The Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSW) is one of several immigration programs operated by the province of Quebec. Quebec is Canada’s only francophone province. The Quebec Skilled Worker program has specific qualifying criteria based on Quebec’s cultural uniqueness.
The Quebec Skilled Worker program is different from other Canadian immigration programs in that it involves two steps.
An applicant can include their spouse, common-law partner, and any dependent children on their application as well. In fact, under the Quebec Skilled Worker program, additional points are awarded to applicants with families, especially those with young children.
QSW targets candidates who have skilled work experience and will be able to make lasting contributions to Quebec’s economy as members of the workforce. Notably, QSW does not require applicants to show proficiency in French, making the program attractive to English speakers who wish to reside in Quebec.
Unlike the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Quebec Skilled Worker Program has no list of eligible occupations. If the criteria set out by Immigration Quebec is met, individuals will qualify for the program regardless of their occupation or field of expertise.
The first-come, first-served application process for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program has been replaced with a new ‘Expression of Interest’ application system, where applicants may submit an online profile at any time to be considered for immigration to Quebec. Prior to August 2, 2018, only a certain number of skilled worker applications were accepted at a given time, within limited intake periods. Submissions were first-come, first-serve, and processing time for candidates was often as long as 36 months.
Replacing this application process is the ‘Expression of Interest’ system, where candidates 18 years of age and older may submit an online profile at any time. There is no limit to the number of applicants that may “express their interest” at once. Similar to Express Entry, this new system pools candidates and ranks them based on a variety of factors, to help determine their suitability to immigrate. Applicants who meet baseline requirements for finances and education (minimum secondary school diploma) are given a score in the “Employability” category, awarded points based on:
Candidates who receive enough points in “Employability” are then assessed in the “Selection” category, which considers the points received in “Employability”, plus the following factors:
After candidates receive a score, they may be invited by the Minister to apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ), to be completed within 90 days. If successful, candidates will then be eligible to apply for permanent residence from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
Note that not everyone with a passing score will be invited to apply for a CSQ. Other elements will be considered when issuing invitations, including applicants’ ability to successfully stay in Quebec, their region of destination, whether there is a shortage in their occupation in Quebec, and whether their country of origin is affected by a humanitarian crisis. The Minister will also prioritize applicants with a valid job offer, those who are currently working in Quebec full-time, and those with at least 6 months of prior work experience in Quebec.
Quebec has a special agreement on immigration with the Government of Canada. The province has its own rules for choosing immigrants who will adapt well to living there.
To immigrate to Canada as a Quebec-selected skilled worker, you must apply in the following 2 stages:
Quebec’s economic immigration programs include the Quebec Skilled Worker Program and Quebec Experience Program, as well as a trio of business immigration programs for investors, entrepreneurs, and self-employed persons.
Approved CSQ holders may apply to the federal government for Canadian permanent residence. The federal government is primarily concerned with health and criminality issues, rather than the human capital, skills, and experience factors for which the applicant has already been approved by the government of Quebec.
The first thing you need to know about the Quebec immigration program is that it offers applicants multiple pathways for moving to the province. These can broadly be divided into 3 categories:
Out of these, the most popular one is the first – Quebec Skilled Worker Program. It offers international immigrants a very quick and economically efficient pathway of moving to Canada and outside the federal Express Entry program, is the best way of moving to Canada. While other streams are also viable, they are not the most popular as the majority of Indian immigrants in Canada look to work for companies instead of starting their own business venture.
If you are planning to move to Quebec, then going there as a foreign worker is not the best idea because you can move there with a PR visa in hand. Thus, you will be able to enjoy all the benefits of PR and citizenship from the very first day.
Once you decide which program would suit you the best for the Quebec Immigration you should know the list of the requirements that you need to have:
There are 3 main steps to apply:
After the Province of Quebec has selected you:
Answer all of the questions carefully, completely and truthfully. There are serious consequences if you misrepresent yourself or hold back information on your application.
In most cases, you must pay a biometrics fee when you submit your application. Otherwise, you may experience delays. The biometrics fee covers the cost of collecting fingerprints and a digital photo.
After you pay the biometrics fee with a complete application, we’ll send you a letter confirming that you need to give your biometrics and where you can go. You must show this letter when you give your biometrics.
You must give your biometrics in person. Make sure to book an appointment if this service is offered. Find a collection point close to you.
Make sure that you do not forget anything. If anything is missing:
Many people think that being fluent in French is a requirement to immigrate to the province. This is not necessarily true. Québec is a very unique province. It is the only province in Canada with French as its official language. People in Québec are very proud of their language and French heritage. The province has robust laws in place to protect the status of the French language.
While having French language skills definitely makes settling in Québec easier, it is possible to qualify for some of Québec’s immigration programs without speaking the language.
It is not very difficult to get PR in Quebec. If you provide all the relevant document and follow the procedures as per the requirements. You can get the help of an immigration consultant like Kansas Overseas Career who can ensure the maximum chances of getting your Quebec Visa approved. However, as of September, 2018, immigration to Quebec through the Quebec Skilled Worker Program is being conducted through a new ‘expression of interest’ system to manage applications. This system is known as the ‘Arrima’ portal.
Please keep in mind the Quebec’s Arrima immigration system is only available in French, though French ability is not an absolute requirement to immigrate to Quebec. Candidates with limited or no French ability may submit a profile.
Quebec immigration applicants go through a two-step process.
The federal government is primarily concerned with health and criminality issues, rather than the human capital, skills, and experience factors for which the applicant has already been approved by the government of Quebec.
It should be noted that though Quebec retains control of the selection of economic immigrants to the province, Family Class applicants and in-Canada refugee claimants may also be admitted on an ongoing basis. French ability for economic migrants depends on the program and the individual’s personal circumstances. For non-economic migrants, French ability is not a factor in selection.
There are a number of ways to secure a CSQ through the economic programs, explained below. But first, let’s clear up some common misnomers:
Applicants need to demonstrate they have sufficient money for supporting themselves and their family after they get to Canada. This is applicable unless the applicant:
Applicants should note borrowed money cannot be used to meet the thresholds. They need to use the money cover costs of living for their family. This applies even if the family is not accompanying the applicant to Canada. Applicants also need to provide proof to the Canadian visa office in their home countries that they possess sufficient money when they apply to immigrate. The funds must be readily available both when a candidate applies and when a permanent residence visa is issued. Official letters from banks or other financial institutions act as proof of funds.
According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the letter must:
The amount of money applicants needed depends upon the size of their families. The authorities revise these amounts each year.
Applicants need to research the costs of living in a place where they plan to settle in Canada.
They will need to declare if they are bringing more than $10,000 into the country, as per Canadian customs regulations. Those who fail to declare need to bring funds in the form of:
Documents that guarantee payment of a specific amount of money, which is payable to the applicant, such as:
Settlement Funds Required for Federal Skilled Worker and Federal Skilled Trades Programs
|Number of Family Members||2017 Funds Required||2018 Funds Required||2019 Funds Required|
|Each additional family member||$3,314||$3,361||$3,414|
As is the case with the national Express Entry Program, the QSWP is based on the skills and occupations categorized by the National Occupations Classification (NOC). Those skills regarded in high demand based on labour market conditions are given priority over others. This forms the basis for the entire immigration scheme of Quebec. Aside from that there are several factors that are taken into consideration when assessing the viability of a candidate for entry into Quebec with a PR visa. Here’s a look at the factors utilized by the Quebec Provincial Nominee Program to assess application eligibility:
|Education||Up to 14 points (Cutoff Score = 2 points)|
|Area Of Training||Up to 12 points|
|Validated Employment Offer||Up to 10 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|
Factor 1: Education
|Level of Education||Points|
|Secondary school general diploma||2|
|Secondary school vocational diploma||6|
|Postsecondary school general diploma attesting to 2 years of full-time studies||4|
|Postsecondary school technical diploma attesting to 1–2 years of full-time studies||6|
|Postsecondary school technical diploma attesting to 3 years of full-time studies||8|
|Undergraduate diploma attesting to 1 or more years of full-time studies||4|
|Undergraduate diploma attesting to 2 or more years of full-time studies||6|
|Undergraduate diploma attesting to 3 or more years of full-time studies||10|
Factor 2: Areas of Training
|Areas of Training||Points|
|Section A of the areas||12 points|
|Section B of the areas||9 points|
|Section C of the areas||6 points|
|Section D of the areas||2 points|
|Section E, F, or G of the areas||0 points|
Factor 3: Validated Employment Offer
|Validated Employment Offer|
|Validated employment offer in the metropolitan area of Montreal||8 points|
|Validated employment offer outside the metropolitan area of Montreal||10 points|
Factor 4: Work Experience
|Less than 6 months||0 points|
|6 to 11 months||4 points|
|12 to 23 months||4 points|
|24 to 35 months||6 points|
|36 to 47 months||6 points|
|48 months and over||8 points|
Factor 5: Age
|18 to 35 years of age||16 points|
|36 years of age||14 points|
|37 years of age||12 points|
|38 years of age||10 points|
|39 years of age||8 points|
|40 years of age||6 points|
|41 years of age||4 points|
|42 years of age||2 points|
|43 years of age or older||0 points|
Factor 6: Language Proficiency
|French Proficiency||Low Beginner (A1)||High Beginner (A2)||Low Intermediate (B1)||High Intermediate (B2)||Advanced (C1)||Advanced (C2)|
|Listening||0 points||0 points||0 points||5 points||6 points||7 points|
|Speaking||0 points||0 points||0 points||5 points||6 points||7 points|
|Reading||0 points||0 points||0 points||1 point||1 point||1 point|
|Writing||0 points||0 points||0 points||1 point||1 point||1 point|
Factor 7: Stay and Family in Quebec
|Full-time study or full-time work for 3 months or more||5 points|
|Full-time study or full-time work for 6 months or more||5 points|
|Participant in Working Holiday Visa Program, with work experience for 3 months or more||5 points|
|Other stay for no less than 2 weeks and not more 3 months||1 points|
|Other stay exceeding 3 months||2 points|
Family in Quebec
|Nature of Relationship||Points|
|Son or daughter, father or mother, brother or sister||3 points|
|Grandfather or grandmother||3 points|
|Uncle or aunt, nephew or niece, cousin||0 points|
Factor 8:Spouse/Common-law partner Characteristics
|Secondary school general diploma||1 point|
|Secondary school vocational diploma||2 points|
|Postsecondary school general diploma attesting to 2 years of full-time studies||1 points|
|Postsecondary technical diploma attesting to 1 or 2 years of full-time studies||2 points|
|Postsecondary technical diploma attesting to 3 years of full-time studies||3 points|
|Undergraduate diploma attesting to 1 year of full-time studies||1 point|
|Undergraduate diploma attesting to 2 years of full-time studies||2 points|
|Undergraduate diploma attesting to 3 years of full-time studies||3 points|
|Master’s degree attesting to 1 or more years of full-time studies||4 points|
Spouse’s Area of Training
|Area of Training||Points|
|Section A of the areas||4 points|
|Section B of the areas||3 points|
|Section C of the areas||2 points|
|Section D of the areas||1 points|
|Section E, F or G of the areas||0 points|
|18 to 35 years of age||3 points|
|36 years of age||2 points|
|37 years of age||2 points|
|38 years of age||2 points|
|39 years of age||2 points|
|40 years of age||1 point|
|41 years of age||1 point|
|42 years of age||1 point|
|43 years of age or older||1 point|
Spouse’s Language Proficiency
|Oral interaction||0–6 points|
|Written comprehension||0 points|
Factor 9: Presence of Accompanying Children
|Age of Children||Points|
|For each child 12 years of age or younger||4 points|
|For each child 13 to 19 years of age||2 points|
Factor 10: Financial Self-Sufficiency
|Making of a contract||1 point|
Here is the list of documents required by the Quebec government to qualify an immigration application for further processing:
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