While immigration to Canada has seen a major change on the federal level, Quebec continues to offer possibilities of moving to the country through its own programmes, which in all likelihood will see a renewed intake boost this summer.
Two programmes characterise the immigration stream to Quebec; the Quebec Skilled Workers Programme (QSWP) and the Quebec Investor Programme (QIP). While most applications will be accepted through the first programme, the intake date has not been announced just yet.
Quebec Skilled Workers Programme (QSWP)
The QSWP is the most general immigration stream and comparable to the Federal Skilled Worker Programme. However, more lenient criteria are applied in the province and it is therefore a popular option for aspirant immigrants to the country.
The most recent application cycle started on April 1, 2014, and lasted till March 31 this year. However, the application cap of 6,500 was filled within four months, and a new application intake date has not been announced so far. Expectations are that the programme will be re-opened this summer.
In the meantime, the province has announced changes regarding the new application cycle. This year, 6,300 applications will be accepted, a further reduction compared to the previous years; the application cycle starting in 2013 offered a chance to 20,000 applicants.
The area of training list has been amended for this year’s cycle too. Specifying which occupations are in demand, the Canadian province requires candidates to have qualifications in one of the training fields on the list.
With the new list, 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.
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. Area of training can be allocated 6-16 points.
Quebec Investor Programme (QIP)
The more limited QIP is tailored to encourage wealthy immigrants to invest and settle in the province of Quebec. The programme only suits a limited number of individuals, but application intake is highly contested every year.
The government of Quebec has announced that the intake period for applications will be from August 31, 2015 to January 29, 2016.
There will be a maximum of 1,750 applications accepted for processing, with no more than 1,200 applications accepted from any one country.
Although the intake cap remains the same, the application cycle has been increased in length. Traditionally, the programme offers applicants a month to submit their application. In order to facilitate applicants who require more time, the cycle was extended to include almost three months earlier this year.
An applicant must have, alone or with his accompanying spouse, a net asset worth of at least CAD1.6 million.
An agreement must be signed to invest CAD800,000 with a financial intermediary authorised to participate in the Investor Program, and the applicant must have acquired a minimum of two years’ management experience in the past five years.