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Quebec Skilled Visa category reopens

Posted on November  07 , 2015

The Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) has reopened, with potential applicants from around the world moving quickly to prepare and submit an application as early as possible during the current application cycle, which began on November 4, 2015.

The new QSWP  operates on a first-come, first-served basis.  This aspect marks the QSWP as a more assured and straightforward way of obtaining Canadian permanent residence compared with the federal economic immigration programs that are processed through the Express Entry selection system. If an applicant is eligible for the QSWP and submits a complete application within the timeframe set by the government of Quebec, he or she may have a clear path towards Canadian immigration.

The application cycle for the QSWP will be split into two periods. The first, from November 4 to December 15, 2015, will accept up to 3,500 postal applications only. This intake period is currently open. The second intake period, which will run from January 18 to March 31, 2016, will process up to 2,800 applications online.

Quebec Skilled Worker and Federal Skilled Worker: What are the differences?

The QSWP and Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Class are fundamentally different programs that both result in the same end result: Canadian permanent residence. Because the methods, timelines, processes, and selection factors are different, potential applicants may see added value in one program over the other.

Indeed, potential applicants may benefit from pursuing Canadian permanent residence through both programs simultaneously, thereby increasing their chances of obtaining Canadian permanent resident status. According to the governments of Quebec and Canada, candidates can apply under the QSWP and submit an Express Entry profile, as long as they withdraw one when either a Quebec Selection Certificate/certificat de selection du Québec (CSQ) or Invitation to Apply (ITA) is issued.

The QSWP may be an enticing option for individuals who wish to make an application to immigrate to Canada without having to be invited to apply, as well as individuals who are in the Express Entry pool and wish to increase their chances of successfully immigrating to Canada.


The QSWP is a points-based program, where points are awarded for an applicant’s area of training, work experience, age, language proficiency, prior relationship with Quebec (through visits or family), the human capital factors of the applicant’s spouse or common-law partner (if applicable), and whether or not the applicant has a validated job offer in Quebec. If a candidate is awarded sufficient points for these factors, he or she may then gain additional points for any accompanying dependent children and proof of financial self-sufficiency. Moreover, a job offer is not required for the QSWP.The QSWP: a points-based program

Applicants should also note that they may be awarded points for French proficiency, though it is not an eligibility requirement for the program. Applicants who have little or no French proficiency, but who have strong credentials in other areas, may still be eligible to apply.

An applicant apply without an accompanying spouse or common-law partner must score at least 49 points, while an applicant applying with a spouse or common-law partner must score at least 57 points. Once a CSQ has been issued, applicants must then successfully complete medical and security examinations conducted by the federal government in order to be granted permanent resident status. Potential applicants to the QSWP should note that they should have the intention to reside within the province of Quebec.