Today marks the implementation of a fresh amendment to Quebec’s immigration laws. This revision comprises an array of novel measures and policy modifications that affect various streams of Quebec immigration. Read on to discover the details of these modifications and their potential influence on you.
New Economic pilot streams now open
Quebec has recently announced the re-opening of three long-term economic immigration pilot programs to help address key labour shortages for the province.
Effective from November 23rd, 2023, to December 31st, 2024, the following immigration streams will be open and accepting applications:
- Permanent immigration pilot program for workers in food processing (600 application cap);
- Permanent immigration pilot program for orderlies (600 application cap); and
- Permanent immigration pilot program for workers in the artificial intelligence, information technologies and visual effects sectors (700 application cap).
- While these programs periodically open and close application submissions, all three are expected to conclude indefinitely on Jan 1st, 2026.
New changes will come into effect for Quebec’s economic immigration programs. All of Quebec’s economic immigration programs will now require a proficiency in French, for applicants to be eligible for the program.
More specifically, the Quebec Regular Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) and the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) will now require a language proficiency level of at least 7 in spoken French, according to the Quebec scale of French Proficiency levels. The requirement of a level 7 proficiency will also apply to other economic and pilot programs, as a blanket conditions for skilled workers immigrating to Quebec.
The PEQ will also require a proficiency level of 5 or higher in written French, according to the same criteria. In addition—as of November 23rd—the graduate component of the PEQ will now require that applicants have completed a program in French, or at least three years of secondary or post-secondary study in French.
Spouses being sponsored under these economic programs must have a knowledge of oral French (talking and listening) equivalent to a level 4 proficiency.
Lastly, effective November 29th the Quebec Regular Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) will be replaced by the Qualified Skilled Worker Selection Program (QWSP).
As of November 23rd, if a person being sponsored for immigration to Quebec (as part of a family sponsorship program) is between the ages of 18-55, you (the sponsor) must now complete and sign a welcome and integration plan, ensuring that support is being provided to the sponsored person in: preparing for their arrival in Quebec, accessing public services and resources to facilitate their integration, and learning French.
In addition to the above changes, Quebec has also instituted modifications to the business streams of immigration—which will come into effect January 1st, 2024.
Namely these changes make French proficiency mandatory for all business streams (encompassing the Investor Program, Self-Employed Program, and the Entrepreneur program). There are additional changes, including more residence requirements, a work permit requirement, and more.
Immigration to Quebec
Of all of Canada’s provinces, Quebec the most control over the immigrants and skilled workers that the province welcomes annually. This is due to the Quebec-Canada Accord, and allows the province to shape policy, programs, and accept immigrants with much less federal oversight.
The province recently revealed its immigration levels, which run in tandem with Canada’s national immigration levels plan. Quebec is hoping to welcome a minimum of 49,500 immigrants this year, with another 50,000 newcomers planned for both 2024 and 2025 (in each year). Much like the federal levels plan, Quebec’s immigration plan allocates most of its new immigrant quotas to economic immigration measures, with roughly 32,000 new foreign skilled workers expected in the province annually, from 2023 to 2025.
Quebec’s influence even extends beyond its own immigration, with the province emphasising the importance of Francophone immigration throughout Canada, a class of immigration that is seeing growing popularity.