The Québec Government has introduced a new program to encourage foreign workers and international students completing a program of post secondary studies to permanently remain in the province.
The Québec Experience Program (PEQ) is a new simplified process leading to permanent residence for two categories of applicants. The program allows temporary foreign workers and international students to apply for permanent residence from within Québec after completing a period of qualified work or approved studies.
Québec Experience Program for Students:
For students to be eligible, they must have studied in Québec and are at the advanced stages of obtaining one of the following types of diplomas:
Diplôme d’Études Professionelles (DEP – Diploma of Vocational Studies) involving 1’800 hours of study;
DEP and an Attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (AVS – Attestation of Vocational Specialization) totaling 1,800 hours;
Diplôme d’Études Collégiales, formation technique (DEC – Diploma of College Studies, technical training);
Master’s degree; or
The diploma or degree must be granted by a university or by a public education institution located in Québec and recognized by the government. In addition, the international student must possess an intermediate knowledge of oral French. The student can prove his knowledge of French by one of the following:
Completed one of the above programs in French;
Studied in French on a full-time basis for at least two years in a secondary or post-secondary educational institution;
Completed an intermediate-level French course given in Québec;
Passed a recognized standardized French test such as (Test d’Evaluation Français) (TEF); or
Satisfied the language requirements of a professional Order in Québec.
Students may submit their application for permanent residence from within Québec six months before completing their program of study. The Certificat de Sélection du Québec (CSQ) is issued to the student upon confirmation of successful completion of an approved program of study.
Québec Experience Program for Temporary Workers:
To qualify under the PEQ, the applicant must be residing temporarily in Québec as a temporary foreign worker or as a participant in an approved work holiday program.
The applicant must have been employed full-time in Québec at a technical, professional or managerial level for a period of 12 months in the 24 months that precede the submission of the application. The 12-month period need not be continuous and can be accumulated with more than one employer. The applicant must have been employed in an occupation with a skill level higher than “C” under the National Occupational Classification system (NOC).
In Québec, full-time employment constitutes a minimum of 30 hours of paid work per week. Time spent as a self-employed can be used to qualify for the 12-month requirement. However, part-time work is not eligible under the PEQ.
At the time of submission of the application, the temporary foreign worker must be employed full-time and must be in full compliance with the visa conditions of a temporary foreign worker.
The temporary foreign worker must also possess an intermediate knowledge of oral French. To prove French language abilities, the applicant may choose from among one the options described above.
Under the PEQ program, there is no selection interview. Selection decisions are made solely from the information and documentary evidence submitted on file. It is anticipated that processing delays will conclude in approximately 1-2 months to issuance of a CSQ. Once issued, the applicant would apply for permanent residence through an appropriate federal immigration office to conclude health, security and related matters.