Immigration to Quebec
Immigration to Quebec through the Quebec Skilled Worker Program is now being conducted through a new ‘expression of interest’ system to manage applications. This system is known as the ‘Arrima’ portal.
Note that Quebec’s Arrima immigration system is only available in French, though French ability is not an absolute requirement to immigrate to Quebec. Candidates with limited or no French ability may submit a profile.
An overview of immigration to Quebec
Immigration to Quebec is conducted in a unique way, separate from the government of Canada’s selection criteria. Individuals and families who want to become economic permanent residents of Canada and reside in a location in the province of Quebec, such as Montreal, must go through the Quebec immigration system.
Quebec immigration applicants go through a two-step process. First, they must be eligible for and obtain a Quebec Selection Certificate (Certificat de sélection du Québec, or CSQ). This important document signifies that the applicant has been selected to settle in Quebec.
Second, approved CSQ holders may apply to the federal government for Canadian permanent residence. The federal government is primarily concerned with health and criminality issues, rather than the human capital, skills, and experience factors for which the applicant has already been approved by the government of Quebec.
It should be noted that though Quebec retains control of the selection of economic immigrants to the province, Family Class applicants and in-Canada refugee claimants may also be admitted on an ongoing basis. French ability for economic migrants depends on the program and the individual’s personal circumstances. For non-economic migrants, French ability is not a factor in selection.
There are a number of ways to secure a CSQ through the economic programs, explained below. But first, let’s clear up some common misnomers:
- Quebec does not participate in the Express Entry immigration system.
- Quebec does not have a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).
- French ability is not a requirement for immigration to Quebec (but it may make things much easier).
- Participants in the International Experience Canada (IEC) program can live and work in Quebec.
As of January 1, 2020, all applicants for permanent residence through Quebec immigration programs are required to show they understand Quebec values. This can be done by passing a Quebec values test or completing a course in Quebec values.