The Province of Quebec administers its own immigration programs with selection criteria that are distinct and more predictable from those of federal and other provincial immigration programs.
Foreign nationals wishing to settle permanently in Quebec must undergo a two-step immigration process:
They must be selected by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI), Quebec’s immigration authority. Selected applicants will receive a Quebec Certificate of Selection (CSQ).
An approved CSQ holder must file an application with Canadian federal immigration authorities. The federal government’s role in evaluating a Quebec application for permanent residence is mainly limited to issues of health and criminality.
The Expression of Interest
Starting August 2018, MIDI has implemented an Express of Interest (EOI) system, in an effort to streamline their application process.
Interested candidates are now invited to declare their interest to immigrate to Quebec by submitting an online profile to the Quebec’s Expression of Interest Bank (EOIB).
The Arrima Portal
The new system, Arrima, is directed to individuals interested to immigrate to Quebec under the regular Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) and it effectively ended the application process under the principle of “first come, first served”.
The Arrima portal remains open year-round and candidates are able to submit an EOI at any time, free of charge.
Anyone who meets the age requirements, which is 18 years, can submit an EOI profile online.
According to MIDI, the selection of candidates from the EOI bank will be based on criteria defining the person’s profile in terms of employability and contribution to the vitality of the French language.
More specifically, the invitations are based on three main categories:
- Human capital (age, proficiency in French, level of education, etc.)
- Ability to find a job in Québec (having a validated job offer, having earned a degree in Québec, or having temporary worker status with at least six months work experience in Québec)
- Changing needs of the job market (areas of training associated with fields experiencing labour shortages)
The Quebec Skilled Worker program aims to select candidates with the highest probability of successful economic settlement potential.
Applicants from outside Canada, who do not have intermediate-advanced French abilities, have the best chances to qualify under Quebec rules if their profession is in high demand in Quebec.
The Mon Projet Quebec Portal
Candidates invited to apply for a CSQ will be directed to a secure space in the Mon Projet Quebec portal.
They will be able to complete their application, submit it and pay the required processing fees within a deadline of 90 days. Candidates can also follow the status of their application.
When MIDI is ready to process the application, they will issue a personalized checklist of required documents.
The selection grid
At this stage, applicants must make sure they meet the passing scores under the selection grid.
For a single candidate, the employability threshold is of 43 points. Here, the credentials considered are such as the age, education, work experience, visits and family in Quebec, language proficiency, job offer.
Then, additional points are awarded for existence of children and financial autonomy. A selection cut-off score of 50 points is required in order to qualify under the QSWP.
When a candidate has a spouse, certain of his or her credentials are also considered: age, education, French proficiency. The cut-off scores are also higher, 52 points under the employability threshold and 59 points under the selection threshold.
The submission of documents
The required documents must be submitted within 90 days from the date the customized checklist is received.
MIDI imposes certain formatting requirements regarding the documents they request from the candidates.
Processing times for the Quebec Skilled Worker program are divided into two periods: the time required to obtain a CSQ from the Quebec Immigration authorities and time required to obtain the permanent residence visa from the federal immigration authorities.
Processing fees for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program for 2018 are:
- $785 for the main applicant
- $168 for each accompanying dependent (spouse and children, if applicable)
Learn more about the Quebec Immigration Economic Stream Update.