Quebec's immigration changes might not be satisfactory
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Quebec’s immigration changes might not be satisfactory

Robert Cannon

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Quebec Experience Program

The Quebec Experience Program has long granted a fast-track option for international students and temporary foreign workers living in Quebec to get permanent residence. They could easily attain their Quebec Selection Certificate within a period of 20 business days, after which they could submit their applications for permanent residence to the federal government.

Why was it appreciated?

This policy worked well for the province because the applicants were already familiar with the Canadian setting. Governmental research has shown that these individuals could integrate into the economy and society of Quebec with remarkable ease.

Moreover, Quebec could justify fast-tracking these applications because the individuals were already in the province as opposed to candidates outside Canada. It made little sense for them to leave the province and then apply for PR again, considering that they were already established and contributing to the economy of Quebec.

Before vs. After

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However, the province has now decided to increase the work experience requirements for future applicants who want to be eligible for PEQ. At the moment, temporary foreign workers require 12 months of eligible work experience in Quebec in the last two years in order to fulfill PEQ’s criteria and submit their applications. Students did not need work experience to be eligible.

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Now, temporary foreign workers will need to have 36 months of work experience before they can qualify for PEQ. Foreign students also need to garner 12-24 months of work experience in Quebec before they can apply. The new PEQ criteria might make it easier for Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) candidates to immigrate through the Arrima Portal, but they are still stricter than the national requirements. Quebec has essentially made it very difficult for foreign workers and students to become permanent residents of the province. It might be difficult for foreign workers and students to meet these hefty requirements, especially in these trying times.

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