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This article was updated more than 6 months ago. Some information may be outdated.

Quebec's Immigration Ministry has announced the results of the third round of invitations to apply for immigration to Quebec through the Arrima portal issued on August 19.

Candidates whose previous applications for settlement in the province of Quebec were controversially scrapped earlier this year are among those being prioritized for invitation.

Quebec has stated it will prioritize QSW candidates with an Arrima profile who match one of the following criteria:

  • Candidates who had their application for a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) terminated on June 16, 2019, and were a temporary resident of Quebec when they applied;
  • Candidates who had their application for a CSQ terminated on June 16, 2019, and were working or studying in Quebec at that time; or
  • Candidates who have a validated job offer from an employer in Quebec.

In the first three invitation rounds, on July 4, July 17, and August 19, Quebec met this promise:

Quebec Skilled Worker - Draw Results

The Government of Quebec said invitations to apply for a CSQ would be issued by January 16, 2020 to candidates who match one of the first two criteria above and who submit an Expression of Interest prior to December 16, 2019.

In June, 2019, the government of Quebec finally, and controversially, scrapped around 16,000 existing applications that had been submitted before Arrima came into operation. Of these, a number were submitted by applicants who had been residing in Quebec at the time they submitted their application for a CSQ under the now-defunct first-come, first-served system.

While it may be frustrating to have one application for a CSQ scrapped only to be asked to pursue a fresh application for the same thing a few weeks later, this reprieve may nonetheless be a relief for those affected, many of whom also have accompanying family members at workplaces and schools in Quebec.

Other recent changes

Applicants for immigration to Quebec through the Arrima portal will have 60 days to submit their application for a Quebec Selection Certificate, or CSQ, down from the previous 90-day window.

A reduction in the deadline for those invited to apply mirrors a similar change to the federal government’s Express Entry system this time last year. It was one of three measures announced by Quebec immigration authorities on June 26, all of which come into effect immediately:

  • Expressions of Interest (EOIs) currently in the bank of candidates for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program will remain valid for an extra six months.
  • EOIs of candidates who decline an invitation to apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate will remain in the bank of candidates for their full validity period.
  • Applicants have 60 days to apply for a CSQ (outlined above).

What is Arrima for Quebec immigration?

The province of Quebec, home to Canada’s second-largest city, Montreal, adopted the new immigration portal, called Arrima, which first opened for potential applicants for immigration to Quebec in September, 2018.

The new Express Entry-style ‘expression of interest’ (or Déclaration d’intérêt) immigration system is intended for the selection of economic migrants to Quebec, which has a unique immigration selection system, distinct from other provinces and the federal government. Arrima takes the form of an online candidate bank. Candidates for Quebec immigration can register for free. The government of Quebec then issues invitations, and people in the bank selected from the candidate bank can then formally submit their application for immigration to Quebec.

Arrima and the QSWP

The expression of interest system is used for the popular Quebec Skilled Worker Program, a points-based immigration program that has facilitated the entry of many thousands of immigrants to cities and communities across Quebec.

The Quebec Skilled Worker Program is moving from a ‘first-come, first-served’ model to a demand-based model, whereby eligible individuals interested in applying must first enter a pool of candidates. The Government of Quebec will then invite its preferred candidates on a priority basis, using a sliding points threshold in periodic draws from the pool of candidates.

Invitations may also be issued according to other selection criteria. The updated Quebec Immigration Act states that “criterion relating to a foreign national’s ability to successfully stay or settle in Quebec, such as training or a trade or occupation” may determine who receives an invitation. Other criteria may include “a region of destination in Quebec, a country or region affected by a humanitarian crisis or the existence of an international commitment.”

Therefore, though the new expression of interest system looks something like the government of Canada’s Express Entry system, which was first launched in January, 2015, there are significant differences between the two. The new Quebec system is an entirely separate initiative, based on the labour market needs and long-term immigration goals of Quebec. Under the Canada-Quebec Accord, signed in 1991, Quebec holds jurisdiction over economic immigration to the province.

Note that Quebec’s Arrima immigration system is only available in French, though French ability is not an absolute requirement to immigrate to Quebec. Candidates with limited or no French ability may submit a profile.

Visit the Arrima portal / Visitez le portail Arrima

Quebec expression of interest immigration system: Arrima

Step 1: entering the pool

Individuals aged 18 years or older can submit a profile to Quebec’s Expression of Interest pool. Profiles in the pool receive a score based on a range of factors, outlined below. Profiles have to meet the minimum required score of two points in education (secondary school general diploma) and receive the one point awarded for financial self-sufficiency in order to be considered eligible.

The points awarded for certain Quebec Skilled Worker Program selection factors changed slightly in the fall of 2018. Most factors remain unchanged from before, with the exception of the 14 points awarded for a valid job offer, up from the previous ceiling of 10 points. Some sub-factors for previous stays in Quebec and the presence of family members in the province are also weighted differently, though the maximum points available under the factor remains eight, as before.

Quebec Skilled Worker Program selection factorsPoints available
EducationUp to 14 points (minimum 2 points required)
Area of trainingUp to 12 points
Work experienceUp to 8 points
AgeUp to 16 points
Language proficiencyUp to 22 points
Stay and Family in QuebecUp to 8 points
Spouse/common-law partner characteristicsUp to 17 points
Valid job offerUp to 14 points
Presence of accompanying childrenUp to 8 points
Financial self-sufficiency1 point (required)

Single candidates whose profiles satisfy the initial requirements for education and financial self-sufficiency must then meet the required threshold of 43 points, adjudicated according to a group of factors including education and training, work experience, age, language proficiency in French and/or English, previous time spent in Quebec and family in Quebec, and whether or not a valid job offer has been offered to the candidate by an employer in Quebec. Though points are available for a job offer, such an offer is not required in order to be eligible, and the same is true for French ability.

Education and training (maximum 20 points for both, minimum 2 points required for education level)

Education level: up to 14 points

Area of training: up to 12 points

Updates to Quebec’s Areas of Training List, effective as of August 2, 2018 favour candidates with foreign degrees in actuarial science, information management and early childhood education, among others, as well as candidates across a range of disciplines who studied in Quebec.

Areas of Training: Section A

Areas of Training: Section B

Areas of Training: Section C

Areas of Training: Section D

Areas of Training: Section E

Work experience

Work experience: up to 8 points

Age (up to 16 points)

Age

Language proficiency (up to 22 points)

French ability: up to 16 points

English ability: up to 6 points

Stays and family in Quebec (up to 8 points)

Previous stays in Quebec: up to 5 points

Family in Quebec: up to 3 points

Valid job offer: up to 14 points

Valid job offer

The minimum threshold for candidates with a spouse or common-law partner is 52 points. In addition to the factors above, a spouse or partner’s education and training, work experience, and language proficiency is also included.

Spouse/partner education: up to 4 points

Spouse/partner area of training: up to 4 points

Spouse/partner age: up to 3 points

Spouse/partner French ability: up to 6 points

Single candidates who meet the applicable threshold must then satisfy an additional threshold of 50 points (or 59 points with a spouse or partner). This threshold takes into account all the factors outlined above, plus the addition of children and the financial self-sufficiency.

Accompanying children: up to 8 points

Accompanying children

Financial self-sufficiency: 1 point (must be satisfied)

Financial self-sufficiency

Profiles submitted to the Quebec expression of interest system will be valid for up to 12 months.

Step 2: invitation to apply for a CSQ

Candidates drawn from the Quebec expression of interest pool will be invited to apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate (Certificat de sélection du Québec, or CSQ) and would have up to 90 days to submit their complete application. By taking greater control of the number of applications received, the Government of Quebec aims to streamline its internal processes and reduce processing times to less than 12 months.

Step 3: application for Canadian permanent residence

Persons who obtain a CSQ may then apply to the federal government for Canadian permanent residence. The federal government is primarily concerned with an applicant’s medical and criminal admissibility to Canada, and not his or her human capital or economic credentials, which have already been assessed by Quebec.

About the author

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Hugo O'Doherty

He/Him
Canadian Immigration & Integration Specialist
Hugo O’Doherty has over a decade of experience and research in Canadian immigration, establishing him as a recognized authority on immigrant integration and adaptation. His personal and professional experiences with immigration have made him an expert on the practical aspects of successfully moving to and settling in Canada.
Read more about Hugo O'Doherty
Citation "Quebec continues inviting skilled workers to apply for immigration through new ‘Arrima’ system." Moving2Canada. . Copy for Citation

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