The province of Quebec administers its own immigration programs with selection criteria that are distinct from those of federal and other provincial immigration programs.
The Quebec Ministry of Immigration (MIFI) selects candidates considered most likely to successfully settle in the French-speaking province.
Foreign nationals wishing to settle permanently in Quebec must undergo a two-step immigration process.
1. They must be selected by the Ministère de l’immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Inclusion (MIFI), Quebec’s immigration authority.
Selected applicants will receive a Quebec Certificate of Selection (CSQ). This is an official document issued by Quebec immigration authorities to attest that the candidate has been selected by the province. It is not a visa, so it cannot be utilized to enter into Canada.
According to the Regulations of August 2nd 2018, a CSQ is valid for 24 months or until a decision has been rendered by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) with respect to the permanent resident visa application.
2. An approved CSQ holder must file a permanent residence application with IRCC within 24 months from the date the CSQ was issued.
The federal government’s role in evaluating a Quebec application for permanent residence is mainly limited to issues of health and criminality.
At this stage, an application will be submitted to IRCC, including police certificates and medical exams, when requested.
What are the programs administered by Quebec?
Currently, candidates who want to settle in Quebec can apply for a CSQ in one of the following categories:
Quebec Skilled Worker Program
The Quebec Skilled Worker Program identifies and selects candidates who are most likely to establish themselves economically in the province of Quebec. These are workers whose skills respond to particular provincial market needs and make it easier for them to find work.
Quebec bases its selection on a grid of factors for which points are awarded, namely education, work experience, language knowledge, age, children, spouse’s characteristics and financial autonomy.
Quebec Business Immigration
Wealthy individuals may consider any of Quebec’s business programs, which are: Investors, Entrepreneurs and Self-employed.
Quebec Experience Program (PEQ)
Another program is available for those candidates who are already living and working or studying in Quebec called Quebec Experience Program – PEQ. Eligible candidates can apply for a CSQ under an accelerated process. Two streams are available: Quebec Graduate and Temporary Foreign Worker.