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Quebec: the government tightens its migration policy

Longer deadlines and new requirements for applicants. On Thursday, May 28, the Quebec government unveiled a new reform of its immigration policy. Main measure announced: access to the Quebec Experience Program (QEP) is becoming more difficult.

The PEQ is an accelerated selection program for skilled workers that allows them to obtain a Québec Selection Certificate for permanent residence. It is intended for students and temporary workers already in Quebec.

Work experience

In concrete terms, it is a fast track to permanent immigration. Currently, a selection certificate is issued in less than a month.

From now on, the student will have to prove at least one year’s professional experience. “The length of work experience required varies according to the type of degree. For example, people with a Diploma of Vocational Studies (DVS) must have two years of full-time experience in the last three years,” says Radio Canada, quoting the Quebec Minister of the Interior.

For temporary foreign workers, they must have three years of experience in the last 48 months.

French language level and longer delays

Currently, applicants to the PEQ will be required to have an advanced intermediate level of French. From now on, even spouses will have to prove a basic level of French in order for the file to be validated.

Another change: the time limit for obtaining a selection certificate (CSQ) has been extended to six months, the same time limit as for the Regular Skilled Worker Program (PRTQ), which usually receives the majority of economic immigrants from Quebec.

In 2019, close to 15,000 students and temporary workers benefited from the PEQ. A figure that will inevitably decline, the government has warned. According to the government, these changes will come into effect during the summer.

A transition clause was also announced: the reform will not affect foreign graduates and temporary workers who have already applied to the PEQ but whose file has not yet been processed.

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