Jun 19, 2019 – Invitations through the Quebec Expression of Interest system will start to be issued in the coming weeks after the passing of Bill 9 scrapped the backlog of existing Quebec Skilled Worker applications.
Nearly 115,000 profiles have already been registered in the ‘Arrima’ system since it opened in September 2018.
Quebec’s immigration ministry (MIDI) said: “From now on, the department will use a new system, which makes it possible to invite, as a matter of priority, a permanent selection request to those who best meet the needs of Québec.
“The minister will invite those who have filed a declaration of interest and who meet the conditions set out in the law to submit a request for permanent selection.”
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Initial rounds of invitations will give priority to candidates who applied under the old system before August 2, 2018 and were living in Quebec temporarily, either at the time of their application or at the time Bill 9 was passed. These candidates still need to create a profile in the Arrima system.
This follows a Coalition Avenir Quebec amendment to the bill tabled hours before its adoption. It is understood to affect 3,700 applications and 5,500 people.
Quebec Expression of Interest works similarly to Canada Express Entry, with candidates completing a self-assessed profile into an Expression of Interest pool. The top-scoring candidates are then drawn from the pool and invited to apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate.
According to MIDI, the invitation criteria can be modified ‘according to the needs of Quebec’, with priority given to those deemed able to integrate the fastest.
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 90 days to submit a full application.
- Approved candidates who receive a nomination certificate (CSQ) may then apply for Canadian permanent residence.
Once candidates have submitted Quebec Skilled Worker applications, they are scored against a points grid based on education, work experience, age, language ability, Quebec experience and whether they have a job offer in hand. An applicant’s spouse can also score points towards the total.
Critics say the existing points grid is not fit for purpose, with MIDI confirming consultations are to take place in the coming months to decide if changes are required.
Employer Portal Being Developed
Meanwhile, Quebec is in the process of developing a new employer portal which will allow employers to view profiles and communicate with candidates who have submitted an Arrima profile.
The employer portal is slated for launch in February 2020.
It will allow employers to make job offers directly through the system, accelerating the candidate’s arrival in the province.
Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette says priority will be given to candidates receiving job offers in this way.
Applicants Under Old System to be Reimbursed
Quebec has confirmed it will reimburse the application fees of the roughly 16,000 candidates who had their applications under the old system scrapped.
This amounts to around $1,000 per application.
“The department will refund the fees payable,” a MIDI statement said. “The procedure to be followed to obtain this refund will be communicated soon to the persons concerned.”
However, costs related to translation, documents and language tests will not be refunded, after a request made by Quebec Solidaire was rejected by the CAQ.
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