Changes to the Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ – Québec expérience program)

As of July 22, 2020, new conditions for selection will apply to applications submitted under the Québec experience program (PEQ). Recognizing the PEQ as an important vector in the selection of skilled workers, the MIFI began to reform the program several months ago. The changes will ensure the optimal alignment of Québec’s labour needs with the potential of immigrants wishing to settle here.

The changes to the PEQ will encourage the lasting settlement of people who are in Québec as temporary residents, and recognize the economic, social and cultural contribution of foreign workers and students to our society.
Some of these new conditions for selection pertain to the spouse or de facto spouse included in the principal applicant’s application. Transitional measures are also planned.

• It is important to know that with the proposed reform, all of the diplomas that were admissible under the PEQ are still admissible. You must fulfil the PEQ criteria, for instance, you graduated from an educational institution and have sufficient proficiency in French that is, level 7, advanced intermediate. We are adding work experience to these criteria.
• Twelve (12) months of full-time work experience will now be required for graduates of a bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral or technical college program who wish to submit an application for permanent selection under the PEQ.

• To obtain the required work experience, you must apply for a post-graduation work permit from the federal government after having received your diploma. For technical college, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral studies, this permit is valid for 36 months (3 years). This is the period during which you can accumulate your work experience.

 

• Your work experience does not have to be related to your area of training. However, your work experience and the job you held at the time you submitted your application must be at level 0, A or B, according to the National Occupational Classification (NOC). Note that technical college, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral diplomas lead to employment at these levels.

• Work experience acquired during paid or unpaid internships, for which a work permit was issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, done full time or part time in Québec and required by the study program can be taken into consideration, up to a maximum duration of 3 months.

 

• Eighteen (18) months of full-time work experience will now be required for graduates of a vocational study program who wish to submit an application for permanent selection under the PEQ. You must have obtained this experience within the 36 months preceding the application.
• To obtain the required work experience, you must apply for a post-graduation work permit from the federal government after having received your diploma. This permit is valid for 36 months (3 years) for diplomas of vocational studies of 1800 hours or more, that is, those admissible under the PEQ. This is the period during which you can accumulate your work experience.

• Your work experience and the job you held at the time you submitted your application must be at level 0, A, B or C according to the National Occupational Classification (NOC). This experience and job do not have to be related to your area of training, except for work experience or employment at level C, which must be related to the vocational training you completed.

 

• Work experience acquired during paid or unpaid internships, for which a work permit was issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, done full time or part time in Québec and required by the study program can be taken into consideration, up to a maximum duration of 3 months.
Note that a diploma of vocational studies of 1800 hours or more generally leads to jobs at level B under the NOC. In some cases, a diploma of vocational studies (with or without an attestation of vocational specialization – ASP) of 1800 hours or more can lead to several jobs at levels B and C.

You are studying in a vocational training program of less than 1800 hours.
• You are not eligible to submit an application under the PEQ–Graduate, under the current PEQ or the proposed PEQ. This criteria has not changed and is the same as it was previously.
• However, you can be hired by a Québec employer under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program. Businesses are very familiar with this process. This will allow you to obtain the required 24 months of work experience and to submit your application under the PEQ–Worker.

You have completed your studies, but are waiting for your official diploma in order to submit your application.
• Note that the Ministère accepts attestations of successful completion of studies as well as final transcripts issued by the educational institution’s registrar. Therefore, you do not have to wait to receive your official diploma to submit your application.
• If you submit your application before the new PEQ – Graduate comes into effect, the current rules will apply.
• If you obtained or will be obtaining your diploma before December 31, 2020, you can submit an application for permanent selection that will be processed on the basis of the selection criteria in effect before July 22, 2020.

You are about to complete your study program.
• If you obtained or will be obtaining your diploma before December 31, 2020, you can submit an application for permanent selection that will be processed on the basis of the selection criteria in effect before July 22, 2020.
• If you complete your study program after the effective date, you can submit an application under the PEQ–Graduate once you have accumulated the admissible work experience required, that is, 12 or 18 months depending on the diploma obtained.

You are wondering if your program will still be admissible under the new PEQ.
• The study programs admissible under the PEQ — Graduate are the same ones that were admissible prior to the regulatory amendments, that is:
o University diplomas at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels;
o Diploma of college studies, technical training (DEC);
o Diploma of vocational studies (DEP), with or without an attestation of vocational specialization (ASP) obtained consecutively and leading to a particular trade, of 1800 hours or more.

o You have submitted your application under the PEQ – Graduate and you are waiting for it to be processed.
• If your application was submitted before the regulation entered into effect, it will be reviewed based on the conditions that applied at the time your application was submitted. Even if the draft regulation enters into effect while your application is being processed, the new conditions will not apply to your application.
• Moreover, note that despite the context of the pandemic, the Ministère is continuing to process applications for Québec selection certificates under the PEQ – Graduate as fast as possible.