On October 14, 2009 the Quebec Government implemented important modifications to the Selection Grid in Schedule A of the Regulation respecting the selection of foreign nationals (R.R.Q., 1981, c. M-23.1, r.2). These changes relate to the weighting of factors and criteria, the cutoff scores for certain factors and criteria and the passing scores for all factors that apply to a foreign national, with or without an accompanying spouse or de facto spouse, applying for admission to Quebec under the Economic stream.
The new rules primarily affect the skilled worker subclass by favouring applicants with a validated offer of employment and applicants with preferred areas of training acquired in Quebec. Administrative measures will give priority processing to these candidates.
To reach MICC objectives, the areas of training sub-factor within the training factor is being given more weight under a revised selection grid. A new and enlarged areas of training list has been created which enumerates a wider range of studies awarding points to applicants and a spouse or de facto spouse for diplomas acquired outside Quebec or obtained in Quebec or recognized as Quebec equivalent.
Additionally, a secondary preferred areas of training list derived from the above general list will provide qualified applicants or their spouse or de facto spouse with accelerated processing of their application. These preferred areas of training correspond to areas of employment that are in high demand in Quebec in the short term. The MICC has stated its intention to conclude these applications within 60 working days.
To qualify for accelerated processing, the applicant must have obtained a diploma in one of the preferred areas of training, during the five years preceding the application. Alternatively, the applicant must have practised full-time a profession related to the diploma for at least one year in the five years preceding the application.
The following factors of Sub-Class I of the Selection Grid in Schedule A of the Regulation respecting the selection of foreign nationals (R.R.Q., 1981, c. M-23.1, r.2) respecting skilled workers, have incurred important changes.
The new grid awards between 2-4 additional points under the education level sub-factor, where the diploma is post-secondary technical and it appears on the new areas of training list. The grid also merges the sub-factor Quebec diploma under the old grid, with the areas of training sub-factor. The areas of training sub-factor awards up to 4 additional points than previously. Distinction is made between diplomas acquired outside Quebec and diplomas obtained in Quebec or recognized as Quebec equivalent. The second speciality sub-factor from the previous grid has been removed. There is a one point decrease in the maximum score for the Training factor.
Two additional points are awarded to recent graduates having only six months of employment experience. There is a one point decrease in the maximum score for this factor.
Points are now awarded to applicants between the ages of 18 and 42 with priority given to applicants between the ages of 18-35. There is a two point decrease in the maximum score for this factor.
Stay and family in Quebec
Persons having worked for at least three months in Quebec as part of a recognized international youth exchange program, receive 5 points. There is a one point decrease in the maximum score for this factor.
Characteristics of the accompanying spouse or de factor spouse
Points are awarded between the age of 18 and 42 with priority given to the age of 18-35. One point has been added for a secondary school general diploma. Points are no longer awarded for professional experience. There is a two point decrease in the maximum score for this factor.
Validated employment offer
This factor is now included in the employability pre-selection stage. This is an important change because it affords applicants with a validated offer of employment a greater chance of qualifying at pre-selection and selection, who otherwise have minimal French language proficiency or who are deficient in other factors.
For the greater Montreal area, an applicant with a validated employment offer will earn 6 points under this factor – a one point increase from previously. Applicants with a validated offer of employment will be given first priority in the accelerated process.
Under the new grid this factor has been reduced to six points from the previous eight points.
The selection process: from the pre-screening to selection
The selection process continues to follow a three-stage review. Following the eliminatory pre-screening assessing education and settlement funding, applications will be evaluated under two pre-screening stages.
At the initial employability pre-screening stage, single applicants must obtain a cut-off score of 42 points under six factors of assessment within the following criteria: training/education, experience, age, language (French and English), prior visits/ties to Quebec and validated employment offer. Applicants with a spouse or de facto spouse must obtain 50 points with factor six – Characteristics of accompanying spouse or de facto spouse, included in this assessment.
Where an applicant succeeds at the initial employability pre-screening assessment the application will undergo a second pre-screening stage evaluation with the remaining factors of consideration, excluding adaptability factor.
To advance to the selection stage, single applicants must reach 49 points and applicants with a spouse or a de facto spouse must obtain 57 points.
Finally, at the selection stage, an applicant is assessed under the adaptability factor. Single applicants must reach 55 points and applicants with a spouse or a de facto spouse must obtain 63 points in order to qualify for a Quebec Selection Certificate.
The MICC has implemented a system of priority processing of skilled worker applications to be carried out in the following order:
1. Validated employment offer;
2. Preferred areas of training (applicant, spouse or a de factor spouse);
Overall it appears that the new rules will especially benefit applicants who have a validated employment offer or preferred areas of training and it will have minimal effect for applicants who do not possess one of these attributes.
The following has been prepared by Colin R. Singer, Attorney At Law, for the intended reference by interested individuals and is not intended to create an attorney-client communication. This writing may be reproduced for the personal non commercial use of interested individuals on the express or implied condition that the contents herein are neither edited, modified nor altered in whole or in part, directly or indirectly without the express written consent of the author herein. (Canadian Immigration and Employment Law)