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Quebec Skilled Worker Program FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the Quebec Skilled Worker Program.

1. What is the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP)?

The Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) is an immigration program for candidates for economic immigration who intend to settle in the province of Quebec. The Ministère de l'immigration, de la diversité et de l'inclusion (Ministry of Immigration, Diversity, and Inclusion (MIDI)) receives applications to the QSWP through the online platform Mon Projet Québec. Only candidates who have received an invitation from the Ministère after having submitted an expression of interest through the Arrima portal can submit an application through Mon Project Québec.

Applicants who are successful under the QSWP are issued a Quebec Selection Certificate (Certificat de sélection du Québec, or CSQ), which is required before the candidate applies to the Canadian federal government for a permanent residence visa.

2. What is the Arrima Portal?

The Arrima portal is for foreign nationals who want to immigrate to Québec under the QSWP. It is a portal open anyone 18 years of age and over who want to submit an Expression of Interest to apply under the QSWP.

3. What is an Expression of Interest?

Under the revised Quebec immigration system, as a first step, foreign national who want to immigrate to Québec under the QSWP must first express their interest by filling out an online Expression of Interest form through the Arrima Portal. On this form, individuals must provide information regarding their area of training, educational level, language skills and work experience, as well as additional information. The Ministère periodically invites individuals from the Expression of Interest bank who meet certain criteria, focusing mainly on labour market needs in the various regions of Québec. Having a validated job offer is one of the criteria taken into consideration.

4. What is Mon projet Québec?

Mon projet Québec is an online system for receiving applications to the QSWP. Candidates wishing to submit an application to the QSWP must first register an account on Mon projet Québec, and complete the application profile. For more information on Mon Projet Québec, please consult the comprehensive and updated Mon projet Québec Frequently Asked Questions page.

5. What is a Quebec Selection Certificate/Certificat du sélection du Québec (CSQ)?

A CSQ the document issued to successful applicants to Quebec immigration programs to show that they have been selected for immigration to Quebec. With a CSQ, a candidate can apply to the Federal government for permanent residence. The CSQ is not a permanent residence visa and cannot be utilized for entry into Canada.

6. When does the program accept submissions?

The QSWP accepts submissions through the online platform Mon projet Québec during specified intake periods. The Ministère announced on August 16, 2016 that the cap limit of 10,000 applications for a selection certificate have been received. As this cap limit applies to the period of April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017, it is not expected that another intake period will open before April 2017. Certain candidates, including temporary residents of Quebec and candidates with a validated job offer in Quebec, can submit their application through Mon Projet Québec at any time.

7. Can an applicant make an application to the QSWP without using Mon projet Québec?

No. Potential applicants for immigration to Quebec through the QSWP must first create an account in the secure online space Mon projet Québec. This is currently the only way for a candidate to submit an application to the QSWP.

8. How long does it take to obtain a CSQ?

Processing times vary according to the applicant’s country of residence and are liable to change. To consult the processing times to receive a CSQ, please click here. It is important to note that the processing times at the federal stage are not included in this estimate.

9. What are the eligibility criteria for the QSWP?

The QSWP operates on a points-based system, in which candidates must meet a points threshold to be eligible. This threshold is determined by a candidate’s family situation – single applicants must obtain 50 points, while applicants including their spouse or common-law partner on their application must obtain 59 points. Points are granted for education, work experience, languages knowledge, family situation, and other criteria. For more information on points calculation, please click here.

10. Who can be included on an application?

An applicant can include his or her spouse or common-law partner on the application, as well as any dependent children aged 18 or younger. It is important to note that Canada recognizes same-sex unions.

11. Are there any government fees?

Yes. Government processing fees for 2017 can be reviewed in the table below.

Applicant Fees
Principal Applicant CAD $798
Spouse, de facto spouse CAD $171
Each dependant child CAD $171

12. If an applicant does not speak French, can he or she still obtain a CSQ?

Possibly. The selection is done on a points-based assessment. If a candidate meets the selection points requirements without speaking French, he or she may still be granted the CSQ.

13. Does an applicant have to provide proof of English language knowledge?

Possibly. The selection is done on a points-based assessment. If a candidate meets the selection points requirements without providing results of an IELTS English test, he or she may still be granted the CSQ.

If a French or English test submitted to obtain eligibility points expires, does the candidate lose the points?

No. As long as the submitted test results are valid on the date of submission (i.e. the test was taken within the two years preceding the date of application), the results are locked in for the duration of the processing time.

If an applicant ages during the application, does he or she lose eligibility points for the age factor?

No. The age of the applicant and the ages of his or her accompanying family members (if applicable) are locked in on the day the application is submitted. For the purposes of points calculation, the applicant and his or her accompanying family members (if applicable) remain the same age throughout the application.

16. If a candidate gains new experience while his or her application is being processed, can he or she gain points?

Yes. Any changes that may affect the candidate’s application must be declared within 30 days of the change. This includes the addition of new family members, as well as any changes in address, employment, and education – this applies to the accompanying spouse as well. The candidate may gain eligibility points for these changes. However, these changes must be declared even if the change will not affect the points score.

17. What happens if an applicant moves to a different country during the processing of his or her application?

Any change in address must be declared to the MIDI. If a candidate moves to a country with a shorter estimated processing time, he or she can request a transfer of the territory treating the application.

18. What documents must be provided in the application?

No documents are required at the initial moment of submission of the Mon Projet Québec profile. However, documents relating to civil status, education history, work experience and family situation are required at the MIDI’s request. Depending on the information provided by the candidate when he or she creates a profile through Mon projet Québec, a personalized documentation checklist will be provided to the candidate. When the MIDI is ready to process an application, a personalized list of required documents will be sent to the candidate’s Mon projet Québec account.

19. Is an educational credential assessment accepted as proof of education history?

No. While other immigration programs accept educational credential assessments such as World Education Services (WES) to prove diploma equivalency, the MIDI does not recognize these credential assessments. Certified true copies of diplomas and transcripts are currently the required documents to prove an applicant’s educational credentials.

20. Does an applicant’s spouse have to be included on the application?

No. An applicant who is married or in a common-law relationship can submit an application as a single applicant. The spouse would then be declared on the application as non-accompanying. However, if the principal applicant intends to include children on his or her application, parental permission is required from the non-accompanying spouse.

21. Can a candidate submit an application to the QSWP if he or she intends to live elsewhere in Canada?

The QSWP program is intended for prospective immigrants who wish to settle and build a life in Quebec. An application can be refused if the MIDI or the federal immigration authorities believe that the applicant does not intend to settle in Quebec. Once a successful applicant receives a permanent resident visa, he or she (and his or her family, if applicable) must land in Quebec upon arrival in Canada. However, it is important to note that immigrants who obtain permanent residence through the QSWP have the same rights as Canadian citizens and permanent residents in other provinces to move around the country freely and without impediment.

22. Can an application for permanent residence be refused at the federal level, after the applicant has obtained a CSQ?

Yes. An application can be refused at the federal processing stage for a variety of reasons. The decision to refuse an application at the federal level can be based on criminal background checks, or on the results of medical examinations. An application may also be refused if the federal immigration authorities have reason to believe any of the applicant's claims on their application are untrue, or if the authorities doubt the applicant's intention to reside in Quebec. If you have any concerns regarding criminal or medical inadmissibility to Canada, please contact us.

23. If an applicant qualifies as a Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker and obtains a CSQ, does he or she then have to meet the points requirement for the Federal Skilled Worker Class?

No. It is important to note that the selection criteria for a Quebec Skilled Worker are not the same as those for the Federal Skilled Worker Class. If an applicant obtains a CSQ, his or her application must still be submitted at the federal level for security and medical checks before permanent residence may be granted. However, qualifications are not re-assessed at the federal level, as the province will already have approved the qualifications and selected the applicant (and his or her family, if applicable) for immigration to Quebec.

24. Does an applicant first have to be in the Express Entry pool in order to make an application for a CSQ under the QSW Program?

No. The process of immigration to Quebec exists outside the federal Express Entry immigration selection system.

25. How is immigrating to Quebec different from immigrating to the rest of Canada?

Quebec is responsible for selecting immigrants to settle within the province. In order to immigrate to Quebec, candidates must first obtain a CSQ. It is important to note that a CSQ is not a Permanent Residence Visa. Once an application for a CSQ is submitted, candidates’ qualifications are assessed at the provincial level. After receiving approval at the provincial level (in the form of the CSQ), the candidate must submit an application at the federal level for medical and security checks. After a candidate is approved at the federal level, he or she receives permanent residence.

26. Why are the requirements different for a CSQ than for a Federal Skilled Worker application?

Quebec is a culturally distinct province, and the only predominantly francophone province in Canada. A candidate’s chances of being selected by Quebec depend on his or her ability and willingness to settle and work in the province and adapt to life in the province. Quebec has had the right to define its own criteria for the selection of immigrants since 1991, when the province signed the Canada-Quebec Accord. This agreement between the provincial and federal governments came about in the context of rising separatist sentiment in Quebec, and although Quebec residents voted to remain part of Canada, the selection of immigrants according to Quebec's own criteria remains an important part of the province's identity. However, the right to move around Canada, as established in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, remains in the Canada-Quebec Accord.

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