What is the change? Quebec’s National Assembly has passed a bill that includes changes to the Regular Skilled Worker Program.

What does the change mean? Applicants must submit Certificate of Selection (CSQ) applications through the electronic management system, Arrima. Applicants who currently work in Quebec and have intermediate-advanced knowledge of French and one year of work experience in Quebec can also submit a CSQ application through the Quebec Experience Program (mail-in application).

CSQ applications submitted through the previous online system, Mon Projet Québec, prior to Aug. 2, 2018, have been cancelled, and candidates must instead submit an Expression of Interest through Arrima. The Quebec Experience Program for foreign workers remains open for eligible applicants.

  • Effective date: The legislation (Bill 9) was passed on June 16.
  • Visas/permits affected: Regular Skilled Worker Program; Quebec Experience Program (PEQ).
  • Who is affected: CSQ applicants and those awaiting approval; Intermediate-level French speakers applying for residence permits in Quebec.
  • What’s next: Employees who submitted CSQ applications through Mon Projet Québec before Aug. 2, 2018 that are still pending will need to resubmit their application through the Arrima system. Invitations to apply have already been sent out to some candidates whose CSQ applications were previously canceled or who possess Validated Job Offers. In addition, starting in 2020, the system will allow employers to see candidates’ CSQ submissions, and employers will be able to contact candidates via email to offer them employment.

Background: The Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion proposed Bill 9 earlier this year. The bill aims to improve the selection of immigrants and strengthen the language requirements for those seeking permanent residence in Quebec. As the Quebec authorities have yet to release the selection criteria, further information on eligibility requirements is pending.

Analysis & Comments: Regular Skilled Worker Program applicants who submitted CSQ applications before Aug. 2, 2018 must resubmit their applications through the Arrima system. New applicants will submit and process their CSQ directly through Arrima. The Ministry of Immigration, Diversity, and Inclusion will review CSQ applications and issue invitations on the basis of labor need, taking into account language knowledge, education, and work experience, among other factors. Once selected, the applicant can submit an official immigration application. The changes are expected to improve processing times and to help recruit more French-speaking foreign nationals.

This alert was prepared by Garson LLP, an independent law firm, allied with Deloitte LLP in Canada.