Changes to Quebec Immigration Rules

On March 21, 2012, the Quebec Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Communities announced some new policies for Permanent Residency (PR) immigration to Quebec through the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSW). The new policies divide applicants into three groups based on their areas of training, field of study and additional selection criteria. Applicants in Group 1 are diploma holders in an area of training highly sought by Quebec or are temporary foreign workers who possess skills that meet labour market needs. The groups are determined as follows:

Group 1

Applicants qualify for Group 1 if they have one or more of the following criteria: 1. Temporary workers currently residing in Quebec 2. Students who have obtained, or are about to obtain, a diploma awarded by a Quebec institution 3. Young people in Quebec on a youth exchange program subject to an international agreement, such as the Working Holiday Program, who are working full time in Quebec 4. Applicants residing in and submitting an application to Quebec who were formerly Canadian citizens 5. Applicants who have already been informed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) that they are admissible for PR processing. 6. Applicants, or their spouses, who hold a diploma awarded by a teaching institution in an area of training (field of study)which allows them to receive 12 or 16 points on the province’s selection grid 7. Applicants with a validated offer of employment from a Quebec employer An unlimited number of applications from Group 1 will be accepted for processing by Quebec immigration.

Group 2

Group 2 includes applicants who qualify for other areas of training and includes foreign graduates of a Quebec university. Applicants will fall under one of the following two situations: 1. Applicants, or their spouses, who hold a diploma awarded by a teaching institution in an area of training which allows them to receive six points under the province’s selection grid. 2. Applicants, or their spouses, who hold or are currently pursuing a Quebec diploma or the equivalent outside of Quebec. For both categories, the diploma must be obtained less than five years before the date of application, or the applicant must have practiced in this field on a full-time basis for at least one of five years preceding the date of application. Applications accepted under Group 2 are limited to 14,300 up until March 31, 2012.

Group 3

Group 3 includes everyone who does not qualify for Group 1 or Group 2. This year no applications for Group 3 will be accepted for processing.

Changes to Quebec Business Class

Additional changes have been made to the Quebec Immigrant Investor program. A maximum of 2,700 applications will be received in the upcoming year. For Quebec Entrepreneurs and Quebec Self-Employed programs, a maximum of 215 will be accepted. The reason for introducing these new policies is to reduce the province’s current backlog of applications as the number of applications increased from approximately 30,000 in 2008 to over 65,000 in 2011. The Quebec government believes that these new measures will greatly reduce processing times for permanent residency applicants to Quebec.

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