Immigration to Canada through the Skilled Workers Programme of the French province of Quebec is still an option, but only till the end of March.
By the end of this month, this year’s programme will close its doors without further due.
Quebec is the only Canadian province authorised to fully run its own immigration agenda.
It has its own selection grid, and is able to grant residency to applicants of their preference.
Compared to the Federal Skilled Workers Programme (FSWP), Quebec applies relatively lenient selection criteria for their intake of skilled workers and up till now the intake cap has been reached.
However, the deadline of the Quebec Skilled Workers Programme is approaching (March 31) and nobody knows if and when it will be re-opened.
How the programme works:
Quebec applies a point-based system, in which considerable emphasis is placed on language.
An applicant can receive a maximum of 22 points for language.
Up to 16 points can be awarded for French proficiency, and up to 6 for English.
Furthermore, the applicant must have qualifications in one of the 114 professions on the Areas of Training List, which was last updated in August 2013.
On the new list 146 occupations are mentioned, which emphasis on occupations in the field of nursing and engineering.
When the province highly requires work force in one field, more points will be awarded for relating qualifications.
Area of training can be allocated 6-16 points.
Although the Government of Quebec has implemented an intake cap of 20,000, only 6000 applicants had been accepted by the end of 2013.
Now a couple of weeks before the deadline applications are still accepted.
What is next?
As the programme has been prone to changes, nobody dares to say with certainty whether the programme will be extended.
After the last deadline in July 2013 the programme was effortlessly extended.
At the same time, the programme criteria were changed twice in one year.
According to the latest reports, there are plans to bring the province’s skilled worker program in line with proposed federal immigration changes, which would set forth an ‘Expression of Interest’ system.
This system, which is already in place in Australia and New Zealand, would enable potential immigrants to declare their interest in immigrating to the province.
The Quebec government would then select the most qualified applicants and invite them to apply for permanent residency through the skilled workers programme.
The federal government has already announced its plans to transition its popular Federal Skilled Worker Programme to an Expression of Interest system by 2015.