Québec has its own unique selection system for nominating immigrants, based on provincial labour market and economic needs. The nomination process involves first obtaining a Québec Selection Certificate. Québec’s selection process is based on a set of criteria and points system that differs from the selection processes used by other Canadian provinces. Points are allocated on the basis of work experience, training, French and/or English language ability, employment offer, family in Québec, spouse’s educational and employment background, financial self-sufficiency, age and adaptability.
There are presently three different streams under which an individual can apply for a Québec Selection Certificate:
- Business People Program
- Self-Employed Worker
- Temporary Foreign Worker
- Québec Experience Stream (PEQ)
- Québec Graduate
- Regular Stream
- Québec Skilled Worker Program
Business People Program – Entrepreneur Program
To qualify for this stream, you must plan on settling in Québec to start or continue operating a business for which you have already received an offer from a business accelerator or incubator, or a university entrepreneurship center. You must present your project in the form of a business plan, and you may partner with up to three (3) foreign nationals to carry out your business venture, all of whom must also submit an application as entrepreneurs for the same project.
To qualify for this stream, applicants must have a net worth of at least $900,000 CDN, alone or in conjunction with your spouse. Your business must have been legally operating in a qualifying activity during the five years prior to the date of your application. If you create a business, you must own and control at least 25% of the equity capital, and if you purchase an existing business you must own and control a minimum of 51% of the equity capital. Additionally, you must make a start-up deposit of either $200,000 or $300,000, if your business is within the Montréal metropolitan area, and a security deposit of $200,000 at a financial institution with an establishment in Québec.
In both streams, once these baseline criteria are met, the application will then be assessed taking into account a number of other factors including age, nature and duration of training, language skills, knowledge of Québec, steps taken to acquire a business in Québec and the ability to carry out a business in Québec.
Business People Program – Investor Program
To be eligible for this stream, applicants must intend to settle in Québec and must have:
- Net assets of at least $2,000,000 CDN (either alone or combined with net assets of accompanying spouse);
- Management experience (two years in the five years preceding the application) of duties related to the direction, planning, and control of financial, human or material resources under your authority;
- Signed an investment agreement with a financial intermediary that is authorized to participate in the Investor Program; and have
- Made a five-year term investment Investissement Québec – Immigrants Investiseurs Inc. for $1,200,000 CDN.
The application will then be assessed taking into account a number of other factors including age, nature and duration of professional training and language skills.
Business People Program – Self-Employed Worker
This stream is available for individuals who can demonstrate they have:
- Come to Québec to create their own job by practicing a profession or trade on their own account;
- Made a start-up deposit at a financial institution located in the region where you intend to settle and practice your trade or profession of $25,000 CDN or $50,000 CDN, if you intend to practice your profession or trade in the Montréal metropolitan area;
- Net assets of at least $100,000 CDN (either alone or combined with net assets of accompanying spouse); and
- A minimum of two years’ experience as a self-employed worker in the profession or trade that he/she plans to practice in Québec.
The application will then be assessed taking into account a number of other factors including age, nature and duration of professional training, language skills, and knowledge of Québec
Experience Stream – Temporary Worker Program
This program has undergone significant changes. Currently, the only temporary foreign workers who are eligible to apply are individuals who have:
- Received a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment and job offer in a high wage position that the employer has been unable to fill through the provincial labour market;
- Received a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment and job offer in a low wage position that the employer has been unable to fill through the provincial labour market;
- Experience as a homecare provider or in-home caregiver in one of the positions listed under one of the following NOC codes:
- 4411 – Home child care providers;
- 4412 – Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations;
- 3233 – Licensed practical nurses;
- 3413 – Nurse aids, Orderlies and Patient Service Associates.
- Found an employer who wishes to hire you temporarily as an agricultural worker.
Experience Stream – Québec Graduate
This program is for individuals who have obtained an eligible Québec diploma (which they have received within the last 36 months) or expect to complete their program of study within six months of the date of submission of the applications, and who have an intermediate knowledge of French. Applicants must also be at least 18 years old and intend to settle in Québec. In addition, they must undertake to provide for their needs and those of accompanying family members for a minimum of three months from the date of obtaining permanent resident status.
Regular Stream – Québec Skilled Worker Program
This program is for applicants with skilled work experience who intend to reside in the Province of Québec. Applicants that apply under this Program are assessed based on a grid of certain Selection Factors to determine whether their work and education history will allow them to adapt to the requirements of the Québec labour market.
Applicants are assessed against ten Selection Factors and must score a minimum of 49 points (or 57 points if applying with an accompanying spouse) to qualify. These Selection Factors are:
- Education (up to 14 points if you hold a doctorate degree);
- Area of Training (up to 16 points if you hold a diploma or degree in a field of study deemed to be high-priority by the Ministère);
- Work Experience (up to 8 points if you have at least 48 months of work experience in a NOC 0, A, B or C occupation in the last 5 years);
- Age (up to 16 points if you are 18-35 years of age);
- Language Proficiency (up to 16 points for French language proficiency and up to 6 points for English language proficiency);
- Previous stays in Québec and family in Québec (up to 8 points for having previously visited, worked, or studied in Québec, and for having a family member that resides in Québec);
- Spousal characteristics (up to 17 points for the education, area of training, age, and French language proficiency of your accompanying spouse);
- Valid Employment Offer (up to 10 points if you hold an Offer of Employment validated by the Ministère);
- Accompanying Children (up to 8 points if your children will be accompanying you to Québec);
- Financial Self-Sufficiency (1 point for confirming your commitment to provide for your family’s needs during the first three months following your arrival in Québec).
Qualified applicants will be issued a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ) with which they will be eligible to apply for permanent residence in Canada as a skilled worker selected by Québec. At that time, applicants and their family members will be required to complete medical and security examinations.
Areas of Training
In order to earn points in the Area of Training Selection Factor, the applicant must have earned a diploma or degree in areas which meet Québec labour market requirements. The diploma or degree must have been obtained within the last five years. Please note that if the diploma or degree was earned from an institution outside of Canada, a Comparative Evaluation for Studies Done Outside Québec will be required. If it was received over 5 years ago, you may still be eligible if you have worked, on a full-time basis, for at least one year in the five years preceding the date of your application, in a profession or trade in an area related to that diploma.
The training is assessed based on a list of Areas of Training prescribed by the Ministère. The list includes high school vocational programs, vocational college programs (minimum three years of study) and university programs recognized by a Québec diploma. The list of Areas of Training is quite extensive. Please contact our firm to find out whether your trade would qualify you for a nomination.
The points awarded will depend on the job prospects in that area of training in Québec, requirements for practicing the occupation in question, and where the applicant obtained the diploma (Québec or abroad). Applicants with backgrounds in the Areas of Training may receive priority processing.
Comparative Evaluation for Studies Done Outside Québec
Applicants with secondary or post-secondary school diplomas or degrees from educational institutions outside of Canada will be required to apply for a Comparative Evaluation for Studies Done Outside Québec to prove that their foreign qualifications are equivalent to those in Québec. This is distinct from an Educational Credential Evaluation (ECA), which is required to establish equivalency between a foreign education and a Canadian education. Obtaining a Comparative Evaluation for Studies Done Outside Québec requires the submission of a separate application to the Ministère, which involves a separate set of forms, processing fees, and processing times in addition to those involved with applying for a CSQ.
If you are interested in immigrating to Québec and wish to know more about the Québec Selection Process, please contact us for further information.
The Links on the right-hand column offer a brief overview of the Provincial immigration categories available for permanent immigration to Canada.