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Quebec Announces Significant Changes to Quebec Experience Program

The Quebec government has announced several changes to the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) stream for graduates and temporary foreign workers.
Under the changes, effective November 1, 2019, candidates qualify for permanent residence based on their field of study and the occupation they hold.
For the Quebec Graduate stream, this means the field of study must be included in newly created areas of training list.

Candidates for the Temporary Foreign Worker stream must be in occupations on a newly created jobs in-demand list.
Each region of Quebec will have its list of jobs in demand, according to Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette.
“To better meet Quebec’s needs, we are announcing today a modernization of the Quebec Experience Program,” he said.

Further changes to the Quebec Graduate stream see candidates who have completed a college program or 900 hours or more of professional training in addition to the current 1,800 hours of training become eligible for the program.

Graduates who have completed more than 900 hours of training, but less than 1,800 hours, must have six months of work experience in their field.

This choice is motivated because these candidates can meet a current need of the labor market,” Jolin-Barrette said.

The last change, to be implemented from January 1, 2020, sees spouses and common-law partners required to have advanced intermediate knowledge of spoken French.

Quebec Experience Program: Quebec Graduates

1) Quebec diplomas admissible under the PEQ are:

  • Bachelor’s Degree (undergraduate university degree).
  • Master’s Degree.
  • Doctorate (Ph.D.).
  • Diploma of College Studies – Technical.
  • Vocational Diploma, with or without attestation of vocational specialization, obtained consecutively, attesting to a minimum of 900 hours of study.
  • Attestation of Vocational Specialization attesting to a minimum of 900 hours of training.
  • Attestation of College Studies attesting to a minimum of 900 hours of study.

2) Other qualification requirements

  • Only qualifications included in the areas of training list for the PEQ: Quebec Graduates are eligible.
  • Candidates must have completed a minimum of 900 hours of full-time study in Quebec or; if their qualification attests to more than 1,800 hours of study, they must have lived in Quebec for at least half of the program duration.
  • For programs of 900 hours to less than 1,800 hours, candidates must have six months of full-time work experience in Quebec, acquired after their study program and in their area of training.

Quebec Experience Program: Temporary Foreign Workers

To be eligible for the PEQ: Temporary Foreign Workers, candidates must:

  1. Hold a job on the jobs in demand list for PEQ: workers component.
  2. Have held the employment:
    • For at least 12 months in the preceding 24 months if the employment is in National Occupational Classification 0, A or B.
    • For at least 18 months in the preceding 24 months if the employment is in National Occupational Classification C or D.
  3. For regulated professions, meet employment requirements stipulated in the NOC and specific conditions in the job offer.

The job holder must not be:

  1. In an ineligible field, namely: 
    • Loans on salaries.
    • Cheque cashing or pawnbroking.
    • Production, distribution, sale of pornography or sexually explicit products or services related to the sex industry such as nude or erotic dancing, escort services or erotic massages.
  2. In the form of self-employment or for a company controlled by the candidate in any way.

Language Requirements For Both Streams

Effective January 1, 2020, French competency can be proven by:

  1. The result of a standardized test.
  2. Fulfillment of the language requirements of a professional order in Quebec.
  3. Successful completion of at least three years of secondary or post-secondary study conducted entirely in French.

Also, effective January 1, 2020, spouses or common-law partners included in the application must demonstrate advanced intermediate knowledge of spoken French (level 7 or 8 on the Quebec Scale of French Proficiency Levels for Adult Immigrants).

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