Quebec immigration programs
Quebec stands out as the only province in Canada with French as its sole official language. Consequently, many of Quebec's immigration programs place a strong emphasis on French language proficiency or give preference to individuals who are proficient in French. However, there are also pathways available for those who may not speak French but wish to immigrate to the province.
Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ)
Quebec immigration involves two distinct processes: selection and admission. Selection takes place at the provincial level, while admission is a federal matter. To successfully immigrate to Quebec, applicants must meet both selection and admission criteria. During the selection phase, foreign nationals must obtain approval from the province of Quebec.
Selection is demonstrated through the issuance of a Certificat de sélection du Québec (Quebec Selection Certificate – CSQ), a document issued by provincial immigration authorities following a successful application through one of Quebec's immigration programs.
Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSW)
The Quebec Skilled Worker program (QSW) is one of Quebec's pathways to permanent residence. As a skilled worker program, all applicants are required to demonstrate a minimum amount of skilled work experience. QSW operates on a points-based system, where applicants must achieve a minimum score on a points assessment grid to be eligible.
While proficiency in French is not a mandatory requirement for this program, possessing French language skills can lead to an increased score on the points assessment grid.
Eligible candidates must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the online Arrima portal to be considered for this program.
Quebec Experience Program (PEQ)
The Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) is another pathway to permanent residence in Quebec. This program requires candidates to have prior experience in the province, either as a temporary foreign worker or an international student. PEQ applicants must demonstrate advanced intermediate knowledge of oral French. Additional eligibility criteria include legal residency in Quebec at the time of application submission and processing.
Quebec Investor Program
To qualify for the Quebec Investor Program, applicants must possess net assets totaling at least $2 million CAD and have the ability to invest a minimum of $1.2 million CAD through a Quebec financial intermediary. Meeting these criteria may make applicants eligible for permanent residence in Canada through this program.
Quebec Entrepreneur Program
The Quebec Entrepreneur Program requires applicants to have the financial capacity, along with the experience and intent, to manage a business project in Quebec or acquire a business in the province.
The Quebec Self-Employed Worker Program allows certain self-employed individuals to immigrate to Quebec and create their own job opportunities. To qualify, applicants need to have net assets of at least $100,000 CAD and two years of experience as a self-employed worker in their intended field of practice in Quebec.
Certificat d'acceptation du Québec (CAQ)
Several of Quebec's temporary resident programs require a Certificat d'acceptation du Québec (Quebec Acceptance Certificate – CAQ) to authorize temporary stays in Quebec. This includes the majority of study programs for international students. It's important to note that a CAQ allows temporary stay in the Province of Quebec and should not be confused with a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ), which authorizes permanent residence in the province.
Validated Job Offer
If a Quebec employer intends to hire a foreign national, they may offer a job that has been officially validated by MIDI (Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Intégration). A validated job offer holds significant advantages, particularly in the Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW) program, where it can earn the holder either 8 points (for jobs in the Montreal region) or 10 points (for positions outside the Montreal region).
Furthermore, holders of validated job offers are exempt from the quota requirement for QSW applications, allowing them to apply for a CSQ at any time. To validate a job offer, both the job position and the foreign national must meet specific requirements:
Job Position Requirements:
- Must be a permanent, full-time position at National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Level 0, A, B, or C.
- Must have a positive or neutral impact on the local labor market.
- Must be offered, in writing, by a Quebec employer with at least 12 months of operation.
- Appropriate recruitment efforts must have been made to hire a Canadian citizen or permanent resident for the position, if applicable.
Foreign National Requirements:
- Must provide copies of identification documents, educational records, curriculum vitae (CV), and a written copy of the employment offer.
- Must possess a license or certificate to practice in the profession if it is regulated in Quebec.
- If the foreign national is already working for the employer, they must submit a copy of their work permit along with three recent paystubs.
If a foreign national is already employed by a Quebec employer under a temporary work permit, the employer is not required to demonstrate efforts to recruit a Canadian or permanent resident for the position. In all other cases, employers must provide evidence of recruitment efforts. This entails substantial efforts to hire a Canadian for the position before offering it to a foreign national. If all requirements for the validated job offer are met, the employer may submit an application for validation to MIDI.