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The Quebec Skilled Worker Program

Updated: November 22nd, 2022

Canada's province of Quebec is an anomaly. It's the only province whose official language is French and is home to most of Canada's French-speaking population. The province's culture is far more European than its neighbouring provinces. The province has held referendums to separate from Canada permanently. They have different taxes and public services. Quebec's utterly different community and culture make it an exciting and attractive place for outsiders.

Despite the difference in culture and essential governance, Quebec has many attributes that make Canada great. The incredibly safe, clean cities; booming, growing industries; the high quality of education; and world-class, subsidized healthcare make it a fantastic destination to take the next step of your life, but what's the best way to become a permanent resident of Quebec? For Quebec, specifically, the answer is the Quebec Skilled Worker Program.

What is the Quebec Skilled Worker Program?

What is the QSWP?

The Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) is Quebec's version of the Canada Express Entry Federal Skilled Worker program. This program is designed to allow skilled foreign workers and their families to live and work in Quebec as permanent residents. This program is specifically built to create a more significant amount of skilled workers in Canada.

Quebec has a separate Skilled worker program because the province has a special immigration agreement with the Canadian government. This allows them to choose their rules regarding the admission of immigrants and what criteria said immigrants must fulfill to gain permanent residence in Quebec.

This Quebec immigration program functions broadly similarly to a Provincial Nominee Program. Applicants must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the Quebec immigration authorities and are then evaluated based on a particular set of eligibility criteria to determine how much of a positive they would be to the province. 

Much like the Express Entry System, the criteria are scored to give applicants their eligibility score. Those with the highest scores are generally deemed best for integration into Quebec.

If an applicant is deemed best for integration, they will receive a Certificat de Sélection du Québec (CSQ) or Quebec Selection Certificate. Once they receive their CSQ, they must apply for permanent residence in Canada via Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Once their application is approved, they will receive their permanent residency.

Like the Express Entry system, the processing time for this program is approximately 6 months. After that, you can live and work in Quebec.

However, to be accepted into this program, you must be eligible. Therefore, the QSWP has a stringent set of eligibility criteria that you must adhere to.

What are the QSWP Eligibility Criteria?

What are the QSWP Eligibility criteria?

The QSWP assesses applicants on numerous criteria, which helps to determine how much an applicant can contribute to the economy and culture of Quebec. The primary criteria applicants are evaluated on are broadly similar to those of the Federal skilled worker program. In addition, applicants are assessed on the following:

Education Levels

As this program is specifically for skilled workers in Canada, applicants must be educated over a certain level to be admitted to this program. Your level of education also helps to increase your score as follows:

Qualification Points
Doctorate 14
Master's degree 12
Undergraduate degree (full-time for 3+ years) 10
Technical postsecondary school diploma in section A or B training area ( 3 years) 10
Technical postsecondary school diploma in section A or B training area (1 or 2 years) 10
Technical postsecondary school diploma (full-time for 3 years) 8
Undergraduate degree (full-time for 2+ years) 6
Technical postsecondary school diploma (full-time for 2 years) 6
Technical postsecondary school diploma (full-time for 1 year) 6
Vocational high school diploma 6
General postsecondary school diploma (full-time for 2 years) 4
Undergraduate degree (full-time for 1+ years) 4
General high school diploma 2

What also massively affects your points on the QSWP is your Areas of Training. The areas of training award point to those whose qualifications are in the highest demand in Quebec. They are separated into several sections. Each section is given specific points based on the province's need for those skills. They are as follows:

Section: Points
Section A 12
Section B 9
Section C 6
Section D 2
Section E 0
Section F 0
Section G 0

You can find out which jobs fall under which section and how many points your position can get you at the Quebec Provincial Website.

Age

Throughout Canada, immigration officials prefer to give permanent residence or visas to those with many years of work ahead of them. As a result, there is an age scale where points are awarded to applicants between 18 and 43. The points awarded in the age category are as follows:

Age Points
18 to 35 16
36 14
37 12
38 10
39 8
40 6
41 4
42 2
43+ 0

Language proficiency

Quebec is Canada's central French-speaking province, so you'll need to speak French or English to assimilate correctly. As a result, the Quebec immigration authorities have incorporated a language proficiency element into their scoring system for new immigrants. Each score is based on your development in one of the Quebecois government-approved tests. 

As the vast majority of people in Quebec are French speakers, most tests are for French speakers, and more points are given to those with French language proficiency. The Quebec immigration authorities approves tests from the Centre international d’études pédagogiques (CIEP), Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris Île-de-France (CCIP-IDF), and International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The approved tests for the QSWP are as follows:

French Tests:

  • CIEP: Test de connaissance du français (TCF)
  • CIEP: Test de connaissance du français pour le Québec (TCFQ)
  • CIEP: Diplôme approfondi de langue française (DALF)
  • CIEP: Diplôme d’études en langue française (DELF)
  • CCIP-IDF: Test d’évaluation du français (TEF)
  • CCIP-IDF: Test d’évaluation du français adapté pour le Québec (TEFAQ)
  • CCIP-IDF: Test d’évaluation du français pour le Canada (TEF Canada)

English Tests:

The way the points system is broken down is as follows:

  • Reading
    • A1 Low Beginner (0 points)
    • A2 High Beginner (0 points)
    • B1 Low Intermediate (0 points)
    • B2 High Intermediate (1 point)
    • C1 Advanced (1 point)
    • C2 Advanced (1 point)
  • Writing
    • A1 Low Beginner (0 points)
    • A2 High Beginner (0 points)
    • B1 Low Intermediate (0 points)
    • B2 High Intermediate (1 point)
    • C1 Advanced (1 point)
    • C2 Advanced (1 point)
  • Listening
    • A1 Low Beginner (0 points)
    • A2 High Beginner (0 points)
    • B1 Low Intermediate (0 points)
    • B2 High Intermediate (5 points)
    • C1 Advanced (6 points)
    • C2 Advanced (7 points)
  • Speaking
    • A1 Low Beginner (0 points)
    • A2 High Beginner (0 points)
    • B1 Low Intermediate (0 points)
    • B2 High Intermediate (5 points)
    • C1 Advanced (6 points)
    • C2 Advanced (7 points)

Work Experience

Quebec Work Experience

How experienced you are in your specific occupation also greatly affects how your application is processed. The Quebec immigration authorities value work experience in the following way:

Years of Work Experience Points
4< 8
3-4 6
2-3 6
1-2 4
0.5-1 4
>0.5 0

Marital Status

The Government of Canada and the provincial government of Quebec prefer foreign nationals to immigrate with their spouses and families. This maintains immigrant retention, as families prefer to stay in a particular place. In this case, the Quebec immigration authorities will also evaluate your spouse's education, area of training, age and language proficiency along with yours. An eligible spouse with you can add up to 17 points to your final score.

If you have children, they can add up to another 8 points to your final score.

Quebec Connection

One of the major defining factors in your eligibility is having prior connections to Quebec. These prior connections refer specifically to whether or not you've had past visits to Quebec and whether or not you have family living in Quebec. In addition, the Quebec authorities evaluate your familial links to Quebec based on your closeness to that relative. As a result, the scoring system for family members in Quebec is as follows:

Family Member Points
Spouse 3
Sibling 3
Parent 3
Child 3
Grandparent 3
Uncle or aunt 0
Nephew or Niece 0
Cousin 0

For those who have visited Quebec in the past, the way your past visits are evaluated is as follows:

Visit to Quebec Points
Worked in Quebec for at least 3 months 5
Worked in Quebec for at least 6 months 5
Studied in Quebec for at least 3 months 5
Studied in Quebec for at least 6 months 5
Stayed in Quebec (not for work or school) for more than 2 weeks 1
Stayed in Quebec (not for work or school) for more than 3 months 2
Visited Quebec for less than 2 weeks 0

Valid job offer in Quebec

While having a valid job offer in Quebec isn't mandatory for the QSWP, it can add up to 10 points to your final score. The job offer scoring works as follows:

  • Validated employment offer in the Montreal area - 8 points
  • Validated employment offer outside the Montreal area - 10 points

Here's a checklist to help you ensure your job offer is valid.

Suppose you are still determining whether you fulfill the eligibility criteria or want to have an accurate representation of your score. In that case, it's always a good idea to get the help of an expert. At CanadianVisa.org, we work with a range of highly experienced Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) to help you get through the Canadian immigration process as quickly and efficiently as possible. Our RCICs can help you ensure which program you're most eligible for, how to improve your eligibility and help you validate your credentials to prove your eligibility.

How to Apply for the QSWP

How to apply for QSWP

Applying for the QSWP is a relatively straightforward process. You can break down the process into five simple steps. However, you must follow every step perfectly and do all the research necessary to give you the best chance of gaining permanent residence in Quebec via the QSWP.

Step 1: Create an Online Account

Much like an Express Entry profile, you must create an online account for the QSWP on the Arrima Platform online immigration service. It is here that you will create your Expression of Interest. When you make your EOI, you will enter your selection factors and receive your score. The Government of Quebec will then evaluate your score. If your score is high enough, the Quebec government will present you with a CSQ.

Once you receive your CSQ, you can apply for permanent residence in Canada on the Canadian government site.

Step 2: Fill in the Application Forms.

When you apply for permanent residence in Quebec, you must fill out several application forms. To help you fill them out correctly, the Canadian government will provide you with an instruction manual.

You will have to fill out the following forms on the application portal.

  • Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008) 
  • Schedule A – Background/Declaration (IMM 5669)
  • Additional Family Information (IMM 5406)
  • Supplementary Information - Your travels (IMM 5562)

Once you've completed those forms, you will have to complete the following PDF forms and upload them along with your application:

  • Document Checklist [IMM 5690]
  • Schedule 5: Economic Classes—Declaration of Intent to Reside in Quebec [IMM 0008 Schedule 5]
  • Separation Declaration for Minors Travelling to Canada [IMM 5604], if applicable
  • Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union [IMM 5409], if applicable
  • Use of a Representative [IMM 5476] (if you choose to use a representative like an RCIC)

Step 3: Gather Your Documents

Quebec Skilled Worker Program

Once you've filled out the Canadian government's application forms, you must gather all the necessary documentation to prove your details are valid and correct. The supporting documents you must collect are as follows:

  • Financial self-sufficiency contract
    • You can find this on the Quebec government site.
  • Power of attorney mandate (if using a legal representative)
  • Declaration for practicing a regulated trade or profession (if applicable)
  • Declaration for being a teacher (if applicable)
  • Declaration for having attended Medical School in Canada or USA (if applicable)
  • Copy of valid passport (showing issue date and expiry date)
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Documents proving your marriage status, such as:
    • a marriage certificate (if applicable)
    • the judgment of divorce (if applicable)
    • certificate of the death of a spouse (if applicable)
  • Copy of 2+ civil status documents proving the relationship with your spouse, containing both of your names, like:
    • utility bills
    • shared bank account statements
    • mortgage or lease agreement
  • Copy of valid residence permit if you aren't a citizen of the country you're currently living in (if applicable)
  • Copy of proof of enrollment if you're an international student (if applicable)
  • Copy of letter a from your educational institution showing both the start and end date of your studies(if applicable)
  • The original declaration of parental consent is if a child under 18 years of age will accompany you to Canada without the other parent. (if applicable)
  • Copy of adoption papers for dependent children. (if applicable)
  • Original medical certificate showing that you're in good medical health. (if applicable)
  • Original passport-sized photos of all applicants immigrating to Quebec.
  • Certified copy of all degrees and diplomas, including transcripts. (if applicable)
  • An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) proves the legitimacy of your qualifications.
  • Copy of the official work contract for every job you declared in your Quebec Skilled Worker application.
    • These must be printed on company letterhead and clearly show the length of the job, positions held, tasks performed, and hours worked per week. (if applicable)
  • Copy of internship attestation on company letterhead containing company contact information (if applicable)
  • A certified copy of all internship contracts completed as part of a study program. (if applicable)
  • Copy of documentation showing what work has been done if you're self-employed or a contractor.
  • Copy of your current employment contract. (if applicable)
  • An original or certified copy of the income tax return.
  • Copy of your professional practice permit in Quebec and your authorization to practice a regulated trade in Quebec by a Quebecois regulatory body (if applicable).
  • Copy of a certificate of competence or qualification by a Quebec authority(if applicable)
  • Copy of a French language proficiency test. (if applicable)
  • Copy of an English language proficiency test. (if applicable)
  • Copy of either a Quebec work permit or study permit, proof of exemption, or passport stamps showing you've visited Quebec. (if applicable)
  • Copy of a birth certificate of a family member living in Quebec, as well as their valid Quebec healthcare card and Canadian passport or residency card. (if applicable)

All documents must be valid, up-to-date and certified. Suppose your documents are not up to date. In that case, the Canadian authorities may ask for you to send in the correct ones, further elongating the application process, or if the government of Canada believes you have lied on your application forms, they can reject your application outright.

As there is a huge amount of documents, making sure you get all of them, keep track of them and ensure they're all valid and up to date can be a highly stressful and difficult task. Having a consultant help you through the process can make this far easier and possibly increase your likelihood of success. Our RCICs can help and advise you through the entire application process and even represent you in certain processes.

Step 4: Submit Your Application

Once you've sourced all of your documents, you must upload them along with your application forms to your online profile and submit your application.

You will have 60 days from when you receive your CSQ to submit your application for your application to remain valid.

Step 5: Pay Your Processing Fees

Once you've submitted your application, you need to pay your application processing fees online. The fees you will have to pay are as follows:

Processing Fee CAD
Principal applicant 844
Spouse or common-law partner 181
Each dependent child 181
Right of permanent residence fee 515
Biometrics per person 85
Biometrics per family 170

You may also have to pay further fees for your medical exams, background checks and any use of a representative. You have 30 days after submitting your application to pay your application processing fees. All fees must be in full, in CAD and paid by you personally or a designated third party on your behalf.

After You Apply

After you apply QSWP

After you've completed or submitted your application, it will be sent to Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Intégration, the Quebec immigration office. Once they receive your processing time will be approximately six months.

There are three possible outcomes for your application:

  • Your application has been accepted
    • In this case, you receive your permanent residence card and are allowed to live and work in Quebec.
  • Your application has been refused
    • This is because you are either not eligible for the program or you submitted your documentation too late
    • You can turn this over by submitting documents proving your eligibility within a deadline.
  • Your request has been rejected
    • This will only happen if you have provided false information or inauthentic documentation
    • You must send a letter explaining your actions within a set deadline to overturn this.

FAQs

Quebec Skilled Worker Program

Can you apply to any other provinces via the QSWP?

No. You must apply via the Express Entry system to apply for the other Canadian provinces. However, if you want to go to a specific province, you can massively improve your chances of getting permanent residency by applying through a Provincial Nominee Program.

Can you apply for Canadian citizenship via the QSWP?

No. You must apply for Canadian citizenship, having already lived in Canada as a permanent resident for a prolonged period or having married a Canadian citizen. Find out more about how to become a Canadian citizen here.

Do I need to apply for the QSWP to study in Quebec?

No. To study in Canada, you need a Canadian study permit. Here's a full breakdown of how the Canadian study permit works and how to apply.

Start Your New Life In Quebec

Quebec Skilled Worker Program

Now that you know what it takes to be eligible for the QSWP, it's time to apply. As this is a relatively long, detailed process, it can always help to have an RCIC supporting you and ensuring you can breeze through every step of the application process. An RCIC can give you a complete evaluation, curate your CV to Canadian standards, fill out your forms, help you find which documentation you need, represent you with certain government authorities and provide you with any advice and guidance you may need during your application process.

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