Quebec Experience Program
Bill Mandy 1 year ago

Everything You Need to Know About the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ)

You can be eligible for immigration under the Quebec Experience Program if you have studied or worked in Quebec and want to remain there permanently (PEQ). This is a fast-track Canadian immigration program that aims to process applications within six months. You can get a summary of all the information you need about this immigration program in this comprehensive article.

The provincial version of the federal Canadian Experience Class program is known as the Quebec Experience Class Immigration Program (PEQ). The PEQ is intended primarily for international students and workers residing in Quebec. It should be emphasized that, unlike the QSW program, the PEQ is not a point-based system. You would be eligible as long as you comply with the precise requirements. As a result, compared to other Immigration Quebec programs, the processing period for a PEQ application is much quicker. There are two prerequisites for the PEQ application, depending on whether you are an employee or a student.

Overview of the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ)

The Quebec Experience Program (Programme de l'expérience québécoise, or PEQ) offers international graduates and people with job experience in Quebec a quick route to get a Quebec selection certificate, which is a requirement for getting the federal government's permanent residency. The Quebec-Canada Agreement, in force since April 1991 and granting Quebec the authority to choose its economic immigrants in the skilled worker category, makes Quebec's situation distinct from that of other Canadian provinces.

The Ministère de l'Immigration established the PEQ, de la Francisation et de l'Intégration (MIFI) to ensure that Quebec society would benefit from the contributions of people who had already lived in the province for a while, were already well integrated, and were familiar with and shared its values. The government aims to meet its immigration goals and improve Quebec's challenging demographic situation by making it more straightforward for employers to hire young graduates of Quebec educational institutions and foreigners who are already in the province.

From the program's debut in 2010 until 2019, more than 70,000 temporary residents have received selection certificates. The Quebec government revamped the program in the fall of 2019 due to its popularity, which led to 86 percent of Quebec selection certificates being given to PEQ applicants. The revamp's goals are to better distribute candidates across immigration programs and increase the PEQ's responsiveness to labor market demands. For people who are proficient in French and have lawfully obtained job experience in Quebec, the PEQ is the best immigration choice. Another key benefit of this program is that it processes applications much more quickly than others, including the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP), at six months.

How does the PEQ immigration process work?

You can apply for one of the two streams of the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) based on your circumstances:

  • Temporary Foreign Workers
  • Québec Graduates

PEQ applicants must use the Arrima portal as of January 2021 to submit their applications, pay the necessary fees, and upload all necessary paperwork. No more are paper applications accepted. But those who submitted their application by mail before January 26, 2021, won't be able to track their file or edit it using Arrima.

Here are the steps to follow to apply the PEQ:

  • Choose one of the two permanent selection application forms and fill out the one that fits your situation.
  • Prepare the supporting documents as listed in the application form.
  • Create your profile on the Arrima platform.
  • Submit your complete application package for permanent selection through Arrima.
  • Pay the fees for the processing of your application. 

The Quebec Ministry of Immigration will process complete applications within six months. This time frame starts once the complete application, fees, and supporting documents have been received.

Quebec Experience Program Requirements

This program allows applicants to apply for a certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ - Québec selection certificate), just like all of Quebec's immigration routes. An applicant becomes qualified to submit an official application for Canadian permanent residence after receiving a CSQ.

However, all applicants for the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) must meet the following general requirements for the program:

  • Have the intention of settling in Québec to hold a job;
  • Have lived temporarily in Québec with the primary goal of working or studying and have respected the conditions of their stay;
  • Demonstrate advanced intermediate knowledge of oral French; accompanying spouses must also demonstrate knowledge of the French language.
  • Undertake to provide for their needs and, where applicable, those of their spouse or de facto spouse and dependent children included in their application for a certificat de sélection du Québec for a minimum period of 3 months;
  • Be at least 18 years old and hold a valid passport.

The following are acceptable methods of demonstrating advanced intermediate knowledge of French-language proficiency:

  • Accepted French-language tests:
  • Test d’évaluation du français adapté pour le Québec (TEFAQ)
  • Test de connaissance du français pour le Québec (TCF-Québec)
  • Test d’évaluation du français (TEF)
  • Test d’évaluation du français pour le Canada (TEF Canada)
  • Test de connaissance du français (TCF)
  • Diplôme d’études en langue française (DELF)
  • Diplôme approfondi de langue française (DALF)
  • A final transcript attests to completing at least three years of secondary or post-secondary full-time study pursued entirely in French.
  • A final transcript attesting to the successful completion of an advanced intermediate-level French course; most candidates were choosing this option will be selected for an in-person interview to confirm French proficiency.
  • A regular license to practice from a professional order in Quebec

Candidates must fulfill additional requirements depending on whether they are applying as an international student or a temporary foreign worker in addition to these general requirements.

Quebec Experience Program for Temporary Foreign Workers

Temporary Foreign Workers in Quebec may be eligible to apply for a CSQ under the PEQ if they:

  • show an intention to settle in Quebec to hold a job;
  • have stayed temporarily in Quebec for work;
  • Have had full-time work experience in Quebec for at least 24 months of the 36 months preceding the submission of an application in a 0, A, or B-level job;
  • have legal status in Quebec as a temporary worker or as part of a youth exchange program, such as International Experience Canada (IEC) (Working Holiday, Young Professionals, or International Co-op Internship).
  • Are employed at the time of the application.

Language requirements

  • prove French ability by way of a standardized language test recognized by the Government of Quebec; or
  • show a final transcript attesting to the successful completion of at least three years of full-time secondary or post-secondary study completed entirely in French (including the master’s and doctoral theses, if applicable); or
  • show that they have satisfied the French language requirements of the professional order governing their occupation in Quebec.
  • Spouses of principal applicants under the PEQ must demonstrate spoken French knowledge.

Full-time work experience for the PEQ

The MIFI defines full-time employment as having a weekly minimum of 30 hours of compensation. Suppose the candidate satisfies all PEQ requirements, full-time job experience obtained as an international student while on a Post-Graduation Work Permit or through a Youth Exchange/International Experience Canada (IEC) Program may be considered. MIFI will not consider any duration of a part-time job, self-employment, or entrepreneurial activities under the PEQ.

Quebec Experience Program for International Students

Foreign students who have studied in Quebec may be eligible to apply for a CSQ under the PEQ if they:

  • show an intention to settle in Quebec to hold a job;
  • have stayed temporarily in Quebec for study;
  • have obtained an eligible degree or diploma from an educational institution recognized by the Quebec Ministry of Education within the past 36 months;
  • have studied in Quebec for at least 1,800 hours (two years)
  • hold a Master, Bachelors or DEC diploma and have 12 months of work experience in a 0, A, or B level job and to hold such a job at the time of application,
  • hold a DEP and have 18 months of work experience in a 0, A, B or C level job and required to hold such a job at the time of application. Please note that C-level work must be related to the degree.

NOTE: Up to three months' worth of work experience from required internships will be considered.

Language requirements

  • show a final transcript attesting to the successful completion of at least three years of full-time secondary or post-secondary study completed entirely in French (including the master’s and doctoral theses, if applicable); or
  • a final transcript attesting to the successful completion of a study program in Québec completed entirely in French (including the master’s and doctoral theses, if applicable); or
  • prove French ability by way of a standardized language test recognized by the Government of Quebec; or
  • show that they have satisfied the French language requirements of the professional order governing their occupation in Quebec.
  • Spouses of principal applicants under the PEQ must demonstrate spoken French knowledge.

The applicant must submit a complete transcript and an attestation of completing the diploma before the Government of Quebec will issue a CSQ.

Transitional Measures for New Regulations

On July 22, 2020, Immigration Quebec unveiled new PEQ rules that modified the criteria for selection. Students were eligible to submit without work experience under the prior selection criteria. Temporary employees needed 36 months of work experience, which could have been at NOC skill levels O, A, B, C, or D.

Transitional Measures

  • All foreign students who obtained a diploma eligible under the PEQ or will obtain one by December 31, 2020, can submit an application for permanent selection based on the selection conditions before July 22, 2020.
  • Temporary foreign workers who hold a valid work permit or another authorization to work under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (SOR/2002/227) and who were living in Québec on July 21, 2020, will be able to apply for permanent selection based on the conditions in effect before July 22, 2020.
  • The Ministère will continue to accept the attestation of successful completion of an advanced intermediate French course as a document that can be submitted regarding knowledge of French if the applicant has already passed this course, was attending the course, or had already registered for it on July 21, 2020.

FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ).

What is the Quebec Experience Program/ Programme de l’expérience Québécoise?

The Programme de l'expérience québécoise (Quebec Experience Program, or PEQ) is a Canadian immigration program prioritizing applicants who have studied or are working in Quebec.

Is the PEQ program the same as the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP)?

No. These are two separate immigration programs for applying for a Certificat de sélection du Québec (Certificate of Selection for Quebec - CSQ). Once an applicant obtains a CSQ, he or she can submit an application to the federal government for Canadian permanent residence.

Is there a minimum points requirement for the PEQ?

No, there is no requirement to meet a minimum point score for an individual eligible for the PEQ.

Who is eligible for the PEQ?

Candidates may apply for the PEQ based on their prior employment history in Quebec, whether they are recent graduates with an acceptable diploma or international workers. Each applicant must demonstrate advanced intermediate French language proficiency (speaking and listening).

When can applicants apply for the PEQ?

Graduate applicants are only eligible to apply once they have received their graduation. The application period is 36 months following graduation. As soon as all requirements are satisfied and a candidate is currently engaged in a full-time skilled position in Quebec, they may apply to the category of foreign workers.

How long will it take to get a CSQ?

According to Quebec's Ministry of Immigration, PEQ applications will be handled in less than six months. When the applicant does not need more documents to support the application or an audit interview, this estimation is relevant to completing applications. Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant.

Can a spouse or common-law partner be included in the application for a CSQ?

Yes, an accompanying spouse or common-law partner can be included in the application.

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