Unlike every other province and territory in Canada, the province of Quebec has its own unique immigration requirements. The reason Quebec is different than the rest of the country is because they are a French speaking province and have a different legal system than the English parts of Canada. The Quebec Ministry of Immigration (MIFI) is the organization that selects candidates for immigration to Quebec.

Immigrating to Quebec can be quite competitive and strict, largely because of the French speaking requirement. As a result, even if you are fully qualified and satisfy all the requirements, your application for immigration might not be accepted since only the top candidates are selected from everyone competing.

Quebec’s Two Step Process:

Foreign citizens that wish to immigrate to Quebec need to follow a two-step process.

First Step First, Quebec’s immigration authority, MIFI, must select the applicant before they can apply to the federal government for their applicable immigration visa. If an applicant is selected by MIFI, they will receive a Quebec Certificate of Selection (CSQ) which is needed to apply to the federal government. It is important to note that the CSQ is not a visa and an application to federal government is still needed.
Second Step After an applicant has received a CSQ, they must apply to the federal government. The federal government department that is responsible to immigration is Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC). IRCC is responsible for evaluating the health and criminal issues that relate to the applicant and they issue the final visa to enter Canada.

Quebec’s Immigration Options for Permanent Residency:

Quebec has five primary programs that allow foreign citizens to immigrate to Quebec:

  1. Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSW): The QSW requires that applicants have a sufficient amount of skilled work experience in order to apply under this category. This is a compelling category as it does not require French language proficiency. However, this is a competitive category and so proficiency with French will increase an applicant’s chances of getting accepted under this category.
  2. Quebec Experience Program (PEQ): The PEQ requires that applicants have work or school experience in Quebec. This option requires oral proficiency with the French language and that the application be submitted while the applicant is a legal resident in Quebec.
  3. Quebec Investor Program: The Quebec Investor Program requires that applicants have (1) a net worth of at least two million CAD ($2,000,000); and (2) the ability to invest at least 1.2 million CAD ($1,200,000) with a financial institution in Quebec.
  4. Quebec Entrepreneur Program: The Quebec Entrepreneur Program requires that applicant submit an intention to start, manage, or acquire a business operating in Quebec. This program also requires that the applicant have sufficient financial resources to execute their intention as outlined in their application.
  5. Quebec Self-Employed Program: The Quebec Self-Employed Worker Program is for applicants who want to immigrate to Quebec on a self-employed basis. This program requires that the applicant have a net worth of $100,000 CAD and a minimum of two years’ experience as a self-employed worker in their specific field of work.

Quebec’s Immigration Options for Temporary Residency:

Quebec offers temporary residency programs in addition to permanent residency programs. In order to get a visa by the IRCC for a temporary residency in Quebec, applicants will need a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) instead of the CSQ which was described above. The programs that typically require a CAQ are for international students.

Disclaimer: This information is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. The information and facts referred to herein may be amended, removed or otherwise changed by the applicable government authority. As such, the information contained herein is provided with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.

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