Canada immigration: Easiest route in?

Immigration to the Canadian province of Quebec is to become easier with the lowering of the requirement standards.

The government of Quebec announced last week that the pass mark to be eligible for application has been lowered.

At the same time, the adaptability requirement, pertaining to the capability of the applicant to adapt to life in Quebec based on factors such as knowledge of the local labour market, and language and general knowledge about the province, has been removed altogether.

How it works

The province of Quebec runs its own Quebec Skilled Workers Programme (QSWP), a programme similar to its federal equivalent but considered to be more lenient in terms of criteria.

The programme uses a point-based system, where a minimum threshold applies in order to obtain a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ).

With the new threshold, a single applicant must score at least 49 points, while an applicant with a spouse or common-law partner must score at least 57 points.

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. Area of training can be allocated 6-16 points.

Specifying which occupations are in demand, the Canadian province requires candidates to have qualifications in one of the training fields on the list. The area of training list has been amended for this year’s cycle.

Individuals who have degrees in areas such as computer science, computer engineering, accounting, translation, and banking and financial operations will be awarded significantly more points than was previously the case.

When to apply?

The most recent application cycle started on April 1, 2014, and lasted till March 31 this year. A new application intake date has not been announced so far, but is expected to take place sometime before the end of the year.

In the last round, the cap of 6,500 was filled within four month. In the meantime, with a first come, first serve system, applicants are advised to have their applications ready and submit their files as soon as the application cycle is announced.

Applications will only be accepted during such cycle, unless the applicant has a job offer at hand.

This year, 6,300 applications will be accepted, a reduction compared to the previous years; the application cycle starting in 2013 offered a chance to 20,000 applicants.

This only increases the pressure on applicants to act fast. Watch this space to be up to date regarding the new application cycle.

How to increase your chances?

Although a first come, first serve system applies, there are ways to increase the chances of being accepted for immigration to Quebec.

An applicant can submit a file through the Federal Express Entry system simultaneously, advised the Government of Quebec.

The Express Entry system allows the selection of candidates based on eligibility, favouring those with the highest number of points. The Government of Quebec, or employers in the province may select candidates from the Express Entry system at any point in time.

According to the governments of Quebec and Canada, candidates can apply through both systems as long as they withdraw one when an invitation to apply is issued on either the federal, or the provincial level.

Allocation of points


Up to 14 points (Cutoff Score = 2 points)

Area of Training

Up to 16 points

Validated Employment Offer

Up to 10 points

Work Experience

Up to 8 points


Up to 16 points

Language Proficiency

Up to 22 points

Stay and Family in Quebec

Up to 8 points

Spouse/Common-law partner Characteristics

Up to 17 points


Up to 8 points

Financial Self-Sufficiency

1 point

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