Canada – Quebec Adopts New Skilled Worker Selection Process Bill
Canada – Quebec Adopts New Skilled Worker Selection Pro
This report announces that Quebec’s National Assembly approved legislation 16 June 2019, allowing its Minister of Immigration to amend the laws governing Quebec’s selection of permanent economic immigrants and eliminating thousands of pending unprocessed skilled worker applications.
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Quebec’s National Assembly approved legislation 16 June 2019, allowing the Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness (MIDI) to amend the laws governing Quebec’s selection of permanent economic immigrants while eliminating thousands of unprocessed skilled worker applications.1
Once Bill 9 becomes law, the MIDI would cancel and refund the processing fees of approximately 18,000 pending applications for a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) under the qualified skilled worker program that were submitted prior to August 2, 2018.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Employers need to encourage individuals with pending qualified skilled worker applications submitted prior to August 2, 2018 to submit an application on the new skilled worker platform, Arrima and await an invitation to apply for a CSQ under the new process.
They should also encourage individuals to strengthen their verbal French language skills in order to qualify for a CSQ under the Quebec Experience Program (commonly referred to as PEQ – Programme de l’expérience québécoise), which remains unchanged. A foreign worker with at least one year of Quebec-based work experience and advanced-intermediate verbal French may be issued a CSQ within 20 business days.
Furthermore, it is important to identify practical strategies to extend work authorization far in advance of expiration to allow sufficient time to explore alternatives and avoid disruption in employment.
New Selection Process
The new skilled worker program is similar to the Express Entry program. An individual must create a profile and await an invitation to apply for a CSQ. The new program is viewed as a means of responding to the economic needs of the province quickly. It is anticipated that this new approach will lead to faster processing of applications. Candidates will be selected based on the skills and attributes that Quebec requires, as identified by the MIDI.
The selection criteria will be regularly reviewed and amended according to needs, specifically focused on labour shortages. This is significantly different from the previous selection process that was on a “first come, first served" basis.
A score will be awarded to each candidate based on age, education, work experience, and language skills. For spouses, only their fluency in French and level of education will be taken into consideration. In addition, the MIDI will take into account the potential transfer of skills between spouses in terms of level of education and fluency in French, leading to a higher score.
An invitation to apply may be issued on a priority basis to candidates already present in Quebec who:
- Hold a validated job offer in Montreal or another city in Quebec;
- Hold a work permit or Quebec diploma;
- Are currently working under a valid work permit of at least 12 months validity and have achieved six (6) months of full-time work experience at the time of the invitation.
The MIDI may also choose to send invitations to individuals based on their geographical location within Quebec or specific profession as criteria. The system is intended to adapt to the needs of the province and will change frequently.
Individuals who applied under the previous system are being informed that their files are being cancelled and are being encouraged to create a profile on Arrima.
Employers can support employees through a Validated Job Offer. This is a separate application that increases a candidate’s points and therefore can increase the chance of being selected to receive an invitation.
Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Canada.
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