you completed your study program in Québec and the date you submitted your application for permanent selection
The Québec diplomas eligible under the PEQ are:
Bachelor’s degree (university undergraduate)
Master’s degree (including an MBA)
Diplôme d’études collégiales techniques (DEC – Diploma of college studies, technical training)
Diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP – Diploma of vocational studies) attesting to 1,800 hours or more of study
Diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP – Diploma of vocational studies) followed by an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP – Attestation of vocational specialization) attesting to a minimum of 1,800 hours of continuing education and leading to a particular trade
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:
*For the DELF and DALF test results to be eligible, you may have to provide the original diploma or a certified copy issued by Centre international d’études pédagogiques.
To satisfy the PEQ language requirements, the minimum passing grades for the DELF and DALF tests are:
DELF B2: 16/25 or more for the two oral exams;
DALF C1: 8/25 or more for the two oral exams;
DALF C2: 16/50 or more for the oral exam.
A final transcript attesting to the successful completion of at least three years of full-time secondary or post-secondary study completed entirely in French (including the master’s and doctoral theses, if applicable) and, where the national language of instruction is not exclusively French, an attestation from the issuing institution indicating the duration of the study program and the language of instruction
A final transcript attesting to the successful completion of an advanced intermediate level French course taken in Québec at a recognized educational institution included on the list of French courses eligible underthe PEQ:
A regular licence to practise from a professional order in Québec, an attestation of fulfillment of the language requirements of a professional order in Québec or an attestation of successful completion of the examination administered by Office québécois de la langue française for the purposes of obtaining a regular licenceto practise.
When to apply
As a Québec graduate, you can apply to the PEQ from Québec or abroad not later than 36 months after receiving your diploma.
If you are a Québec graduate and have held a job for at least 12 months, e.g., under a post-graduation work permit, you can apply to the PEQ as either a Québec graduate or a temporary foreign worker, depending on the selection conditions that are the most advantageous for you. However, be sure to use the appropriate form.
The processing fees payable for a Québec selection application under the Programme de l’expérience Québécoise (PEQ – Québec Experience Program) are as follows:
Fees in effect
Before December 31, 2018
As of January 1, 20191
Spouse or de facto spouse
Each dependent child
IMPORTANT: The fees must be paid in full, in Canadian funds only, by you or a third party, when the application is mailed. These fees are non-refundable, even if your application is refused or rejected.
If payment is not enclosed with your application or is insufficient, your application will be returned to you.
1 The increase affects the fees payable under An Act respecting immigration to Québec, as well as the fees required to apply for an Évaluation comparative des études effectuées hors du Québec (comparative evaluation for studies done outside Québec) . The 1.71% adjustment corresponds to the increase in Québec’s consumer price index for the period ending on September 30, 2018. It complies with the requirements of Section 83.3 of the Financial Administration Act.
ATTENTION! Cheques and bank drafts must be made payable to the Minister of Finance of Québec and must be mailed with your application package to Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion.Remember to print the applicant’s name in block letters on the back of the cheque. Cash payments, personal cheques and travellers cheques are not accepted.
If your credit card payment is declined, the Ministère will not contact you to advise you of the refusal, and your entire file will be returned to you by regular mail.
In the same envelope, enclose parts 1 and 2 of the Demande de sélection du Québec – Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ) form (A-0520-GF or A-0520-IF) (Québec selection application – Québec Experience Program [PEQ]) duly completed and signed, all of the necessary documents in the required format, as well as full and exact payment of the required fees (in Canadian currency only), and mail it to the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion office that is processing your application.
Application mailing address
Your application for permanent selection under the Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ – Québec Experience Program) must be mailed to the following address:
Programme de l’expérience québécoise Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion 285, rue Notre-Dame Ouest, 4e étage Montréal (Québec) H2Y 1T8 CANADA
What is Are PEQ Processing Times?
All complete applications received under the Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ – Québec Experience Program) will be processed on a priority basis, within 20 working days, excluding postal delays, if they do not require an audit interview.
To accelerate processing of applications submitted under the PEQ, it is important to submit a complete file. Incomplete files will be returned to the sender.
To be admissible, your file must include parts 1 and 2 of the Demande de sélection – Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ) form (A-0520-GF or A-0520-IF) duly completed and signed, any other required forms duly completed and signed, all the documents requested in the required format as well as full and exact payment of the fees charged (in Canadian currency only) to process your application.
When your application is processed, if any information, signature or supporting documents are missing, or if the documents provided are not in the required format, you will receive a letter from Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion indicating which documents are missing or incomplete and in what format they must be provided. You will have a maximum of 60 working days to send us these supporting documents. If you do not meet this deadline, your application will be rejected.
If you are a Québec graduate, you must meet all the program requirements at the time of your application.
What is the PEQ Selection Process?
Unlike the Regular Skilled Worker Program, the Programme de l’expérience québécoise does not use a system that attributes points based on different assessment factors. Your file must be complete in order for your application to be processed.
You must meet all the conditions of the Programme de l’expérience québécoise to obtain a Certificat de sélection du Québec. If one or more requirements are not met, the certificate cannot be issued.
Furthermore, if you included your spouse or de facto spouse in your application, his or her characteristics will not be evaluated.
Conditions not met
If you fail to submit parts 1 and 2 of the duly completed and signed application as well as all the necessary forms and supporting documents in the required format and within the time allotted, your application will be rejected.
Addition of a family member
To add a spouse or de facto spouse, you must again complete a Demande de sélection permanente – Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ) form (A-0520-GF or A-0520-IF). You and your spouse or de facto spouse must duly complete the form, sign it in all the spaces provided and include all necessary documents for your spouse or de facto spouse in the required format. You must also include full and exact payment of the fees required for the addition of a spouse or de facto spouse.
If you add a dependent child, you must provide all the documents requested for a dependent child in the required format under Part 2 of the Demande de sélection permanente – Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ) form (A-0520-GF or A-0520-IF) as well as full and exact payment of the fees required for the addition of a dependent child.
IMPORTANT:In accordance with the legislation in force, all individuals must, if required and under penalty of rejection of their application, answer questions from an immigration officer, including during an interview, and submit all documents required by Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion to verify the accuracy of the information provided in their application.
Continuation of studies
If you have obtained a Certificat de sélection du Québec (Québec selection certificate) under the Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ – Québec Experience Program) – Québec Graduates and wish to continue your studies instead of entering the workforce, your Certificat de sélection du Québec could be revoked and you may have to give up your plan for permanent residence.
Keep in mind that issuance of a Certificat de sélection du Québec is based in part on your intention to settle in Québec in order to work as a skilled worker upon completion of your study program.
If you decide to continue your studies, you will have to submit a new application for temporary selection to obtain a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ – Québec acceptance certificate).
Temporary work permit
The Certificat de sélection du Québec does not grant you permanent residence in Canada. To work and live in Canada legally, you must obtain a temporary work permit.
If you are a Québec graduate from a secondary or post-secondary educational institution, you may be eligible for a post-graduation work permit.
IMPORTANT Individuals in the skilled worker class who hold a Certificat de sélection du Québec and reside in Québec do not have to submit an application for temporary selection to extend or renew their work permit. Furthermore, the employer is exempt from the requirement to conduct a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
In order for the employer to be granted this exemption, your work permit application must be accompanied by a copy of your Certificat de sélection du Québec and your offer of employment to work in Québec.
Holders of a Certificat de sélection du Québec who are eligible for the LMIA exemption may be:
Individuals who have graduated in Québec, have obtained a post-graduation work permit and hold a valid job offer from an employer in Québec
Temporary foreign workers who wish to extend their work permit for the job they currently hold or who wish to renew it to take a job offered by another employer in Québec
Participants in one of the components of the International Experience Canada program (Working Holiday, Young Professionals, International Co-op) who hold a work permit and wish to extend their permit for the job they currently hold or who wish to renew it to take a job offered by another employer in Québec
In addition, a spouse or de facto spouse who accompanies a principal applicant may obtain an open work permit allowing him or her to hold a job.
Are you interested in immigrating to Québec under a program for business people? There are five important steps that you need to know and do and all are discussed fully below.
Understanding the difference between business immigrant selection and admissione (the respective roles of the Government of Québec and the Government of Canada)
Selecting one of the three business immigration programs
Understanding the selection process
Completing and submitting the official immigration application – Application for permanent selection
Applying to the Government of Canada for permanent residence after obtaining a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Québec Selection Certificate)
To be selected by Québec, find out whether you are eligible for one of the three business immigration programs.
Three immigration programs for business people
Interested in coming to Québec to establish or acquire a business? Find out whether you are eligible for the Entrepreneur Program.
Interested in coming to Québec to participate in its economic development by making an investment? Find out whether you are eligible for the Investor Program.
Interested in coming to Québec to create your own job as a self-employed professional or tradesperson? Find out whether you are eligible for the Self-Employed Worker 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
Must have been in operation during the five years prior to your date of application
Please note that you cannot acquire a business purchased in the five years prior to your selection application by an immigrant selected as an entrepreneur under the program.
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
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.
Your application will also be assessed on other factors, such as your age, education and language skills.
The investment agreement is one of the documents to be submitted with the permanent selection application.
The investment of C$1,200,000 for a five-year term is guaranteed by the Government of Québec.
Brokers and trust companies offer the possibility of financing the investment.
At the end of the five-year term, the broker or trust company will reimburse the applicant C$1,200,000 without interest, within 30 days. However, the amount reimbursed may vary if the applicant secured financing for the investment.
Personalized welcome sessions for immigrant investors
Investissement Québec – Immigrants Investisseurs Inc., a subsidiary of the government corporation Investissement Québec, offers free custom-tailored information sessions. You can learn about topics that interest you, such as the Québec economy, real estate, business opportunities and the education system, and get answers to all your questions.
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 Québecas 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)