Quebec Skilled Worker Program
The French-speaking province of Quebec has created its own special program for skilled foreign workers in collaboration with the national Canadian immigration agency, known as the Quebec Regular Skilled Worker Program (QSWP). This is a points-based Canadian immigration program that has two main steps. A foreign worker will first apply for the QSWP and if he or she receives a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ) from Quebec’s provincial government, the second step is to apply for permanent residency with the national Canadian immigration agency.
Living in Quebec
Quebec is a unique place to live in Canada, due to its history, culture, population and natural beauty. This vast region of Canada was originally settled by the French, whereas the rest of present-day Canada was settled by the British. As a result, the majority of people living in Quebec speak French (many also speak English). This is different from Canada’s other nine provinces and three territories, where most residents speak English (and many also know French). Quebec’s special French-Canadian culture further sets this province apart from the rest of Canada and helps to attract many tourists from around the world. In addition to being the biggest Canadian province, Quebec has the country’s second largest population and #2 economy (which is also among the top producers of new jobs in Canada). Furthermore, Montreal has the second largest population of any city in Canada and was ranked #21 for best quality of life out of 450 cities assessed in the 2018 Mercer Global Quality of Living Survey. People living in Quebec have access to quality education programs, including some of the best universities in Canada. If you and your family want to experience a high standard of living in Canada and you are a skilled foreign worker with good French language abilities, you may want to consider living and working in Quebec!
The Quebec Regular Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) is a points-based Canadian immigration program for skilled foreign workers and their families who want to live and work in Quebec. Points are given for different factors and a minimum number of points are required. The maximum points possible and the minimum points required will depend on whether a skilled foreign worker is unmarried or has a spouse/partner. There are additional eligibility requirements that must also be satisfied. In general, there is a two-step procedure to apply for Canadian immigration through the Quebec Regular Skilled Worker Program.
During the first step of the QSWP application process, a foreign worker will submit his/her Expression of Interest (EOI) through Quebec’s online “Arrima” system. The EOI contains the applicant’s relevant personal details, including information about his/her education, work experience, French and/or English language abilities, family situation, contact details, any validated job offer, current status in Quebec, and other information. An applicant can login to update his/her EOI if necessary. Quebec’s provincial authorities will then review the details in the EOI and if the applicant appears to meet the QSWP criteria, their EOI will be placed in the Expression of Interest Bank (EIB).
An applicant who receives the Certificat de sélection du Québec (Québec Selection Certificate) and Invitation from the relevant provincial authorities in Quebec can move forward to the second major step of the QSWP procedure. During this second step, the foreign worker will have 90 days to submit an application for a permanent resident visa to Canada with all of the required documents and fee(s) to the Canadian immigration agency. The relevant officials in Canada’s national government will review the Canadian visa application and documents, including the medical exam(s), and will conduct a security check of the applicant(s). If the visa application is approved by the national Canadian immigration agency, a Confirmation of Permanent Residency (COPR) will be sent to the immigrant, a permanent resident visa to Canada will be stamped inside of his/her valid passport, and the new Canadian permanent resident(s) will be allowed to move to Quebec. At the end of the second step of the QSWP process, the immigrant will need to pay the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF) and the separate fee for a Permanent Resident Card.
This is a brief overview of the major QSWP requirements and procedure and subject to change at any time by the Canadian immigration authorities. To find out which Canadian visa option you qualify to apply for, click here!
Permanent Residency Benefits
Foreign workers and their family members who are granted Canadian permanent residency can receive many benefits. For example, a Canadian permanent resident can live in Canada for an unlimited length of time. Immigrants approved for Canadian permanent residency through the QSWP can legally work in Quebec and have the opportunity to attend world-class educational programs. Other benefits include opening a bank account and getting a driver’s license, having the options to buy a home and start a business, being permitted to travel to and from Canada, and sponsoring eligible family members for a Canadian visa. After living in Canada as a permanent resident for at least three years and satisfying other criteria, an immigrant can apply to become a citizen of Canada and also get a Canadian passport.
To learn if you are likely to qualify for the QSWP or another Canadian immigration program, click here!
DISCLAIMER: This information is not and shall not be considered as expert or professional advice.