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.
Immigration category Sub-category 2020 2021 2022 Total immigration 41,500-44,500> 44,500-47,500 49,500-52,500 Economic Skilled workers 20,600-21,900 22,900-24,200 27,400-28,800 Business immigrants 3,300-3,600 4,000-4,300 4,000-4,300 Other economic immigrants 600-800 600-800 600-800 Total economic 24,500-26,300 27,500-29,300 32,000-33,900 Family reunification All family reunification 9,700-10,200 9,700-10,200 10,200-10,600 Refugees Selected abroad 4,400-4,700 4,400-4,700 4,400-4,700 Recognized locally 2,500-2,800 2,500-2,800 2,500-2,800 Total refugees 6,900-7,500 6,900-7,500 6,900-7,500 Other immigrants 400-500 400-500 400-500 Total selected by QC 71% 73% 74% Total proportion from economic immigration 59% 62% 65%