Quebec and Canadian flags blowing in front of a blue sky

Thousands expected to submit applications for popular Canadian immigration program in 2016

Next application cycle opens for new submissions at 8.30 a.m. EST on February 16

The Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Diversité et de l'Inclusion (MIDI), the government ministry overseeing immigration to Quebec, Canada, is planning on reopening the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) in May or June of this year. The MIDI disclosed this information at a meeting with stakeholders on February 8, 2016.

Consequently, it is expected that there will be at least two application intake periods for the QSWP in 2016. It was previously unknown whether or not the QSWP would reopen for a second time this year.

May/June intake period may be the last of its kind

This latest immigration news from Quebec is perhaps the most significant to come from the province over recent months. The MIDI has made a number of changes to its procedures and processes over the past year, including the removal of the time-consuming adaptability interview and modifications to the area of training factor. These changes have largely been welcomed by individuals and families interested in immigrating to Canada through the QSWP.

However, the upcoming application intake periods may be the last of their kind. Currently, the QSWP operates on a come, first-served basis. Quebec’s Minister of Immigration recently proposed a bill that, if passed, would likely result in Quebec implementing an economic immigration system similar to the Express Entry system currently used by the government of Canada, whereby candidates must make a ‘Declaration of Interest’ before being invited to apply based on their credentials.

If, as is now expected, Quebec reopens the QSWP for new applications in May or June of 2016, that application intake period will operate on the same first-come, first-served basis that is currently in place.

It is unknown exactly how many applications may be accepted during the planned intake period beginning in May or June. However, the MIDI has said that up to 7,000 applications may be accepted for the period 2016-2017.

February 16 QSWP reopening: what we now know

As of next week, candidates who have already created an account under Mon projet Québecthe MIDI’s new online application management system, will have the opportunity to submit their application. Candidates had until 25 January, 2016 to create an online account through Mon projet Québec. Since that date, it has no longer been possible to create a new account for the upcoming application intake period.

Until February 15, 2016, candidates who have a Mon projet Québec account can access it to complete the application for a Quebec Selection Certificate/certificat de selection du Québec (CSQ). The option to submit an application will be available as of 8.30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Tuesday, February 16, 2016.

We also know the following details:

  • The Mon projet Québec website will be under maintenance for a short period before 8.30 a.m. on February 16. Accordingly, users will not be able to log in before 8.30 a.m. and ‘reserve’ a place in line to submit.
  • A limited number of users will be allowed to log in simultaneously. However, the MIDI has said that the number of users granted access at one any time will be significantly more than the number that was allowed when Mon projet Québec first went online.
  • Approximately 42,000 accounts were created between January 5 and January 25, 2016. Of these, and at the time of writing, approximately half of all candidates who had created an account have now also completed their applications and are in a position to submit on or after February 16.
  • The application intake period that begins on February 16, 2016 will end on March 31, 2016 at the latest. However, it is expected that the intake quota of 2,800 places will be reached before that date.
  • It is expected that candidates who successfully created an account in Mon projet Québec, but who are not successful in submitting their application between February 16 and March 31, will not be required to create a new account for the subsequent application intake period, which is expected to reopen in May or June. Existing accounts are likely to be carried over to the next intake period.
  • It will be again be possible to create an online account in Mon projet Québec as of February 18, 2016.

Candidates who are successful in submitting their application have up to 90 days to provide supporting documentation. Once the application has been submitted, candidates will have 30 days to pay the fees. If a candidate does not submit and pay the fees within the prescribed timeframe, the application will be deleted.

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Note:  Candidates in either of the following situations are not subject to the cap and may submit an application for a CSQ outside the aforementioned dates:

  • The applicant has enclosed a validated employment offer with the application for a selection certificate submitted under the QSWP; or
  • The applicant is a temporary resident in Quebec and eligible to submit an application for a CSQ.