The Canadian province of Quebec has a special program for immigration to Canada called the Quebec-Selected Skilled Workers Program (QSWP). Quebec is the largest province in Canada and it needs thousands of skilled foreign workers for various trades and professions – especially if they have adequate French language skills (since French is the dominant language used in Quebec). If you receive enough points on this points-based Canadian immigration program and are selected by Quebec’s provincial government, you may then apply to the Canadian national government for a Permanent Resident Visa to Canada
Quebec’s government has established specific criteria that applicants for Canadian immigration must first meet before they may apply for a Permanent Resident Visa to Canada. If Quebec’s provincial government decides that you match the selection criteria desired for skilled foreign workers in its province and issues you a Quebec Selection Certificate, known in French as a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ), you may then proceed to apply to the national government for Canadian immigration and a Permanent Resident Visa to Canada.
Our legal advice team can inform you as to whether you meet all of the criteria. If you are eligible, they can also use their expertise to help you through each stage of the application process, making sure everything is done correctly, until you are issued your Permanent Resident Visa to Canada!
The Quebec Selection Certificate is required in order to apply for immigration to Canada through the Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker (QSW) Program. If Quebec’s provincial government issues you a Quebec Selection Certificate, this means that they think that your personal profile matches what they are looking for in terms of your education, work experience, language skills, age and other factors. Once you receive your Quebec Selection Certificate, you may then proceed to the final step of the process for Quebec immigration, which is to apply to the Canadian national government for a Permanent Resident Visa to Canada.
Quebec has a points-based immigration system in which points are awarded to applicants based upon the extent to which they meet the desired criteria considered necessary for successful settlement in Quebec. Some of the key criteria considered by Quebec’s provincial government in the selection process for the Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker (QSW) Program include:
- Education & Level of Training – To meet the minimum educational requirements for immigration to Canada through the QSWP, you must have at least “a diploma corresponding to a general or vocational high school diploma in Quebec” and the diploma must have been granted during the five-year period prior to filing your application for a Quebec Selection Certificate. If your diploma was awarded more than five years before the date you submitted your Quebec Selection Certificate application, then you must have worked in your occupation a minimum of one year within the past five years prior to filing your application for a Quebec Selection Certificate. Furthermore, how many points toward immigration you receive for this factor will depend on your “level of training” which will be evaluated by Quebec’s provincial government based upon: (1) whether you earned a doctorate, master’s degree, bachelor’s degree, certificate from a vocational/trade school, high school diploma, etc. AND (2) based upon what you studied and the demand for this knowledge in Quebec.
- Work Experience – You must also have the appropriate legal work experience in your country within the last five years prior to applying for the Quebec Selection Certificate and it must be in an occupation that is listed in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) as being a Level A, B or C occupation.
- Your Age – More points may be awarded for applicants whose age is within a range considered optimal by Quebec’s government in terms of how many years a skilled foreign worker will be able to be employed and contribute to the economy of Quebec after being issued a Permanent Resident Visa to Canada.
- Language Skills – Although French and English are the two official languages of Canada, French is the predominant language used throughout the province of Quebec. Therefore, foreign nationals who apply for Canadian immigration through the QSW Program will need to be evaluated as having French language skills that are at the advanced intermediate level or above (as of August 1, 2013) as measured TEF (Test d’Evaluation de Français). Points for the language factor may also be received for adequate English language abilities as measured by the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam.
- Connection to Quebec – If you have a family relationship with a Quebec permanent resident or Canadian citizen, or you have previously spent time in Quebec (for example, as an international student), you may be able to receive points for your “connection” to Quebec.
- Financial Self-Sufficiency – You must be able to support yourself and all eligible family members who accompany you to Quebec for three months after your arrival in Quebec and you will also need to sign a contract stating that you will do so.
- Qualifying Offer of Arranged Employment in Quebec – Points may be awarded towards Quebec immigration if you have a qualifying offer of arranged employment in Quebec (i.e., a business located in Quebec has offered you a job).
- Adaptability – You may receive points for “adaptability” based upon the preparations you have made for advancing your “socioeconomic integration” if approved for Canadian immigration and relocation to the province of Quebec (i.e., your specific plan for successfully settling in Quebec, finding suitable employment, etc.).
- Spouse/Partner Characteristics – The government of Quebec may award additional points toward immigration if your eligible spouse/partner meets certain criteria (e.g., their education, work experience, etc.) for Quebec immigration.
- Children Under 22-Years-Old – Another factor that may be considered by Quebec’s government is how many children less than 22-years-old will be accompanying you to Quebec if you are approved for Canadian immigration through the QSW Program.
A medical exam is required. This includes the main applicant along with any dependents (even if they are not coming to Canada). It should be noted that if an applicant’s health endangers public health or safety or causes excessive demand on health or social services in Canada, the visa will be denied.
Even if you have been issued the Quebec Selection Certificate by the provincial government of Quebec stating that they have chosen you and your eligible family members for immigration to Quebec, only the Canadian national government can approve you and your eligible family members for Canadian immigration by granting you a Permanent Resident Visa to Canada. Therefore, after receiving your Quebec Selection Certificate, you must next submit your application for a Permanent Resident Visa to Canada to the Canadian national government for final processing and approval. You and the family members who will accompany you to Quebec will need to pass all of the criteria for immigration to Canada required by the Canadian national government, such as the medical and character requirements.
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