Individuals studying or working in Quebec who do not currently meet the eligibility requirements for the Quebec Experience Class (Programme d’expérience québécoise, or PEQ) may be eligible for the 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 – What is it?
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.
- Find out more about eligibility for the QSWP.
- Questions? Consult the comprehensive Quebec Skilled Worker Frequently Asked Questions page.
Who is a Cap-Exempt Applicant?
A potential applicant to the QSWP is “cap-exempt” if he or she meets the criteria to submit an application to the QSWP at any time, and is not subject to the cap limits the program imposes on potential applicants outside Quebec.
An individual studying in Quebec may be cap-exempt if he or she:
- came to Quebec to pursue studies, and holds a valid study permit and a Certificat of Acceptance for Quebec (Certificat d’acceptation du Québec, or CAQ);
- is pursuing or has completed one of the following study programs:
- a secondary level vocational training program of at least 900 hours or more;
- a college studies program;
- university program of at least 12 months; or
- a graduate program (i.e., a master’s or an advanced graduate diploma, or a doctoral program; AND
- has completed at least half of the study program if it is a program of less than 18 months in duration, or if it is a graduate-level or doctoral university program, OR
- is 12 months or less from the end of his or her study program, if it is a program of 18 months or longer.
A worker in Quebec may be cap-exempt if he or she:
- is staying in Quebec with the main intention to work, and holds a Certificate of Acceptance for Quebec (Certificat d’acceptation du Québec, or CAQ) for temporary work, and a valid work permit (unless he or she exempted by regulation); OR
- holds a work permit in the framework of a youth exchange program and currently has a full-time job;
- complies with all the conditions of his or her work permit and, if applicable, of his or her CAQ (a CAQ is not required for participants in a youth exchange program and for certain categories of temporary workers); AND
- has been legally admitted to Québec for a period of at least one year or for consecutive periods totalling at least one year.
An individual outside Quebec may be cap-exempt if he or she has an employment offer validated by the Quebec Ministry of Immigration, Diversity, and Inclusion (Ministère de l’immigration, de la diversité, et de l’inclusion, or MIDI.
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 Frequently Asked Questions page.