Quebec is preparing to launch an immigration pilot program that targets workers in artificial intelligence (AI), information technology (IT) and visual effects (VFX).

Key Points:

  • The program is aimed at workers interested in becoming Canadian permanent residents. It will target professionals in AI, IT and VFX who are currently working in Quebec or have a valid job offer from an employer in Quebec.
  • The program is designed to attract global talent in these emerging fields and is intended to run until Jan. 1, 2026.
  • Officials will only accept 550 workers per year divided between the AI and IT/VFX sectors.
  • The program will have two designated streams, one for French-speakers and one for non-French-speakers, thereby providing the only permanent residence avenue in Quebec for non-French speaking immigrants.

Background: The pilot program is one of three immigration programs Quebec is preparing to launch. The other two proposed programs are for workers in food processing and those working as nurses’ aides and orderlies. Officials published draft regulations for the three programs in the Official Gazette of Quebec in October 2020. The programs were initially expected to launch in January 2021. They have not yet been implemented, however, and the government has yet to provide any updates regarding the launch date.

Analysis & Comments: The program for AI, IT and VFX workers program provides a unique opportunity for tech-driven clients. We are currently assisting clients in identifying employees who might wish to participate in the program, and we are gathering preliminary information with a view to being prepared for the launch date announcement. We continue to monitor the situation closely and will more in-depth information and instructions as information becomes available. Please contact your Deloitte or de Lint LLP representative if you would like more information on anticipatory actions you can take.

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