Jun 28, 2019 – Quebec has officially launched a new immigration system and introduced three important changes to its Expression of Interest process as the immigration ministry (MIDI) prepares to issue the first invites from the Arrima portal.
This takes place amid the backdrop of much controversy highlighted by the government’s cancellation of 16,000 pending applications that were languishing in a backlog dating as far back as 10-years.
The Coalition Avenir Quebec minister said the system would allow skilled worker immigration ‘to better meet the needs of the Quebec labour market’.
He described immigration as a ‘priority’ for the CAQ, allowing it to ‘respond to the needs of businesses and regions’.
Invitations are expected imminently, although the minister did not say exactly when the process would begin.
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“It is with satisfaction that I see today the immigration system of Quebec take the turn of modernization,” Jolin-Barrette said.
“We heard and listened to the different needs in all of Quebec’s regions as well as in the economic sector.
“Immigration is one of the solutions to the scarcity of labour that affects Quebec and we will ensure that immigrants who choose to settle there will be able to participate fully in Quebec society.”
The new system was opened to Expressions of Interest in September 2018, but to date no invitations to apply had been issued from the bank of profiles, that number more than 100,000.
As already announced, the first invitations through Arrima will be issued to candidates who had applied under the previous system and were either living in Quebec at the time, and/or are currently living in the French-speaking province.
These candidates are still required to submit a profile to the Arrima portal, available online.
Commenting on the launch, a Quebec immigration ministry (MIDI) statement said: “The department will now be able to focus its efforts on the processing of applications from people who, while having a high potential for integration in Quebec, meet the needs of the labour market.”
How Does Quebec Expression of Interest Work?
- Candidates submit an online expression of interest profile to the MIDI.
- Profiles enter into an Expression of Interest pool, where they are ranked against each other and are valid for 12-months.
- Profiles will be classified in two categories: one for candidates who are living in Quebec or have a job offer and meet specific criteria, and the another for candidates living outside Quebec and meet specific criteria.
- The highest-ranking candidates will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for a Quebec Certificate of Selection under the Quebec Skilled Worker Program.
- Quebec will conduct periodic draws, inviting candidates to apply for a Quebec certificate of selection (CSQ).
- Candidates receiving an invitation have 60 days to submit a full application.
- Approved candidates who receive a nomination certificate (CSQ) may then apply for Canadian permanent residence.
The new system, similar to the federal Express Entry system, is expected to cut processing times to six months from the time invited candidates submit their completed applications.
The MIDI statement said an important part of the new system is that officials will be able to alter invitation criteria ‘according to the evolution of labour requirements and the reality of each region’.
During the launch, Jolin-Barrette also spoke about the planned new Employer Portal, currently under development.
The portal, slated for launch in February 2020, will allow employers to view profiles and communicate with candidates who have submitted an Arrima profile.
It will allow employers to make job offers directly through the system, accelerating the candidate’s arrival in the province.
Prior to Thursday’s launch, MIDI announced three changes to how the Expression of Interest system will operate, in a regulation effective June 26, 2019.
Those changes are:
1) Existing Profiles Get Extra 6 Months Validity
All profiles registered in the Expression of Interest Bank as of June 26, 2019 will have their validity prolonged by 6 months.
This gives those who registered profiles as far back at September 2018 a fair chance to receive an Invitation to Apply once draws begin, understood to be happening imminently.
The Quebec Expression of Interest system opened in September 2018, but no draw has been conducted to date. This is because the governing Coalition Avenir Quebec has pushed through Bill 9 to scrap the backlog of applications under the old Quebec Skilled Worker system. This happened earlier in June.
2) Invited Candidates Get Reduced 60 Days To Submit Applications
Candidates receiving an Invitation to Apply have their window of opportunity to submit a complete application reduced from 90 to 60 days.
The first message to glean from this change is that the first Expression of Interest draw is imminent.
The reduction from 90 to 60 days is designed to provide a kickstart to the Quebec Skilled Worker immigration system, by getting candidates to submit their applications quickly.
It means candidates need to have their affairs in order and their applications ready, should they receive an Invitation to Apply.
3) Profiles of Candidates Who Decline Invitations To Remain In Quebec EOI Bank
The profiles of candidates who receive an Invitation to Apply, but choose to decline, will remain in the Quebec Expression of Interest Bank for the duration of their validity.
Interested employers: Kindly contact us here to receive further information.
Interested candidates: Find out whether you qualify to Canada by completing our free on-line evaluation. We will provide you with our evaluation within 1-2 business days.
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