The Quebec government announced major reforms to the Quebec Experience Program (QEP) and will launch two new pilots.
The government estimates that the changes will go into effect in the coming weeks.
The QEP or Programme de l’expérience québécoise is a fast-track immigration option that provides a pathway to permanent residence for temporary workers and international students who have resided in Quebec.
If you are successful, you would receive a Quebec Selection Certificate, or Certificat de sélection du Québec. This document is a requirement to immigrate permanently to Quebec.
Quebec has previously attempted to reform the QEP in 2019, but had to back-track due to a public criticism of the changes, which would have deemed some workers and students ineligible.
The four main objectives for reform to the QEP, according to Quebec's immigration minister Simon-Jolin Barrette are:
- Better integration into the labour market
- Increase efficiency in selecting candidates to meet labour market needs
- Proficiency in the French-language to ensure economic and social integration
- Strong program integrity
More work experience required of temporary residents
Temporary foreign workers will now need to obtain 36 months of work experience in the 48 months prior to applying for permanent residence.
International students with university degrees obtained in Quebec, or with a Quebec diploma of college studies, will need 12 months of work experience in the province. The job must fall under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes 0, A or B.
International students with a Quebec diploma of professional studies will need 24 months of work experience. The job must fall under NOC codes 0, A, B or C.
Spouse’s French knowledge
A spouse or partner of the principal applicant must now also demonstrate proficiency in spoken French, to ensure their ability to integrate in Quebec.
QEP applications will now be processed in a maximum of six months. Previously, the applications were processed in just 20 days. This increase is to ensure that QEP candidates and the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) candidates are treated equally.
If a candidate has a certificate of completion for advanced intermediate level French from an educational institution in Quebec, this will no longer be accepted. This is due to some discrepancies uncovered.
Two new pilots for nurse’s aides and tech workers
The Quebec government has also announced a new immigration pilot for nurse’s aides and one for tech workers.
There is high demand for nurse’s aides across the province and the current immigration programs are not meeting labour needs.
Since 2013, only 115 nurse’s aides have obtained permanent residence in Quebec. The new pilot will look to provide permanent residence to 550 per year.
In addition, Quebec has announced a tech-related pilot in order to attract and retain talent in artificial intelligence and information technology. The province will look to bring in 550 tech workers every year.