Quebec has introduced major changes to the requirements that international students and those with work experience in Quebec must meet in order to obtain permanent residence.
The changes affect the Quebec Experience Program (Programme de l’expérience québécoise, or PEQ). Some changes take effect on November 1, 2019, while others only start in the new year.
The province has not confirmed if these changes will affect pending applications to the program.
A key change is the introduction of an in-demand occupations list (available in French only) for worker applicants.
Those with work experience in the province who wish to apply to the PEQ must now have worked in an occupation on the list. The amount of work experience required depends on the job’s National Occupational Classification (NOC) code.
Those who work in occupations on the new in-demand list that are rated NOC 0, A, or B must have 12 months of Quebec work experience.
Those who work in NOC C or D occupations on the list need 18 months of work experience in the province.
International students applying to the PEQ will have to ensure their area of training is one of the Quebec degrees listed under sections A and B of Quebec’s Area of Training list.
That list is available here.
In addition, international students who are enrolled in a 900 hour Quebec program will be required to complete six months of work experience following their studies. The work experience must be related to their field of study. Eligible programs are listed in the document above.
As of January 1, 2020, changes to language requirements will affect both groups of PEQ applicants.
In order to demonstrate their French proficiency applicants will have three options:
- take a standardized test;
- meet the criteria set by a professional order; or
- complete at least three years of full-time studies in French at the secondary or postsecondary level.
New language requirements will also be imposed on spousal visa applicants.
Both the applicant and their spouse will have to demonstrate a high intermediate level of French, or a CLB 7 or 8.