Opportunities in Quebec
Dear Ms Powell,
I've been reading your column since 2012 and I must say thank you for shedding so much light on the Canadian immigration system. I notice, however, that most times you say that a programme is not open to persons who want to move to Quebec. Does that mean that there are no skilled-worker programmes for persons who are interested in Quebec?
The province of Quebec has several options for citizens of other countries to become permanent residents. This is separate from opportunities available for permanent residence for other provinces under the express entry system.
Not only is Quebec a very beautiful province, the government of Quebec is always seeking to implement programmes to attract immigrants who can contribute towards the growth and development of the province. There are many immigration programmes accessible to persons interested in Quebec. For example, there are opportunities for temporary and permanent workers, students, family sponsorship and business people. You should visit the website www.immigration-quebec.gouv.qc.ca for information about the province's programmes and policies.
Quebec has a generous immigration programme for skilled individuals known as the Quebec Skilled Worker Programme (QSWP). This is based on a first-come, first-serve basis. This means that as long as you are qualified and you submit your application before the cap is reached, then you stand a good chance of being selected.
Individuals who apply will be expected to demonstrate, among other things, that they have the requisite qualifications, work experience and language proficiency to be successful in Quebec. The usual medical and security checks should also be expected.
The QSWP is now closed, but is expected to reopen later this year or early next year. There is a limit on the number of applications that the province will accept. It is anticipated that a maximum of 6,300 applications will be accepted in the next round. The applications will be accepted via a new online electronic tool that is expected to simplify the application process.
A Quebec selection certificate will be granted to each successful applicant, which qualifies the individual to apply for permanent residence in Canada.
How to qualify
The most significant changes expected when the programme reopens later this year are that the qualifying points have been lowered and there is no strict adaptability criterion (even though the government reserves the right to do an adaptability interview, if they deem it necessary).
Although an applicant can get points for a job offer and for being fluent in French, these are not prerequisites to apply. This is exciting news for individuals whose main language is English. Additional points will be awarded to applicants who have children, especially if the children are under 12 years old.
Since the QSWP is a point-based system, the key is to score as many points as possible under each category and to submit an accurate application in a timely manner.
A single applicant will be expected to score a minimum of 49 points and a couple must score a minimum of 57 points. Points will be awarded based on level of education, training, work experience, age, language proficiency, financial self-sufficiency, spouses' characteristics, number of children and proof of a valid job offer.
To qualify, an individual must submit proof of language competency in either English or French. A maximum of 16 points can be awarded for French language based on the French language examination, Test d'Evaluation de Francais. A maximum of six points will be awarded for English language. The International English Language Test System, General Training results will be required. Your scores will be higher if you are able to demonstrate competence in both languages.
To find out more about how to prepare for the QSWP, contact an immigration lawyer to assist you.
-Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public. Submit your questions and comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org Find her on Facebook: jamaicanlawyer.