Quebec Announces Express Entry-Style Economic Immigration Intake System

The Government of Quebec unveiled plans today for a new Expression of Interest system modelled on the federal Express Entry system. The new Expression of Interest (Déclaration d’intérêt) system will manage candidate profiles for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP). Quebec’s Immigration Ministry, the Ministère de l’Immigration, et de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI), has made no secret of its intention to create its own version of Express Entry following the introduction of Canada’s federal economic immigration management system in January 2015. Quebec’s immigration system is unique and the province has significant autonomy in creating its programs. The Expression of Interest system will replace the first-come, first-served application process for the QSWP and its problem-plagued Mon Projet Quebec application portal. That portal will continue to receive applications from cap-exempt QSWP candidates with an employment offer and temporary residents of Quebec until the Expression of Interest system is in place. Similar Concept to Federal Express Entry system Like Express Entry, interested candidates, who are eligible for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program, would have to submit an Expression of Interest as a first step. Also similar to the Federal Express Entry system is the fact a profile will be valid for 12 months. It is expected that after entering Quebec’s Expression of Interest pool, a candidate would receive another score based on a ranking system that determines their position in the pool, much like Express Entry’s Comprehensive Ranking Systems (CRS). Under the Federal Express Entry system, a candidate’s ranking score is determined by points awarded for factors such as employment, education, language skills, age, as well as additional factors. It is expected that Quebec will have a unique points-system that operates in a similar way. Candidates would be drawn from the Expression of Interest pool through invitation rounds during which a specified number of candidates who meet or exceed a specified cut-off score would be issued invitations to apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate (Certificat de sélection du Québec, or CSQ) Those issued an invitation to apply will have 90 days to submit a complete application for CSQ. Applicants who receive a CSQ from Quebec can then apply to the Government of Canada for permanent residence. More details about this system, including the ranking system and exact start date, are expected to be announced in the near future. “It’s exciting to see that Quebec is finally moving forward with its plans to revamp the intake system for skilled workers. “It will be very interesting to see exactly how ranking points will be assigned under the new system, not to mention how Quebec will conduct draws from the Expression of Interest pool.” Quebec Immigration - Expression of Interest System Quebec's immigration ministry, the Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Diversité et de l'Inclusion (MIDI), may introduce a new Express Entry-style application intake system called the Déclaration d’intérêt to help facilitate permanent immigration applications under the Quebec Skilled Worker Program. The new system would replace the current first-come, the first-served application process for the non-cap exempt candidates under the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP). Until the new system comes into effect, candidates who are considered cap-exempt can continue to submit their applications for a CSQ through the Mon project Quebec application portal. The process of applying under the Quebec Skilled Worker program, or what the government calls the Regular Skilled Worker Program, would include the following steps for candidates who are not cap-exempt: 1. Submission of an Expression of Interest to settle in Québec 2. Invitation to apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate (Certificat de sélection du Québec, or CSQ) 3. Application for a Quebec Selection Certificate Declaration of Interest System Selection Criteria After the initial step of submitting an Expression of Interest to the province, an individual would be entered into an Expression of Interest pool. The province is expected to conduct invitations based on a specified cut-off score. An Expression of Interest profile would remain valid for 12 months. Once invited, a candidate can take the next step of applying for a CSQ. While Quebec has not released detailed on the points breakdown, candidates in the Expression of Interest pool would be assessed based on the following criteria below. Factors Educational training Work experience Age Language proficiency Stay and Family in Quebec Spouse/common-law partner Characteristics Presence of accompanying children Valid job offer Financial self-sufficiency Quebec Immigration: Quebec Selection Certificate For individuals and families wishing to immigrate to the province Quebec through an economic program, the first step is to obtain a Quebec Selection Certificate/Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ). The CSQ is a document issued by the Ministère de l’immigration, de la diversité et de l’inclusion (Ministry of Immigration, Diversity, and Inclusion, or MIDI) declaring that the holder has been selected to settle in Quebec. With a CSQ, the applicant can submit an application for Canadian permanent residence to the federal immigration authorities. Quebec can select immigrants according to its own criteria, but it cannot grant applicants a permanent residence visa. Therefore, the CSQ is not a permanent residence visa, nor can it be utilized for entry into Canada. Quebec’s immigration programs Candidates wishing to immigrate to Quebec through an economic program may apply for a CSQ through one of the Quebec programs. Each program has particular eligibility criteria that a potential applicant must meet in order to receive a CSQ. These criteria are based on factors that may include the individual’s civil status, work history, education history, language knowledge, family information, experience in Quebec, and financial assets. Once a potential applicant believes that he or she is eligible for a particular program, he or she may submit an application for a CSQ to the MIDI. However, Quebec only receives applications for certain programs during designated intake periods. Depending on the program, the potential applicant may have to await the opening of an intake period in order to submit an application. The federal application stage After obtaining a CSQ, the applicant may then submit a separate application for permanent residence to the Canadian federal immigration authorities. At this stage, as the applicant has already been selected for immigration by Quebec, the federal immigration authorities focus on criminal and medical background checks. Police clearance certificates and medical examination results are required at the federal application stage. The federal immigration authorities also review the applicant’s travel history and may ask for additional documentation to verify any of the information claimed in the application for CSQ. In some cases, an applicant may be called to interview. Working in Quebec with a CSQ Individuals in possession of a valid CSQ may work in Quebec without needing to secure a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for the position.

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