Quebec has its own immigration authority with programs and selection criteria unique to the province.

The federal government of Canada has a leading role in welcoming and settling immigrants throughout Canada. However, Quebec has more immigration authority than any other province.

In 1968, Quebec launched its own immigration ministry and since then, the province has gradually obtained more immigration authority. Quebec is now responsible for selecting all skilled workers that wish to immigrate to the province, while the federal government is responsible for admitting these immigrants. Quebec selects the candidates according to its own criteria and procedures. If you are selected by Quebec, you and your family will receive a Certificat de selection du Québec (CSQ). Receiving your CSQ confirms that you have been selected for immigration to Quebec and can apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent residence.

Quebec has authority to set its own permanent resident levels, select all economic class immigrants, and have a say in family and refugee classes.

Overview of Quebec’s current immigration plan

Quebec aims to welcome up to 52,000 new permanent residents to the province through its various immigration programs.

Under the economic immigration category, the target is between 32,000 and 33,900 immigrants: 18,000 to 22,000 skilled workers, between 1,500 and 2,300 business immigrants as well as between 5,000 and 5,700 candidates in other economic programs. Under the family reunification immigration category, the target is around 10,000 candidates.

How to immigrate to Quebec

Economic Immigration Programs

Since French is the official language in Quebec, the province places special emphasis on knowledge of French when selecting immigrants. Fluency in French can increase chances of immigrating to Quebec, but it is also possible to meet the requirements for Quebec’s immigration programs without speaking French.

The Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) is an immigration program for foreign skilled workers who want to become permanent residents of Canada and reside in Quebec. To be considered for this program, you must be trained or have professional skills that will help your incorporation into employment in Quebec.

The Quebec Experience Program – Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ) is an option for international students who have obtained a diploma from a post-secondary institution in Quebec and for skilled workers who have experience working in the province.

In order to be eligible for this program, you must be 18 years or older, intend to stay in Quebec for work and have a minimum of an advanced intermediate level of French language proficiency.

Quebec Permanent Immigration Pilot Programs are for foreign workers in the food industry, orderlies and artificial intelligence, information technology and visual effects sectors. The program selects up to 550 applicants to help meet the high demands for skilled workers in these specific fields. Furthermore, accompanying family members may also receive Quebec selection criteria (CSQ) under these programs.

Under the Permanent Immigration Pilot Program for workers in artificial intelligence, information technologies and visual effects sectors, there is an option to apply for a non-French speaker profile. Those selected under this profile are automatically enrolled in a free personalized program called “Accompagnement Québec”, which is designed to help in learning French and facilitate the integration into Quebec society.

Quebec Business Immigration Programs are for foreign workers who have the resources to apply for Quebec immigration under three programs:

  • The Entrepreneur program: This program is for individuals looking to start or acquire a business in Quebec.
  • The Investor program: This program is for individuals who want to come to Quebec to make an investment. This is Canada’s only passive investor program and does not require the management of a business in Quebec.
  • The Self-Employed Program: This program is for individuals who are self-employed and are a professional or a tradesperson.

Family Immigration Programs

If you are looking to sponsor a family member to come to Quebec and become a permanent resident, you may do so through family class sponsorship. In order to apply for sponsorship in Quebec, you must do so through the provincial level to the Ministry of Immigration, Francization and Integration (MIFI) as well as with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

For all provinces except Quebec, in order to sponsor your family member, you must be able to provide financial support for the basic needs (i.e. food, clothing, shelter, etc.) of the person you are sponsoring. In addition, if you are sponsoring a parent or grandparent, the sponsor must exceed the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) to show they can support themselves and the family they wish to sponsor. This does not apply to people who are sponsoring their spouse or dependent child.

Sponsors who are living in Quebec will have to meet different income requirements than the other provinces. A Quebec sponsor is considered able of fulfilling their income requirements if, over the past 12 months and for the duration of the undertaking, they have a gross income from Canadian sources equal to the total income in Table 1 and 2 below.

Table 1

Size of Family UnitBasic Annual Income Required
1 person$25,251
2 persons$34,086
3 persons$42,083
4 persons$48,401
5 persons$53,868
More than 5 persons, for each additional person add$5,467

Table 2 refers to the persons being sponsored. Principal applicants should add the relevant figure from Table 1 above to the relevant figure in the right-side column of Table 2 to arrive at the total minimum income required.

Additional income required of the sponsor to satisfy the basic needs of the sponsored person and his or her family members 
Number of persons 18 years of age or over Number of persons under 18 years Gross annual income required of the sponsor 
The gross annual income required increases by $4,619 for each additional person under 18 years of age 
Number of persons 18 years of age or over Number of persons under 18 years Gross annual income required of the sponsor 
11$24 815 
The gross annual income required increases by $3,203 for each additional person under 18 years of age. 
Number of persons 18 years of age or over Number of persons under 18 years Gross annual income required of the sponsor 
The gross annual income required increases by $2,404 for each additional person under 18 years of age and by $8,610 for each additional person 18 years of age or over. 

Furthermore, under family class sponsorship, you are required to sign an undertaking that makes you legally responsible for the person you are sponsoring, whether the sponsored person is a spouse, partner, dependent child, parent or grandparent. The length of the undertaking is based on the family member you are sponsoring.

In Quebec, the length of the undertaking for a dependent child differs from the rest of Canada based on the age of the child, as shown in the table below.

All provinces (excluding Quebec)Length of UndertakingQuebecLength of Undertaking
Dependent child10 years, or until age 25, whichever comes firstDependent child under 16 years of ageMinimum 10 years (or until age 18), whichever is longer
Dependent child 22 years of age or older3 yearsDependent child 16 years of age and olderMinimum 3 year years (or until age 25), whichever is longer

Refugee Immigration Programs

Individuals may immigrate to Canada through the refugee class or for humanitarian purposes.

Refugees who have landed in Canada looking for a safe haven may claim asylum and have their claims approved by the Immigration and Refugee Board. Those who do not fall under the aforementioned stream but who make a compelling case on humanitarian and compassionate grounds may be granted permanent resident status.

Quebec participates in the effort to protect refugees and asylum seekers. Applications submitted for Quebec go through an extra step of processing compared to the rest of Canada. Quebec will receive the application first to evaluate if the refugee can settle in the province before it is sent to the federal government. Every year the government of Quebec and the federal government work together to agree on the number and origin of refugees who will be welcomed to Quebec at the province’s expense.

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