(Government aims to reduce wait times to 6 months)
The Quebec government has tabled proposed legislation that will adopt new immigration rules. Under Bill 77, the law will set the basis for a federal styled declaration of interest Immigration system, to manage applications for permanent admission to the province. Quebec currently operates the only “first come first serve” skilled worker program in Canada where applicants can predict their chances for admission on the basis of their proven qualifications.
Under the proposed Expression of Interest system, a foreign national may file an application for selection only if invited to do so by the Minister. The Minister will enter the expression of interest into the expression-of-interest bank, if the foreign national meets the submission conditions to be outlined in future regulations. Regulations will also determine the criteria under which the Minister invites a foreign national to file an application for permanent residence, the time frame of its validity in the EOI bank and other conditions.
It is expected that the new system will closely follow the Federal Express Entry Immigration system. The Quebec immigration minister has confirmed a government objective to process applications in six months.
Quebec has authority to select close to 50,000 foreign nationals to the province this year, with similar levels planned for 2016. It is expected the new law will take effect at a date to be announced in 2016. This will be followed by regulations that will provide the full details of its new declaration of interest immigration program.
Beforehand, on January 18, 2016, Quebec has plans to accept 2800 online applications under its current skilled worker program. The current version of the QSWP features more than 75 eligible occupations and areas of training that will enable applicants to qualify for a Quebec Certificate of Selection (CSQ), without a job offer.
If previous indicators are a valid measure, Quebec’s quota of 2800 will likely fill quickly. However applicants with a valid job offer, previous work experience in Quebec or having completed a valid period of study in Quebec may also qualify under the Quebec Experience Class and would not be subject to the skilled worker program quota.
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