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Immigrating to Quebec
Canada’s largest province Quebec is full of cultural diversity making immigrating to Quebec a broad and interesting experience. Quebec is home to some of the oldest communities and buildings in Canada, offering a traditional European feel in places like Quebec City, while both the old and ultra-modern architectural style, fashion, the arts, business and more abound in Montreal throughout the province. Although many are bilingual, over 80% of Quebecers choose to use French as their official language, so it is a good choice for those fluent in French and looking to immigrate to Canada. Quebec welcomes approximately 45,000 immigrants each year from over 100 countries.
The Gulf of Saint Lawrence and has played a major part in Quebec history, economy and life of the people for centuries, with the Saint Lawrence River base to many ports and the Saint Lawrence Seaway providing a navigational route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. With lots of lakes, rivers and and streams, comprising 3% of the world’s fresh water, there is a great deal of fishing, wildlife and natural resources, supporting mining and forestry industries. Quebec is involved with biotechnology, pharmaceutical and aerospace industries as well. Find out information on doing business in Quebec.
Quebec’s economic immigration program helps both the province and foreign nationals, by promoting integration and francophone immigration, while building the labour force, with trained and educated workers, who can adapt well and be an asset to the province.
The application process to work in Quebec and become a permanent resident is different from that of the rest of Canada, and there is no Provincial Nominee Program like most of the other provinces. The province has several programs which can lead to permanent resident status in Quebec though, which are broken up into categories including skilled workers, immigrant investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed persons.
Quebec Skilled Worker Program
To take the first step in the application process to work in the province of Quebec, you must apply for a certificate of selection for Quebec. If Quebec grants you a certificate, you may then apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for permanent resident status in the province. Quebec admits a limited number of skilled workers into the province each year, based on a point system that factors age, work experience and skills, training, settlement funds, language skills, etc. and various other selection criteria.
In order to qualify for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program, you must:
- have a valid offer of full-time permanent employment with a qualified Quebec employer
- demonstrate your ability to rapidly adapt and grow in the Quebec labour market and community by showing proof of established roots and networking
- indicate the amount of time spent visiting Québec and family members or with a Canadian citizen or a permanent Québec resident
- have the required amount of paid, full-time, qualified work experience, or the equivalent in part-time work, in a position requiring NOC skill levels 0, A, B or C, within the 5 years immediately prior to submitting your application for a selection certificate, or
- acquire the experience through internship placements, as part of apprenticeships and training programs or specialization, which lead to a diploma
- prove that you have the equivalent of a general or vocational secondary school diploma in Québec, and list your level of education and area of training
- ensure that any training certificates, diplomas or degrees are recognized as being equivalent to Quebec standards by a Quebec regulatory body, with degrees required for the NOC skill level 0, A and B
- submit test results from an accredited institution proving your French and English language skills meet the minimum requirements according to Canadian Language Benchmark standards – level 7 for French and 5 for English
- indicate the training, education, legal status, etc. of an accompanying spouse or common-law partner
- submit the number of children, under the age of 19 immigrating with you
- prove that you are able to be financially self-sufficient, and have adequate funds to support you and your family, for at least the first 3 months after you settle
- be prepared to submit to a medical exam and get a police check as part of your application process
- if from France, read about the Mutual Recognition Arrangement
Quebec Entrepreneur Program
Quebec welcomes the unique skills and abilities that entrepreneurs can bring to the province’s workforce. Again with this program, there are some aspects that differ from the rest of Canada and Quebec has its own qualification requirements for entrepreneurs. In order to qualify for this program, your age, language skills, work experience, funds, and adaptability and familiarity with economic, geographic, and social and regulatory factors relevant to your business enterprise. It is recommended that you conduct exploratory visits for a period of about 2 years, and prepare, before applying to this program.
To qualify for the Quebec Entrepreneur Program, you must:
- show proof that you have a minimum amount of $300,000.00 CAD in net assets between you and your spouse
- have at least 2 years’ experience managing a business full-time, within in the past 5 years
- show that you control of at least 25 per cent of the capital equity of the business, and are actively operating an agricultural, commercial or industrial enterprise, that is generating income
- have the experience, training and ability to carry out a business project component or acquire a business in Québec
- be prepared to submit to a medical exam and get a police check as part of your application process
Once you have received your Quebec Selection Certificate met the criteria for the program, and settle in Quebec, you must comply with the following conditions for at least 1 year, within 3 years of obtaining permanent residency in Canada:
- either in whole or in part, create or acquire, an agricultural, commercial or industrial business, established in Quebec, in which you hold at least 25 per cent of capital equity with a value of at least $100,000.00 CAD
- employ a Quebec resident on a permanent basis and for a minimum of 30 hours a week (agricultural entrepreneurs are exempt from this obligation)
- continue to be an active participant in the daily operations and management of the business
Call us at 778-317-4959 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get the help with immigrating to Quebec.
This program is designed for those who are able to ‘create their own job’, based on their skills and experience in the workforce and in business. You must meet a number of criteria to be eligible for this program. You will be assessed on several factors, including the age of you and your spouse, amount of training, education and research you have that is relevant to your profession and settling in Quebec, your language skills, aspects of your background, skill set and work experience. You should already have obtained a Quebec Selection Certificate before applying to this program.
To be eligible for this program, you must:
- plan to immigrate to Québec to ‘create your own job’ based on your ability to practice a profession or trade using your accumulated skills, training, experience and education
- prove that you have a net worth of a minimum of $100,000.00 CAD, obtained legally, between you and your married or common-law spouse, if accompanying you
- prove that you have at least two years of experience, as a self-employed worker, in the profession or trade you trained for, and will be practising once settled in the province
- prove your level of language skills, with preference given to those with Canadian Language Benchmark level 7 in French and level 5 in English
- be prepared to submit to a security check and possibly a health exam
This program is designed for those who are able to ‘create their own job’, based on their skills and experience in the workforce and in business. You must meet a number of criteria to be eligible for this program. You will be assessed on several factors, including the age of you and your spouse, the amount of training you have undertaken, your language skills, knowledge of Quebec and other qualities.
The revenues generated by the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program are used to finance the Québec Business Assistance—Immigrant Investor Program and Quebec Employment Integration Program for Immigrants and Visible Minorities. You are required to make a 5-year term investment, and when the five year period is over, the broker or trust company is to reimburse you with the original investment of $800,000.00 CAN within 30 days, with no interest. This amount may vary if you secured financing for the investment. Brokers and trust companies offer the possibility of financing the investment as well.
Foreign nationals who wish to immigrate to Quebec on the basis of being an Investor must obtain a Quebec Selection Certificate, and prove your language skills, business experience, available funds and other criteria listed below.
To be eligible for the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program, you must:
- prove that you, or you and your spouse, have net assets of at least $1,600,000.00 CAN, obtained through legal means (excluding the amounts received by donation less than 6 months prior to submitting your application)
- have at least 2 years of experience managing a business full-time, within in the past 5 years, in a legal farming, commercial or industrial business, or in a legal professional business that has at least 2 full-time permanent employees, besides you, or for an international agency or a government or its affiliates
- ensure you meet the time requirement for ‘hands-on’ active management experience, including business planning, management and control of finances, staff, assets, etc., prior to submitting your application for a Quebec Selection Certificate
- show that you plan to settle in Québec
- sign an agreement with a financial intermediary, stating that you plan to invest a minimum of $800,000.00 CAN (the broker or trust company me be authorized to participate in the Investor Program)
Québec supports Immigrating to Quebec as a way to support the humanitarian ideals driving the UNHCR and with that spirit, the province is proud to be able to provide a safe haven, as does the rest
of Canada, for Convention refugees and persons in need of protection, opening its doors to refugees from all over the world. People apply to come to Canada from abroad and some people seek asylum in Québec after they are already in Canada.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees first identifies Refugees and awards them official status if they are fleeing a country where they have been victims of persecution, or living in a war or famine zone, perhaps coming from refugee camps. The Federal Government of Canada identifies refugees for the country to help based on the extent of the candidate’s distress capacity for integration into Canadian society. Each year, the province and federal government determine how many refugees will be Immigrating to Quebec as sponsored refugees.
In order to meet the description of a person who is considered for government-assisted refugee status by the province of Québec, you must first have Convention Refugee Abroad status applied to you by the federal government of Canada. Canada allows refugees to enter the country from abroad and within Canada. You may be sponsored by the government or private citizens, partnerships or groups, who may or may not know you. Sponsorships typically last at least one year, as Refugees are helped to find a home, have living costs covered, receive counselling if traumatized by their recent ordeals and help to enrol in English classes to improve your language skills if required. You are basically taught everything you need to know about carrying on living a life in Canada, assimilating into the community you are living in and finding work to support you and your families.
The Collective Sponsorship Program allows groups of Québec residents or non-profit organizations to support Convention Refugee Abroad or Country of Asylum Class after immigrating to Quebec, for up to 3 years. To be a person in the Country of Asylum Class you must satisfy the following criteria. You must:
- be outside Canada and the country of which you are a national or have been residing in long-term
- have suffered, and fear more suffering and danger, due to living under conditions of civil war, an armed conflict, or a massive human rights violation in the country of which you are a national or have been residing in long-term
- have no lasting solution to your situation within a reasonable amount of time
- be the subject of a collective sponsorship
The Government of Canada sometimes needs time to rule on your claim for asylum, and Quebec may provide a temporary home to you during the waiting period, before officially immigrating to Quebec, along with “temporary support measures, including accommodation, francization, legal aid, last-resort assistance, pre-school services and primary and secondary schooling for children and youth”
Québec’s selection process considers the following factors when determining whether or not you will be chosen for immigrating to Quebec as a government-assisted refugee by the province:
- you must not have resettled permanently in the country where you are seeking asylum
- the extent of your distress
- capacity for integration into Québec society including showing a sense of responsibility as well as “flexibility, social skills, vitality, initiative, perseverance, level-headedness, self-confidence, maturity and motivation”
- your language skills and that of accompanying family members
- dependent children under 18 years old
- a common-law relationship already or are married to a Québec resident
- have a relative already living in Quebec
- have paid or unpaid work experience
- level of education
The Québec Experience Class Program covers Foreign students on a Canada Study Permit and Temporary Foreign Workers, who have gained experience while on a Canada Work Permit. As a foreign worker, you must have entered Quebec while adhering to LMIA guidelines, which may or may not allow you in the province. If you are able to fill positions that cannot be filled by a Canadian Citizen or permanent resident, you may be granted permission to apply as a Temporary International Worker.
The program fast-tracks the application process of foreign nationals that meet its criteria enough to obtain a Quebec Selection Certificate. Once you have a certificate, you can save time applying through other Quebec immigration programs, since you will have been approved to a certain point all ready to begin Immigrating to Quebec.
You must hold an eligible Québec diploma, to submit your application to this program.
- have a valid Study Permit to study in Canada
- have a Québec diploma or the equivalent
- apply for and obtain a Quebec Acceptance Certificate to study in Quebec
- show evidence that confirms you have sufficient funds to cover the first year of tuition, living expenses and transportation costs for the return trip to your homeland
- be prepared to have a police security check performed on your background
- prove that your level of health is acceptable by possibly taking a medical exam
- assure IRCC immigration officers that you will not remain in Canada at the end of your study permit
If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Québec, you may be able to be a sponsor or guarantor to a close relative immigrating to Quebec, if you meet the criteria. You must:
- be at least 18 years of age and you satisfy the prerequisites
- have fulfilled all previous sponsorship commitments you have committed to in the past
- not receive financial assistance other than old age pensions, etc.
- be in compliance and up to date with obligations such an alimony or child support
- never been convicted, in Canada or abroad, of a sexual or violent offence, etc.
- you must prove that you have sufficient funds for the duration of the sponsorship according to set financial standards, for you and the sponsored person and dependents
- not be subject to a removal order or imprisoned
- not sponsor a spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner less than 16 years old
- ensure that the sponsored adult person signs the declaration attesting that they understand the nature and scope of the sponsorship
A sponsored person in the form of a close relative interested in Immigrating to Quebec must belong to the family class and satisfy specific requirements in order to be sponsored. Specific requirements are in place for the of the below-mentioned relationships.
You can sponsor your:
- spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner
- dependent child
- father, mother, grandfather or grandmother
- orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece, grandson or granddaughter, who is under the age of 18, and single
- a prospective internationally adoptive child
Find out more about International adoption and Immigrating to Quebec, by visiting the Quebec site.
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