In 1978, the Cullen-Couture Agreement was signed, giving the province of Quebec selection powers in immigration matters for the first time, especially with respect to the language of newcomers. The agreement was intended to recognize the distinctiveness of Quebec society by giving it the power to select some of its immigrants.
Since then, various Quebec economic immigration programs have succeeded one another, establishing the criteria used to determine the candidates eligible to receive a document entitled “Certificat de sélection du Québec” (CSQ). Possession of a CSQ allows its holder to apply for permanent residence to the federal government, which remains responsible for verifying security and medical admissibility.
Currently, the two main permanent immigration programs to Quebec are the Quebec Experience Program (the PEQ) and the Skilled Worker Program through the Arrima portal.
The Quebec Experience Program is an immigration program for candidates who have already stayed as a temporary worker or student in Quebec.
As an international student,you must obtain one of the eligible Quebec diplomas and extend your stay by gaining work experience. The following diplomas, combined with 12 months of paid work experience, allow access to the PEQ: university bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, MBA, doctorate and technical college diploma (DEC). The Diploma of Vocational Studies (DVS) of 1,800 hours or more or the Diploma of Vocational Studies (DVS) followed by an Attestation of Vocational Specialization (AVS) certifying a minimum of 1,800 hours of continuing education leading to a trade also gives the right to apply for the PEQ if 18 months of paid work experience is added. Note that you must be employed at the time of application.
As a temporary worker, you must instead accumulate 24 months of full-time experience for an employer in Quebec in a category 0, A, B job to apply under the PEQ.
If it is not possible to meet the requirements of the PEQ, an immigrant may try his chance in the Regular Skilled Worker Program by creating an online profile on the Arrima portal. He will have to provide the required information regarding his level of education, his field of training, his mastery of French and English, his family, his professional experience, etc.
If he or she can obtain a validation of a permanent job offer, i.e., a promise to hire from an employer, he or she must make sure that he or she takes the necessary steps to attach it to his or her profile, because holders of such offers will be invited before others to submit a CSQ application.
Before creating your profile, calculate your score according to the Quebec selection grid. This will give you an idea of your chances of success since invitations will be sent to the candidates with the highest scores. Since the creation of the Arrima portal, few invitations have been sent, which is why it is important to build the best online application and maximize the points you can acquire.
Once your profile is in Arrima, you must wait to receive an invitation to apply for a Quebec selection certificate. As mentioned previously, obtaining a CSQ will allow you to apply for permanent residence to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada as a “Quebec Selected Skilled Worker”.