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Quebec Immigration Programs

Updated: March 28th, 2023


Edited by Kirat Sekhon

Quebec is located in eastern Canada. It is steeped in rich European culture and history with vibrant cities such as Montreal and Quebec City - the capital city most people tend to call home when they immigrate to Quebec. You'll find a stable economy with many booming aerospace, information, and communications technologies, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical sectors. The province also has an excellent education system. Most of Canada's french-language primary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities can be found in Quebec. Quebec also has many creative platforms, broadcasting networks, and government institutions that push arts and culture initiatives in French. 

As a result, it's no wonder why so many internationals want to make Quebec their new home, but how do you start your journey?

Quebec doesn't have a typical Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) like the other provinces. Instead, it has a special immigration deal with the Government of Canada. It has its own rules for selecting newcomers it deems eligible to adapt to the Quebecois way of life.

According to the province’s 2023 immigration plan, it hopes to accept around 33,900 immigrants via the Economic Immigration program. The economic group makes up the most significant chunk of newcomers and is set to welcome as many as 4,300 business immigrants. This includes investors, entrepreneurs, self-employed individuals, 29,500 skilled employees, and 100 candidates from additional economic categories.

If You Have a Job Offer in Quebec:

If You Have a Job Offer in Quebec

Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP)

If you wish to gain Canadian permanent residency and work in Quebec, the Quebec Skilled Worker Program is a great pathway to immigrate to the province. The Quebec Skilled Worker Program selects candidates based on several factors. To be successful, a candidate must score enough points to pass both thresholds imposed by the Quebec government. The selection factors grid includes the following criteria:

Criteria What it's Testing Maximum Points (out of 120)
Education The level of education and the area of training 14
Area of training The area of training and the labor market demand in Quebec 12
Work experience The number of years of experience and the occupation 8
Age The age of the candidate at the time of application 16
Language proficiency The candidate's proficiency in French and English 22
Family in Quebec The relationship of the candidate with a family member in Quebec 3
Spouse's characteristics The spouse's education, work experience, and language proficiency 17
Validated job offer The location of the job offer and the occupation 14

Pilot Programs 

Due to the increasing demands of many of Quebec's industries, the Quebecois government has devised three immigration pilot programs, each designed to help fill specific gaps in Quebec's labor market. They are as follows:

The Permanent Immigration Pilot Program for Food Processing Workers

The Permanent Immigration Pilot Program for Workers in Food Processing is a program that allows temporary foreign workers in Quebec's food processing sector to settle in Quebec permanently. The program came into effect on March 24, 2021, and will close on January 1, 2026. The application intake period is generally from early November to late December, or until the maximum number of applications to receive has been reached. The program is designed to help Quebec meet the high demand for skilled workers in the food industry.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must:

  • Be currently employed in an eligible occupation in the food processing sector in Quebec.
  • Have held an eligible job full-time in Quebec for at least 24 months in an eligible sector during the 36 months preceding the application submission date.
  • Have intermediate oral knowledge of the French language that corresponds to Level 7 on the Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français des personnes immigrantes adultes (in French only) or its equivalent.
  • Be 18 years of age or over.
  • Intend to settle in Quebec to hold a job.
  • Have respected the conditions of your stay in Quebec.

The eligible occupations for the program are as follows:

NOC Code Occupation
94140 Process control and machine operator, food and beverage processing
85100 General farm worker, but only in the position of chicken catcher
94142 Fish and seafood plant worker

The Permanent Immigration Pilot Program for Orderlies

The Permanent Immigration Pilot Program for Orderlies allows orderlies working in Quebec as temporary foreign workers to settle in Quebec permanently. To be eligible for the Quebec permanent immigration pilot program for orderlies, applicants must meet the following conditions:

  • Be a temporary foreign worker in Quebec working as an orderly, nurse aide, or patient service associate.
  • Be fluent in spoken French.
  • Have work experience as an orderly in Quebec.
  • Hold a job as an orderly in Quebec when applying.
  • Be proficient in spoken French.
  • Intended to settle in Quebec to hold a job.
  • Have respected the conditions of your stay in Quebec.

The eligible occupations for the program are as follows:

NOC Code Occupation
33102 Process control and machine operator, food and beverage processing

Permanent Immigration Pilot Program for Workers in the Artificial Intelligence, Information Technologies, and Visual Effects Sectors

The Quebec Permanent Immigration Pilot Program for workers in the artificial intelligence, information technologies, and visual effects sectors is a program that allows foreign workers or Quebec graduates in artificial intelligence, as well as foreign workers in information technologies and visual effects, to settle in Quebec permanently. The eligibility criteria for the Quebec permanent immigration pilot program for workers in the artificial intelligence, information technologies, and visual effects sectors are as follows:

  • Be a foreign worker, a Quebec graduate in artificial intelligence, or a foreign worker in information technologies and visual effects.
  • Be proficient in spoken French if applying the Francophone profile.
  • Hold or have accepted a job in Quebec's artificial intelligence, information technologies, or visual effects sectors.
  • Meet the general requirements for Quebec's immigration programs, such as work experience in an eligible job and sector.

If you work in any of these industries and want to know if you're eligible for one of Quebec's permanent residency programs, you can massively benefit from getting a full eligibility evaluation from a certified immigration expert like a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC). An RCIC can breakdown 

If You've Studied or Worked in Quebec:

If You've Studied or Worked in Quebec

Quebec Experience Class (PEQ)

This program allows international students or skilled temporary workers with an intermediate skill level in French to apply for permanent residence in Quebec, Canada. If you wish to immigrate to Quebec under the Quebec Experience Class (PEQ), you can do so under one of the following categories:

  • Quebec Graduate - if you qualify as an eligible Quebec institution and have at least 12 to 18 months (depending on your study program) of work experience in Quebec; or
  • Skilled Temporary Worker - if you have had a skilled job in the province for at least 24 months or the last 36 months.

To be eligible for the Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ – Québec experience program), you must:

  • Be an international student who is a Québec graduate or a temporary foreign worker. 
  • Work in a profession at TEER level 0, 1, 2, or 3 of the National Occupational Classification
    • the job must have been performed legally and full-time
      • minimum of 30 hours of paid work a week.
  • Meet the general conditions of the program and the specific conditions of the stream in which you submit your application.
  • Submit your application, pay the required fee, and upload the documents via the Arrima portal.
    • Paper applications are no longer accepted.

You will be required to apply for this program on the Arrima platform.

If You Want To Start A Business in Quebec

Business Immigration | Quebec Immigration Programs

If you are interested in applying for permanent residence in Quebec and would like to invest in, start a new, or buy an existing business in the province, you can choose from one of the following programs:

  • Entrepreneur Program
  • Investor Program
  • Self-employed Program

The application intake is limited for each category and has its application intake period and eligibility criteria. Applications are assessed on factors such as age, education, language skills, financial stability, and ties to the province, such as previous visits to Quebec or family members already living there.

Entrepreneur Program

There are two streams under this program. Stream 1 is for foreign entrepreneurs who want to start and run a business in Quebec, and Stream 2 is for foreign entrepreneurs who wish to purchase and run a business in Quebec. You'll need the following:

  • A minimum start-up deposit of between $200,000 and $300,000, as well as a minimum of $900,000 net worth
  • Ownership and control of a portion of at least 25% equity in the business, if you start a business
  • To own and control a minimum of 51% equity in the enterprise. If you choose to buy a business
  • Be actively involved in the management of the business.
  • Score enough points on the selection grid.
  • Get an attestation of learning about democratic values and Québec values

Investor Program

The investor program is for foreign investors who want to invest in a business in Quebec. You will need to:

  • Enter into an investment agreement with a financial intermediary. This must be either an investment broker or a trust company that has an agreement with the Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Intégration and IQ Immigrants Investisseurs Inc.
  • Agree to a five-year term investment of at least $1,200,000
  • Have at least $2,000,000 in net assets.
  • Have at least two years of business management experience in the past five years.
  • Earn enough points in the selection grid.
  • Get an attestation of learning about democratic values and Québec values

Self-Employed Worker Program

This program is for professional or business people who wish to migrate to Quebec in a self-employed position. To qualify, you will need the following:

  • A net worth of at least CAD$100,000
  • A deposit of at least $25,000 to $50,000 in start-up capital
  • At least two years of experience in a relevant self-employed position
  • To score sufficient points in the selection grid
  • Permission to legally work as a self-employed professional in a regulated profession

If You Have Family In Quebec

If You Have Family In Quebec

The Family Reunification Program

The family reunification program in Canada is an immigration program that allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their family members to come and live with them in Canada. The program allows for the sponsorship of spouses, common-law partners, conjugal partners, dependent children, adopted children, parents, grandparents, or orphaned relatives under 18.

Family reunification is a priority for the Canadian government, vital to Canada's future. In Quebec, a separate family reunification program is introduced for those who have immigrated to Quebec but do not have their families there. The eligibility requirements for sponsoring different family members are as follows:

  • Spouse/Partner
    • The spouse, de facto spouse, or conjugal partner must be at least 16 years old at the time of application.
  • Dependent Child
    • If the sponsor sponsors a dependent child with their child, the sponsor must demonstrate their financial capacity.
  • Parents/Grandparents
    • The sponsor must show they can support their parents financially.

The Quebec program selects almost 2,000 applicants annually and allows for the sponsorship of family members such as spouses, children, parents, and siblings. The sponsor must demonstrate their financial capacity to support their family members. The processing time for a spouse visa is 89 days, while the processing time for parents and grandparents can take up to 45 months.

The family reunification program is an essential part of Canada's immigration system, and the government is committed to reuniting families while strengthening the country's immigration system. Family reunification is important to Canadians and is crucial to the country's immigration system. The program allows families to stay together and contributes to the country's success by attracting, retaining, and integrating immigrants who contribute to Canada's future.

Suppose one of these programs sounds like your pathway to Canada, but you want to ensure you can get to Quebec through them. In that case, you will find a major benefit in consulting with an RCIC, as they can ensure your eligibility and help you strategize your move to Quebec.

How To Apply for Quebec's Immigration Programs

How To Apply for Quebec's Immigration Programs

Step 1: Ensure Your Eligibility

The first step is determining which program you are eligible for: the RSWP, PEQ, Pilot, or business immigration programs.  One of the best ways to do this is to work with an expert like an RCIC to help you determine which program you're most eligible for.

Step 2: Create Your Online Profiles and Fill out Your Forms

Once you have determined which program you are eligible for, you can proceed with the application process.

  • For the RSWP, you can submit an expression of interest through Arrima. Only applicants who the minister has invited can submit an application for permanent selection under this program.
  • For the PEQ, you can use the Demande de sélection permanente Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ) – Diplômé du Québec form.
  • For the Permanent Immigration Pilot Program, you can apply through the Arrima platform.

Step 3: Gather Your Documentation

The next step is to prepare the required documents to support your application. Each program has its list of documents, so you must pay close attention to the instruction manual you receive when you apply on the Quebec provincial government website. For some programs, such as the RSWP, you may need to submit an expression of interest before being invited to apply.

Step 4: Pay Your Fees and Submit Your Application

Once you have completed the application form and gathered all the required documents, you must pay the fee for reviewing your application by credit card. Each program has different fees, so it's vital to research your fees effectively before making payments. The processing time for most applications for permanent selection in the PEQ is within six months. If selected, you will be issued a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ), which confirms that you have been set for immigration to Quebec.

Step 5: Apply for Canadian Permanent Residency

Following this step, you can apply for permanent residence through Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and pass the medical, security, and criminality checks.

Why Immigrate to Quebec?

Why Immigrate to Quebec?

Natural Beauty

Quebec has scenic beauty with three national parks, Forillon, Mingan Archipelago, and La Mauricie, and a humid continental climate allowing residents to enjoy four seasons each year.

Low Cost of Living

Quebec has affordable electricity, with the lowest residential electricity cost in Canada. Quebec also has lower housing costs, with Montreal, Quebec's largest city, having an average home price of 72 percent of the Canadian average. The differential in monthly rent is also comparative, making Montreal the fourth least expensive city out of 68 top cities in North America.


Quebec has a safe living environment, excellent education facilities and options, a low unemployment rate, and an active social scene.


Quebec is also famous for its French Canadian culture, making it the birthplace of French civilization in North America. Living in Quebec City offers the perfect setting for learning French at your own pace. The city is also a research and development hotspot with North America's highest per capita concentration of researchers. Quebec is also a UNESCO City of Literature, making it the first francophone city to be named.

Get Ready to Live and Work in Quebec

Now that you know your options for immigrating to Quebec, it's time to check your eligibility and get your journey to Quebecois living underway. And you're feeling overwhelmed with all the processes. In that case, our team of accredited Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC) is at hand to guide you from the beginning to the end.

An RCIC is a licensed immigration consultant authorized and certified to represent and guide individuals through their application for permanent residence in Canada. They can examine visa or immigration applications and submit them on behalf of the applicant to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). RCICs can also answer any applicant's questions about the immigration process. The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC) maintains a public register of RCICs that anyone can use to verify an immigration consultant's status as a licensee of the College.



Is Quebec a Participant of Canada's Provincial Nominee Program?

No. The province has programs for people who wish to work there.

What is the Difference Between Selection by Québec and Admission by Canada?

In the province of Québec, immigration falls within the jurisdiction of both the Government of Québec and Canada.

The Government of Québec is responsible for selecting people who want to immigrate there. The province has its criteria. When it selects you, you and your family will get a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Québec Selection Certificate).

On the other hand, the Government of Canada is responsible for granting workers who want to settle in the province admission. It is responsible for admitting workers wishing to settle on its territory. To be admitted to Québec, you and your family must:

  • Be selected by the Government of Québec.
  • Apply for permanent residency with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
  • Pass a medical examination and security checks.

To immigrate to Québec successfully, you and your loved ones must meet both governments' requirements.

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