Quebec has implemented a new by-law that introduces significant changes to the province’s immigration landscape. These alterations encompass various measures and policy shifts affecting multiple Quebec immigration streams. Let’s delve into the details of these updates and explore their potential implications for prospective immigrants.
New Economic Pilot Streams Now Open
Quebec has recently declared the reopening of three long-term economic immigration pilot programs designed to address critical labor shortages within the province. Effective from November 23rd, 2023, to December 31st, 2024, the following immigration streams are now open for applications:
- Permanent immigration pilot program for workers in food processing (600 application cap).
- Permanent immigration pilot program for orderlies (600 application cap).
- Permanent immigration pilot program for workers in the artificial intelligence, information technologies, and visual effects sectors (700 application cap).
While these programs have specific application periods, all three are expected to conclude indefinitely on January 1st, 2026.
Changes in Economic Programs
Notably, changes are in store for Quebec’s economic immigration programs. Proficiency in French is now a mandatory requirement for eligibility in all of Quebec’s economic immigration programs. Both the Quebec Regular Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) and the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) will necessitate a language proficiency level of at least 7 in spoken French, according to the Quebec scale of French Proficiency levels.
The PEQ will also require a proficiency level of 5 or higher in written French, effective November 23rd. Additionally, the graduate component of the PEQ will demand that applicants have completed a program in French or at least three years of secondary or post-secondary study in French.
For spouses sponsored under these economic programs, a knowledge of oral French equivalent to a level 4 proficiency is now mandatory.
Starting November 29th, the Quebec Regular Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) will be replaced by the Qualified Skilled Worker Selection Program (QWSP).
Family Sponsorship Changes
Commencing November 23rd, sponsors must complete and sign a welcome and integration plan when sponsoring an individual aged between 18 and 55 as part of a family sponsorship program. This plan ensures support for the sponsored person in various aspects, including preparing for their arrival in Quebec, accessing public services, facilitating integration, and learning French.
Other Notable Changes
Beyond these adjustments, Quebec has also introduced modifications to its business streams of immigration, set to take effect on January 1st, 2024. The key change is the mandatory requirement of French proficiency for all business streams, including the Investor Program, Self-Employed Program, and Entrepreneur Program. Other alterations include increased residence requirements, a mandatory work permit, and more.
Immigration to Quebec
Quebec stands out among Canada’s provinces for having the most control over its annual intake of immigrants and skilled workers. This autonomy is attributed to the Quebec-Canada Accord, allowing the province to shape policies, programs, and immigration quotas with less federal oversight.
Quebec’s recent immigration levels reveal a plan to welcome a minimum of 49,500 immigrants this year, with another 50,000 newcomers expected in both 2024 and 2025. Similar to the federal level plan, Quebec’s immigration strategy prioritizes economic immigration measures, projecting approximately 32,000 new skilled foreign workers annually from 2023 to 2025.
Quebec’s influence extends beyond its borders, emphasizing the significance of Francophone immigration throughout Canada, a trend gaining increasing popularity.