Quebec’s Immigration Minister, Diane De Courcy, has presented a plan to bring the province’s skilled worker program in line with proposed federal immigration changes.

Minister De Courcy’s proposal seeks to make the Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW) Program into an ‘Expression of Interest’ system. This system, which is modelled after ones already in place in Australia and New Zealand, would allow potential immigrants to declare their interest in immigrating to the province. Quebec officials would then be able to choose the most qualified from this pool of applicants, and invite them to apply for permanent residency through the QSW.

The federal government has already announced its plans to transition its popular Federal Skilled Worker Program to an Expression of Interest system by 2015.

Minister De Courcy’s plan will also set out three main guidelines for Quebec immigration policy moving forward. They are: Francisation, integration and regionalization. To help achieve these goals, a further $13.5 million will be added to French language programs for immigrants. In addition, initiatives will be put in place to steer 25 percent of newcomers to regions outside of Montreal.