Following extensive consultation, including stakeholders from the economic, union, education and youth sectors, the Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration, Mr. Simon Jolin-Barrette presented a reform of the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ). This is an important milestone in the modernization of the immigration system started since October 2018.
The changes announced today have four objectives:
Better integration into the labor market
A more efficient selection to meet the needs of the labor market
A competence in French which facilitates integration
Reinforced program integrity
Increased work experience
To promote better integration, in French, of immigrants into Quebec society and to ensure that they meet the needs of the labor market, the Government of Quebec will rely on increased work experience under the Program of the Quebec experience.
Temporary foreign worker
Temporary foreign workers will now have to accumulate 36 months of full-time work experience during the 48 months preceding their request for permanent selection. A transitional measure has been provided for all temporary foreign workers with a valid work permit before the coming into force expected in the coming weeks of the new regulation.
Full-time work experience of 12 or 24 months will now be required for foreign graduate students wishing to submit a permanent selection request to the PEQ. Those who hold a valid post-diploma work permit before the entry into force of the regulation may submit their request in the Temporary foreign worker section if they meet the conditions to benefit from the transitional measure provided.
Knowledge of French for spouses
Learning French is one of the main vectors for promoting the successful integration of immigrants both in the job market and in Quebec society. Thus, the spouses of the principal applicants must demonstrate a knowledge of oral French of level 4. This level makes it easier to integrate into Quebec society and into the Quebec job market. It is also the level of French required to obtain Canadian citizenship. This measure will only come into force in a year.
The certificate of success of an advanced intermediate level French course offered in Quebec by an educational institution will no longer be admissible as proof of knowledge of French. This plea had raised important questions and irregularities had been noted. Indeed, checks with the candidates revealed that a majority of them did not speak French at the required level.
Initially, the 20-day deadline was provided for processing a limited number of files presented annually. The new processing time takes into account the significant increase in requests submitted in the PEQ. The ministry therefore undertakes to process requests within a maximum of 6 months. This change also ensures consistency and better equity between the PEQ and the Regular Skilled Worker Program (PRTQ). This delay is also compared to what is done at the federal level.
Recruitment challenges persist in certain specific employment sectors and immigration must be able to contribute to the collective effort to meet labor needs. In this sense, Mr. Simon Jolin-Barrette also announced today his intention to create two new permanent immigration pilot programs in the coming weeks.
For years, Quebec has been faced with a glaring labor problem with regard to the attendants in all regions. Currently, the selection programs available to Quebec either the Quebec Experience Program or the Regular Skilled Worker Program do not allow sufficient and effective selection in this sector of employment. Since 2013, only 115 beneficiary attendants have been selected by the PEQ and the PRTQ. The imminent implementation of a pilot program will make it possible to reserve up to 550 CSQs annually for the selection of attendants for beneficiaries.