June 10, 2019
By Dane Stewart
The Canadian province of Quebec has announced plans to alter its immigration policies, vowing to increase immigration levels over the coming years.
The new Quebec immigration plan, detailed in a document tabled at the Quebec National Assembly on June 7, 2019, reveals that Quebec will increase levels from the 2019 target of 38,000-42,000 new immigrants, to a maximum target of 52,500 by 2022.
It has been a tumultuous year for immigration policy in Quebec. Following the election of the Coalition Avenir Québec government in October 2018, the province announced it would be cutting immigration levels by 20 percent, a decision criticized by many economists, business owners, and opposition parties who view immigrants as an essential means of filling open job positions.
In February 2019, the CAQ faced further criticism when it announced plans to overhaul the popular Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW) program by cancelling a backlog of 18,000 applications that were in processing. After a legal challenge, the government was forced to back down from those plans and has since resumed the processing of those applications.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding Quebec’s immigration policy, the province has been experiencing an undeniable economic boom, with a low unemployment rate and jobs available across the province. The strength of the Quebec economy is such that many employers have been struggling to find workers to fill all of their job vacancies.
More workers wanted
The new Quebec immigration levels plan for 2020-2022 appears to respond directly to Quebec’s economic situation, not just increasing the overall number of immigrants, but increasing the proportion of economic immigrants admitted, from 59 percent of total Quebec immigrants in 2020 to 65 percent in 2022. Quebec will also continue to welcome newcomers through a range of family reunification and refugee programs.
|Other economic immigrants||600-800||600-800||600-800|
|Family reunification||All family reunification||9,700-10,200||9,700-10,200||10,200-10,600|
|Total selected by QC||71%||73%||74%|
|Total proportion from economic immigration||59%||62%||65%|
Quebec’s economic immigration programs
Overseas workers interested in immigrating to Quebec should keep a close eye on the Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW) program, which was redesigned in August 2018 with the aim of selecting workers who were the right fit to quickly fill open job positions in the province. The QSW program now uses a points-based selection system called Arrima to find those candidates best suited for Quebec.
Young, well-educated candidates with high language proficiency and education in in-demand areas may find success through the QSW program, especially as the government increases quotas in the years to come. Notably, the QSW program does not require candidates to speak French, though those with French-language proficiency will receive additional points.
The Quebec Experience Program is ideal for candidates who have worked or studied in Quebec. The program requires advanced-intermediate levels of French-language proficiency, so interested candidates should be sure to brush up on their French while living in Quebec.
Finally, for experienced business owners and investors, Quebec offers three business immigration programs: the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program, the Quebec Entrepreneur Program, and the Quebec Self-Employed Program.
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June 10, 2019
By Dane Stewart
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