2021-11-08T06:32:23-05:00November 4th, 2021|

How to apply for provincial immigration programs in Quebec

Canada offers many opportunities for newcomers to start and build a career, raise a family, and contribute to their local community. For Francophone newcomers, settling in Quebec is a popular choice.

The province has a distinct culture as Quebec is primarily French-speaking and is a unique blend of European and Canadian cultures. The province’s capital is Quebec City, known in French as Ville de Québec, which is home to over 700,000 residents, the majority of whom are French-speaking. However, the largest city is Montreal, further upstream on the St. Lawrence river. This cosmopolitan city is home to over four million residents, many of whom speak both French and English. 

Quebec’s economy has long been resource-based. The land around the St. Lawrence river supports a large portion of the province’s agriculture industry. Fisheries, forestry and pulp production, and hydroelectricity are all significant economic industries. 

Newcomers wishing to start a new life in Canada may be eligible to apply for permanent residency (PR) through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). The criteria for each PNP program vary depending on the economic needs of the province or territory. Newcomers wishing to move to Quebec can apply through multiple immigration programs that are designed to accelerate the immigration process.

Here’s what you need to know about Quebec’s various provincial immigration programs and how to apply. 

In this article:

Want to know more about moving to Canada?
See Frequently asked questions about immigration to Canada to learn more about your options. 

Overview of provincial immigration programs in Quebec

Quebec’s provincial immigration process is slightly different from other provinces. Quebec has an agreement with the Canadian government that allows the province to specifically choose newcomers who they believe will adapt well to living there. The province will offer you a Québec Selection Certificate (Certificat de sélection du Québec) if they find you to be the right fit. 

There are several immigration programs available, depending on whether you’re a skilled worker, entrepreneur, or foreign student. They include: 

  1. Regular Skilled Worker Program: for individuals with the training and work experience that will be of benefit to the province and who wish to immigrate to Quebec permanently. 
  2. Entrepreneur Program: for individuals who wish to immigrate to Quebec permanently to operate a business. 
  3. Self-Employed Worker Program: for individuals who wish to practice a profession or business activity and make a start-up deposit in the region where they intend to work.
  4. Quebec Experience Program (PEQ): also known as Programme de l’expérience québécoise, it’s for foreign students graduating from a university or college in Quebec or temporary foreign workers with at least 2 years of work experience in Quebec, who wish to obtain a Québec Selection Certificate and live in the province permanently. 
  5. Permanent Immigration Pilot Programs: for temporary foreign workers who wish to live in the province permanently and work in one of the following industries or roles:
    • Food processing workers 
    • Orderlies
    • Workers in the artificial intelligence, information technology, and visual effects sectors.

Depending on your qualifications, education, work experience, or entrepreneurial skills, there are programs in Quebec that you can apply for. 

StreamCriteriaMandatory requirements
Regular Skilled Worker ProgramFor experienced foreign workers who have the necessary professional skills, training, and French-language proficiency and wish to live in Quebec permanently.  

Note: This program is accepting Expression of Interest (EOI) applications only.

  • Must score at least 50 (out of 103) points based on education, work experience, age, family situation, mastery of French and English, whether or not you have an offer of employment, whether you have family in the province and whether you have resided in the province in the past. See full scorecard in French.
  • Must be aged 18 years or older
  • Must have knowledge of oral French equivalent to NCLC Level 7
  • Must be in Quebec legally at the time of application
  • Proof of sufficient funds for at least first three months to support yourself and family
  • Intend to live and work in Quebec
Entrepreneur ProgramFor experienced foreign entrepreneurs who wish to operate a business, have received a service offer of support, and plan to live in Quebec permanently. 

Note: Stream two of the Entrepreneur Program, which allowed newcomers to operate a business without a service offer, has been temporarily suspended. For more information, visit Quebec Immigration rules and procedures.

  • Must create and operate a business where you have already received a service offer from a business accelerator, incubator, or university entrepreneurship centre
  • The organization must show it has the ability to support the applicant and their project
  • The organization must outline the services it intends to offer the applicant to help them accomplish their project. 
  • The organization must include a support plan, operations plan, and outline its expertise as a business accelerator, business incubator or university entrepreneurship centre
  • Applicants must carry out the business project alone or with up to a maximum of three other foreign applicants who have submitted applications for the same project
  • Must be willing to settle in Quebec
  • Your application will also be assessed on:
    • Age
    • Level of education 
    • French and English language skills
    • Ability to support yourself financially 
    • Any visits to Quebec
    • Any family in Quebec.
Self-Employed Worker ProgramFor foreign self-employed professions who wish to work and live in Quebec.
  • Must have at least two years experience as a self-employed worker in the profession or trade you intend to practice in Quebec
  • Must practice a profession or business activities, alone or with others, with or without paid help
  • Must make a start-up deposit in the region where you intend to practise your trade or profession. The required deposits are:
    • $25,000 CAD if you intend to practice outside the Montreal Metropolitan Community area
    • $50,000 CAD if you intend to practice  in the Montreal Metropolitan Community
  • Your application will also be assessed on:
    • Age and the age of spouse, if applicable
    • Level of education and level of education of spouse, if applicable
    • French and English language skills and language skills of spouse, if applicable
    • Ability to support yourself financially 
    • Previous visits to Quebec
    • Any family in Quebec.
Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) – Temporary Foreign WorkerFor foreign temporary workers who wish to work and live in Quebec permanently.
  • Must be in Quebec legally at the time of your application as a temporary foreign worker or under a youth exchange program (such as Working Holiday)
  • Your job experience must be at NOC Level O, A, or B, must be performed legally, must be full-time, and you must have been paid
  • You must have a job that meets these criteria for at least 24 of the 36 months before submitting your application
  • Must prove you have respected the conditions of your stay
  • Must be aged 18 years or older
  • Proof of sufficient funds support yourself and family, if applicable 
  • Work experience that was not continuous can be considered in your application if it was full-time
  • Must have knowledge of oral French equivalent to NCLC Level 7
  • If your spouse is accompanying you, they must have knowledge of oral French equivalent to NCLC Level 4
  • You intend to live and work in Quebec permanently.
Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) – Quebec GraduatesFor recent foreign Quebec graduates who wish to work and live in Quebec.
  • Must have obtained an eligible diploma, including:
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Master’s degree
    • Ph.D
    • Diploma of college studies, technical training
    • Diploma of vocational studies (DVS), followed by 1,800 hours or more of continuing education leading to a trade
  • Must have obtained your diploma in the 36 months prior to submitting your application in a full-time program at an educational institute in Quebec 
  • Must have obtained eligible work experience in Quebec after your studies on a valid work permit
  • If you obtained a DVS, you must have obtained at least 18 months of work experience after the end of your study, full-time in a job at NOC Level O, A, B, or C
  • Must hold a full-time job when submitting your application
  • If your job is NOC Level 0, A, or B, it does not have to be related to your study program
  • If your job is NOC Level C, it must be related to the DVS you obtained in Quebec
  • For all other eligible diplomas, you must have gained paid, full-time work experience after completing your study program of at least 12 months in a job at NOC Level O, A, or B 
  • Mandatory internship work experience for a maximum of three months as part of a study program may be recognized 
  • Work experience that is not continuous can be considered in your application if it was full-time 
  • Must have stayed in Quebec for at least half the duration of your studies
  • Proof of sufficient funds to support yourself and family, if applicable
  • Must prove you have respected the conditions of your stay
  • Must be aged 18 years or older
  • Must have knowledge of oral French equivalent to NCLC Level 7
  • If your spouse is accompanying you, they must have knowledge of oral French equivalent to NCLC Level 4
  • Must be in Quebec legally at the time of your application 
  • You intend to live and work in Quebec permanently.
Permanent immigration pilot program for workers in food processingFor foreign food processing workers who wish to work and live in Quebec permanently.
  • Must hold an eligible job for a period of at least 24 months on a full-time basis in quebec in an eligible sector during the 36 months preceding your application
  • Eligible jobs include: 
    • NOC 9462 – Industrial butcher and meat cutter, poultry preparer and related worker
    • NOC 9617 – Labourer in food and beverage processing
    • NOC  9618 – Labourer in fish and seafood
    • NOC  6732 – Specialized cleaner
    • NOC 9461 – Process control and machine operator, food and beverage processing
    • NOC  8431 – General farm worker, but only in the position of chicken catcher
    • NOC 9463 – Fish and seafood plant worker
  • Must have knowledge of oral French equivalent to NCLC Level 7
  • Your work experience and current job must also belong to one of the eligible sectors under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) of the Government of Canada:
    • NAICS 311 – Food manufacturing
    • NAICS 3121 – Beverage manufacturing
  • Work experience must be full-time, paid, and acquired legally
  • Must provide supporting documents, including a final transcript attesting that you successfully completed at least three years of full-time study at a secondary or post-secondary level
  • Proof of sufficient funds to support yourself and family, if applicable
  • Must be aged 18 years or older
  • Must have respected the conditions of your stay in Quebec
  • Must have an education equivalent to a high school diploma or Quebec diploma of vocational studies, obtained in a full-time program for at least one year
  • Intend to live and work in Quebec.
Permanent immigration pilot program for orderliesFor temporary foreign workers employed as an orderly in Quebec who wish to work and live in the province permanently.The permanent immigration pilot program for orderlies is comprised of two streams:

  • Work
  • Work-study

Criteria common to both streams:

  • Must hold a job as an orderly in Quebec at your time of application
  • Must be aged 18 years or older
  • Must have met the conditions of your stay in Quebec
  • Must have knowledge of oral French equivalent to NCLC Level 7
  • Intend to live and work in Quebec
  • Must provide a transcript proving you successfully complete at least three years of full-time study at a secondary or post-secondary level, in French 
  • Must provide an attestation from your educational institution if the language of your country is not French or your education was not entirely francophone
  • Proof of sufficient funds to support yourself and family, if applicable
  • Your work experience must have been full-time, acquired legally, and paid

If you’re applying to this program under the Work stream, you:

  • Must hold a diploma of at least one year, full-time related to the occupation of an orderly that corresponds to a Quebec diploma of vocational studies.
  • Must have at least 24 months work experience as an orderly in Quebec during the 36 months prior to submitting your application, or at least 12 months in a health occupation related to basic personal care outside of Quebec and at least 12 months as an orderly in Quebec during the 36 months prior to submitting your application.
  • Your occupation must correspond to one of the following:
    • NOC 3413 – Nurse aide, orderly and patient service associate
    • NOC 3011 – Nursing coordinator and supervisor
    • NOC 3012 – Registered nurse and registered psychiatric nurse
    • NOC 3124 – Allied primary health practitioner
    • NOC 3233 – Licensed practical nurse
    • NOC 4412 – Home support worker, housekeeper and related occupations, only when the applicant primarily performs one or several of the following duties in an institutional setting: providing personal care, dispensing bedside care and personal care and administering routine medical care.

If you are submitting an application under the Work-study stream, you:

  • Must have obtained a Québec diploma of vocational studies leading to the occupation of orderly during the 24 months preceding the date of submission of your application;
  • Must have at least 12 months of work experience as an orderly in Québec, obtained during the 24 months preceding the date of submission of your application, and after the completion date of your study program
  • Must have successfully completed the study program Institutional and Home Care Assistance (870 hours of continuous training) and obtained a secondary diploma of vocational studies
  • After having completed your study program, you must have obtained a work permit and been hired by a Quebec employer.
Permanent immigration pilot program for workers in the artificial intelligence, IT, and visual effects sectorsFor foreign workers and Quebec graduates in the field of artificial intelligence and foreign workers in the field of information technology, or visual effects sector who wish to work and live in Quebec permanently.The pilot program has two streams:

  • Artificial intelligence 
  • Information technologies and visual effects

Common criteria for both streams:

  • Must have respected the conditions of your stay in Quebec, if applicable
  • Intend to live and work in Quebec
  • Proof of sufficient funds to support yourself 
  • Must be aged 18 years or older
  • Each stream includes two profiles:
    • Francophone: Requires a knowledge of oral French that corresponds to at least NCLC Level 7 and a declaration on your knowledge of French, with supporting documents.
    • Francization: Must sign a francization agreement and register with the Integration service for immigrants, Accompagnement Québec to support your learning of French and your integration into Québec society.

Artificial intelligence stream

  • Must be in Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), International Mobility Program (IMP); or under a youth exchange program, for example, through a Working Holiday permit; Young Professionals permit; or International Coop Internship.
  • Must have obtained at minimum a diploma equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree in Quebec with full-time work experience in a NOC Level 0, A, or B job for at least 24 months in the last 60 months of submitting an application, OR
  • Must have obtained a diploma equivalent to a Master’s or doctoral degree in the 12 months prior to your application and must either already hold or have accepted a full-time job in the artificial intelligence sector for which you are qualified, with a gross annual salary of at least $75,000 CAD if your employer is outside Montreal or $100,000 CAD if it’s in the Metropolitan Montréal Community.
  • For Quebec graduates 
  • Must have lived in Quebec with the goal of studying for at least half of your study program
  • Must have obtained a university diploma from a Quebec institution in the 24 months preceding your application for a higher specialized studies (DESS), master’s program, or doctoral program
  • If you have a DESS, you must have held a job in Quebec in NOC Level 0, A, or B on a full-time basis for at least six months during the 12 months following the end of your program, and hold or have accepted a full-time job in Quebec in the artificial intelligence sector for which you are qualified
  • Applicants who have an unfulfilled scholarship clause requiring them to return to their country are not eligible

Information technologies and visual effects stream

  • Must currently be in Quebec on a valid temporary foreign worker permit
  • Must hold at minimum a diploma equivalent to a Quebec diploma of college studies – technical training or a bachelor’s degree
  • Must have held an eligible full-time job for at least 24 months during the last 60 months prior to your application 
  • Must hold or have accepted an eligible full-time job in Quebec where the hourly wage is equivalent to the maximum wage of the average salary for your occupation
  • To be eligible, your job must fall under the following occupations:
    • NOC 2171 – Information systems analyst and consultant
    • NOC 5241 – Graphic designer and illustrator, but only if your job is in the visual effects sector 
    • NOC 0213 – Computer and information systems manager
    • NOC 2173 – Software engineer and designer
    • NOC 2133 – Electrical and electronics engineer
    • NOC 5131 – Producer, director, choreographer and related occupations, but only if your job is in the visual effects sector 
    • NOC 2174 – Computer programmer and interactive media developer
    • NOC 5225 – Audio and video recording technician, but only if your job is in the visual effects sector 
    • NOC 2281 – Computer network technician
    • NOC 2241 – Electrical and electronics engineering technologist and technician

Step-by-step application process for Quebec

To follow are the steps involved in applying for provincial immigration in Quebec: 

1. Confirm you qualify

Once you have identified which pathway you’d like to apply under, it’s important to make sure you meet all the mandatory requirements before completing your application and submitting an expression of interest. 

2. For Regular Skilled Worker Program only, submit an Expression of Interest through Arrima

  1. Provide the following information:
  • Personal information
  • Contact information
  • Family situation
  • Status in Quebec
  • Education
  • Work experience
  • Knowledge of French and English 
  • Whether you have a job offer validated by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration

You must also provide information about your spouse if they are accompanying you and children, whether they are accompanying you or not. Your expression of interest is valid for 12 months. 

  1. Applicants whose profile corresponds to the needs of the province will be invited to submit an application for permanent selection. If you’re invited, you’ll receive a communication in your Arrima message centre, along with the information you need to submit a permanent selection application.
  2. Submit an application for permanent selection. You have a maximum of 60 days to submit your application and pay the processing fees. After that time, the application will no longer be valid.

3. Submit an application for permanent selection

    1. Create an account in Arrima
    2. Provide information on accompanying family members
    3. Upload your supporting documents
    4. Pay the applicable fees
    5. Submit application

You will receive a notification by email and in the Arrima message centre to confirm your application has been received. 

4. For Quebec Experience Program only, use the following forms as part of your application for permanent selection:

  1. If you are applying under the temporary foreign worker stream, use the  Demande de sélection permanente Programme de l’expérience québécoise – Travailleur étranger temporaire form (French only)
  2. If you are applying under the Quebec graduate stream, use the Demande de sélection permanente Programme de l’expérience québécoise – Diplômé du Québec form (French only)
  3. Complete parts 1 and 2 of the permanent selection application form 
  4. Submit supporting documents as PDFs

5. For Entrepreneur and Self-Employed Worker stream applications only submit the following forms:

Other declaration forms may also be required and are available on the Quebec Immigration website.

6. For Permanent immigration pilot program for workers in food processing applications only:

    1. Use the Permanent immigration pilot program selection application form for food processing workers form (French only)
    2. Complete parts 1 and 2 of the permanent selection application form 
    3. Submit supporting documents as PDFs

7. For Permanent immigration pilot for orderlies applications only:

      1. Use the Permanent Immigration Pilot Program selection application form for orderlies form (French only)
      2. Complete parts 1 and 2 of the permanent selection application form 
      3. Submit supporting documents as PDFs

8. For Permanent immigration pilot program for workers in the artificial intelligence, information technologies and visual effects sectors applications only:

    1. If you are applying for the Artificial intelligence stream, use the form Pilot program for workers in the artificial intelligence, information technologies and visual effects sectors – AI stream 
    2. If you are submitting your application for the Information technologies and visual effects stream, use the form Pilot program for workers in the artificial intelligence, information technologies and visual effects sectors – TI-EV stream 
    3. Complete parts 1 and 2 of the permanent selection application form 
    4. Submit supporting documents as PDFs

9. Fees for applying for permanent selection:

    1. Main applicant: $822 CAD
    2. Spouse: $176 CAD
    3. Each dependent child: $176 CAD

10. Fees are non-refundable and must be paid by credit card.

  • Fees for applying for Entrepreneur program:
    • Main applicant: $1,113 CAD
    • Spouse: $176 CAD
    • Each dependent child: $176 CAD
  • Fees are non-refundable and can be paid by:
    • Canada Post money order
    • Bank draft from Canadian bank
    • Credit card 

11. Attestation of learning about democratic values and the Quebec values

    1. When your application is processed, you’ll receive a request from the Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration to obtain an attestation of learning about democratic values and the Québec values 
    2. The request will be sent to your Arrima message centre
    3. You’ll have 60 days to obtain the attestation. Family members included in your application must also obtain an attestation within 60 days.
    4. You won’t receive this message if you and your family have already obtained your attestation.

12. If you meet the program requirements and an interview is not required, you’ll receive:

    1. The Quebec selection certificate for you and any accompanying family members
    2. Information on your next steps in the immigration process.

13. Apply for permanent residence 

If your application is successful, the last step is to apply for permanent residence through IRCC. It will be up to the Government of Canada to make the final decision on your permanent residency.

Where to get more information on QEP

For more information on applying for provincial immigration programs in Quebec, Immigration Quebec on telephone 514-864-9191, toll-free 1-877-864-9191, email, or visit their website

If you’re looking for information on your application for permanent residence, contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada online or call toll-free 1-888-242-2100.  

The immigration process for Quebec may seem daunting, as there are a number of options and steps involved. However, if you follow the instructions provided by the provincial government and consult with authorized immigration representatives, you’ll be able to realize your dream of settling in Quebec.

The Arrive mobile app is your essential companion to prepare for your life in Canada. Whether you’re in the process of applying for immigration or have recently landed in Canada, you’ll get the information and resources you need, when you need them, all in one place. 

 

About Arrive

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Disclaimer:
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