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There are two categories under the Quebec Experience Class (Programme de l’expérience Québécoise, or PEQ): one for foreign students and another for individuals with work experience in Quebec.
Immigration to Quebec is a two-step process in which an applicant first applies for a Certificat de sélection du Québec (also know as a Quebec Selection Certificate or "CSQ"), a document that allows the holder to immigrate to Quebec. Once the applicant obtains a CSQ, he or she must then submit an application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for federal approval before the Canadian Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visa can be issued. Federal immigration authorities will primarily be responsible for processing criminal and medical checks.
Potential applicants who do not meet the eligibility criteria for the PEQ, but who have experience working or studying in Quebec, may also be eligible to apply for a CSQ through the Quebec Skilled Worker Program.
Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP)
The QSWP is an economic immigration program in Quebec. Through this program, eligible applicants may submit an application for a Quebec Selection Certificate (Certificat de séléction du Québec, or CSQ). An applicant who receives a CSQ is in a position to submit an application for permanent residence to the Canadian federal government.
The QSWP is a points-based immigration system, designed to select the applicants for permanent immigration to Quebec who best meet the province’s economic and social needs.
For potential applicants outside Quebec, the QSWP opens periodically to receive a set number of applications on a first-come-first-served basis. However, potential applicants who are in Quebec and eligible to submit an application to the QSWP may do so at any time. Moreover, there is no limit on the number of applications to the QSWP that may be received from these cap-exempt applicants.
Differences between the PEQ and the QSWP
If a potential applicant for permanent immigration to Quebec feels that he or she may be able to reach the French language requirement of the PEQ, it is strongly recommended that he or she do so. The MIDI estimates that a complete, eligible application for a CSQ under the PEQ will be processed in 21 days.
In comparison, processing times for an application submitted under the QSWP are longer. However, the estimated processing times can be significantly shorter for applicants in Quebec, than those outside Quebec.
Applications for a CSQ through the QSWP must be made through the online intake management system Mon Projet Québec. A potential applicant is required to create and submit a profile, after which he or she will receive a list of required documents to support the information submitted in the profile. To find out more about Mon Projet Québec, consult the comprehensive Mon Projet Quebec
Foreign students in Quebec will be eligible to apply under this program if they meet the following requirements:
Temporary Foreign Workers
Temporary Foreign Workers in Quebec will be eligible to apply under this program if they meet the following requirements:
The worker must have 12 months of work experience in Quebec in a skilled, managerial, or professional occupation in the 24 months prior to submission of the application;
The worker must be employed and show legal status in Quebec at the time of his or her application; and
The worker must show that he or she has successfully completed an advanced intermediate level French course at a Quebec educational institution, if his or her studies were not completed in French, or prove French ability by way of a standardized language test recognized by the government of Quebec. Alternatively, he or she can show that he or she has satisfied the French language requirements of the professional order governing his or her occupation in Quebec.
Quebec immigration authorities expect the assessment of applications under the PEQ to be completed on a fast-track basis. It is important to note that all applications from individuals who have obtained a CSQ are then processed in a separate priority queue at the federal level.