Immigration to Quebec: There is a program called the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) that can help people who have studied or worked in Quebec and want to live there forever. The goal of this fast-track program for moving to Canada is to handle applications within six months.
The Quebec Experience Program (Programme de l’expérience québécoise, or PEQ) expedites the process for foreign graduates and individuals with work experience in Quebec to obtain a Quebec selection certificate—a federally-granted prerequisite for permanent residency.
The Quebec-Canada Agreement, which has been in place since April 1991 and lets Quebec choose its economic immigrants in the skilled worker group, makes Quebec’s case different from those of other Canadian provinces.
The Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) created the PEQ so that Quebec society could benefit from the work of people who had been here for a while, knew and shared Quebec’s values, and were already well placed in society.
The government wants to meet its immigration goals and improve Quebec’s difficult demographic situation by making it easier for businesses to hire young people who have graduated from Quebec schools and foreigners who are already living in Quebec.
More than 70,000 temporary residents have been given selection certificates by the program since it began in 2010 and run through 2019. The fall 2019 redesign of the program was initiated by the Quebec government in response to its significant popularity, which has seen PEQ applicants receive 86 percent of all selection certificates in Quebec.
The change was meant to make the PEQ more responsive to the needs of the job market and to better distribute candidates across immigration programs.
The PEQ is a great way to move to Canada for people who speak French well and have legal work experience in Quebec. One of the best things about this program is that applications are processed within six months, which is a lot faster than other programs like the Quebec Regular Skilled Worker Program (QSWP).
How does the PEQ work with the immigration process?
The Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) has two categories that you can apply for, depending on your situation:
- Quebec Graduates
- Temporary Foreign Workers
Starting in January 2021, applicants who want to be PEQ candidates will have to use the Arrima portal to send in their application, pay the fee, and upload the necessary papers. Applications on paper are no longer being accepted. People who sent in their application by mail before January 26, 2021, however, will not be able to use Arrima to check on their file or make changes to their application.
Here are the steps you need to take to send an application to the PEQ:
Step 1: Choose and complete the application form that best describes your situation from the two available permanent selection forms.
Step 2: Get the supporting documents that are asked for on the application form ready.
Step 3: Make an account on the Arrima portal.
Step 4: Use Arrima to submit the complete application package for permanent selection.
Step 5: Pay the fees so that your application can be processed.
It will take the Ministère de l’Immigration du Québec six months to handle all full applications. This time period starts when the full application, fees, and supporting papers are received.
Eligibility Requirements for Temporary Foreign Workers
- Demonstrate intent to reside in Quebec for employment purposes. The following requirements must be met: employment in a sector that is ineligible;
- Temporary stay in Quebec for work purposes;
- Full-time work experience in Quebec for a minimum of 24 months during the 36 months prior to application submission in a 0, A, or B level position;
- Possess legal status in Quebec as a temporary worker or participant in an International Co-op Internship or Working Holiday, Young Professionals, or International Experience Canada (IEC) youth exchange program.
- Possess valid legal status in Quebec at the moment of application.
- Possess a level 7 proficiency in spoken French as defined by the Quebec scale of French Proficiency levels; or
- present a final transcript attesting to the successful completion of a minimum of three years of full-time secondary or post-secondary study entirely in French (including master’s and doctoral theses, if applicable); or
- demonstrate that the individual has fulfilled the French language prerequisites of the professional organization that regulates their occupation in France.
- Spouses of primary applicants as defined by the PEQ are required to exhibit spoken French proficiency equivalent to a level 4 on the Quebec scale of French proficiency levels.
Full-time work experience for the PEQ
The MIFI says that full-time work is at least 30 hours of paid work per week. This work experience must have been properly gained in a National Occupation Classification (NOC) category 0, A, B1, 2, or 3 job.People who met all the standards for the PEQ may be able to use full-time work experience they got as an international student on a Post-Graduation Work Permit or through the Youth Exchange/International Experience Canada (IEC) Program. Under the PEQ, MIFI will not look at any time spent working part-time, for yourself, or as a business.
Eligibility Criteria for Quebec Graduates
Under the PEQ, foreign students who have studied in Quebec may be able to apply for a CSQ if:
- show that you want to live and work in Quebec. Work can’t be in an unsuitable field;
- you must have studied in Quebec for at least half of your program’s length; and
- you must have studied in Quebec for at least 1,800 hours (two years).
- must have earned an eligible degree or diploma from a school recognized by the Quebec Ministry of Education within the last 36 months;
- be legally present in Quebec at the time of application;
- show they can support themselves financially;
- hold a Masters, Bachelors, or DEC diploma and have 12 months of work experience in a 0–B level job and be working in that level job at the time of application;
- hold a DEP and have 18 months of work experience in a 0–B level job Please keep in mind that work at the C level has to be linked to the degree
Take note that up to three months of work experience gained during required jobs will be counted.
- It is required that principal applicants have spoken French skills at a level 7 and written French skills at least at a level 5 on the Quebec scale of French proficiency levels.
- Spouses of principal applicants under the PEQ must have spoken French skills at a level 4 on the Quebec scale of French proficiency levels.
These requirements will take effect on November 23, 2024.
- The program’s main applicants must show either a final transcript showing that they completed at least three years of full-time secondary or post-secondary schooling in French, including any master’s or doctoral theses; or
- A final transcript showing that they completed an eligible study program in Québec in French, including any master’s or doctoral theses.
- PEQ is a fast-track immigration program for individuals who have studied or worked in Quebec.
- PEQ has two categories: one for Quebec Graduates and another for Temporary Foreign Workers.
- The program, initiated in 2010, has gained popularity, issuing over 70,000 selection certificates by 2019, leading to a redesign in fall 2019 to better align with the job market.
- The PEQ is unique under the Quebec-Canada Agreement.
- It allows Quebec to select its economic immigrants.
- Language proficiency is a key requirement, with French skills at level 7.
- The PEQ application process involves using the Arrima portal.
- The Ministry of Immigration aiming to process applications within six months.
- New language requirements took effect on November 23, 2024.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Immigration to Quebec:
Q1. What is the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ)?
Answer: The PEQ, or Programme de l’expérience québécoise, is a fast-track immigration program designed for individuals who have studied or worked in Quebec and wish to obtain permanent residency in Canada.
Q2. What is the goal of the PEQ?
Answer: The primary goal of the PEQ is to expedite the immigration process for foreign graduates and individuals with work experience in Quebec. The program aims to issue Quebec selection certificates within six months.
Q3. How does the PEQ differ from other Canadian immigration programs?
Answer: Quebec, under the Quebec-Canada Agreement, has the authority to choose its economic immigrants. The PEQ caters specifically to individuals with ties to Quebec, making it distinct from programs in other Canadian provinces.
Q4. Who created the PEQ, and what is its purpose?
Answer: The PEQ was created by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) to allow Quebec to benefit from the contributions of individuals who have been in the province, share its values, and are well-integrated into society.
Q5. How popular is the PEQ, and why was it redesigned in 2019?
Answer: The PEQ has been highly popular, with over 70,000 temporary residents receiving selection certificates since 2010. The 2019 redesign aimed to make the program more responsive to the job market and distribute candidates more evenly across immigration programs.
Q6. What are the eligibility requirements for Temporary Foreign Workers under the PEQ?
Answer: Temporary Foreign Workers in Quebec can apply for a CSQ under the PEQ if they have worked full-time in Quebec for at least 24 of the last 36 months, possess legal status in Quebec, and demonstrate a desire to stay in Quebec and maintain their job.
Q7. What are the language requirements for PEQ applicants?
Answer: PEQ applicants must either demonstrate French proficiency at level 7 on the Quebec scale, complete at least three years of full-time schooling in French, or meet the French language requirements of their professional order. Spouses must also meet language requirements.
Q8. How does the PEQ process work, and how long does it take?
Answer: Applicants must choose the appropriate application form, gather supporting documents, create an account on the Arrima portal, submit the application, and pay the required fees. The MIFI aims to process full applications within six months.
Q9. What are the eligibility criteria for Quebec Graduates under the PEQ?
Answer: Foreign students who have studied in Quebec can apply for a CSQ if they plan to stay in Quebec, obtain a job, and have studied for at least 1,800 hours within the last 36 months. They must also meet language requirements and demonstrate financial self-sufficiency.
Q10. When did the new language requirements for PEQ applicants take effect?
Answer: The new language requirements for PEQ applicants, including a level 7 French proficiency for principal applicants, took effect on November 23, 2024.