Immigration Tips from WES
New! Learn the 3 Steps for Fast Access to Quebec Residency in Canada
Quebec has just announced a new process to help immigrants achieve permanent residency. It’s free to start your application, and the process is completed in three simple steps.
Plus, a new online portal—called Arrima—is expected to decrease the average wait time from three years to just six months.
Three Steps to Apply for Permanent Residency in Quebec
In June, Simon Jolin-Barrette—the Immigration Minister of Quebec—announced the three-step process that is meant to streamline permanent residency for skilled immigrants.
Here’s how to apply for residency in Quebec, as of June 2019:
- Application: Submit an “expression of interest” online (free)
- Invitation: If your application qualifies, you may receive an invitation to formally apply for residency ($60 CAD processing fee)
- Selection: Your application will be ranked using a points-based “selection grid,” which evaluates such criteria as whether you have a job offer, your proficiency in English and French, and if you already live or work in Quebec (six-month processing time)
Business owners and politicians have already expressed enthusiastic support for the new system, claiming that it is likely to stimulate the economy and help fill some of the existing gaps in the labour market.
One aspect that invited some concern was the province’s decision not to instill a “values test” (an idea that was proposed by the Coalition Avenir Quebec). Quebec has stated that the current format of the plan allows room for such a test to be included at a later date; however, this would require approvals from the federal government that are unlikely to be uniformly satisfied.
How Do You Qualify for Residency in Quebec?
The province’s new plan prioritizes residency for:
- Individuals already living in Quebec
- Skilled immigrants who will live and work outside of major metropolitan areas (such as Montreal and Quebec City, where most of the province’s population is concentrated)
- Applicants who are coming to Quebec with an existing job offer
- Those who have already performed work or attended school in Quebec
These standards have already been put into practice, affecting several thousand candidates in the existing applicant pool.
When the new system was adopted (by passing a proposal known as “Bill 9”), the government voided 16,000 residency applications that were already waiting to be processed. Prospects who may have already waited years for a response were asked to reapply under the new plan—effectively starting the process all over again.
However, from within that group, 3,700 candidates were extended direct invitations to apply for residency. These candidates had demonstrated that they already lived, worked, or studied in Quebec.
How to Apply for Permanent Resident Status
Quebec is now accepting applications through an online portal named Arrima. The digitized system is intended to help expedite the process, allowing applicants to receive a response within six months, rather than the current 36.
If you are already living in Quebec, have a job offer in Quebec, or hope to bring your in-demand skills to Quebec’s rural regions, you may be a strong candidate for this new residency program.
Immigration Tips from WES
How the PNP System Works
Canada’s provincial and territorial governments select qualified immigrants to apply for Canadian permanent residence through PNPs. Nearly every Canadian province and territory has a PNP stream linked to the Express Entry system.
Each province or territory has different PNP standards, which are used to select or nominate candidates for permanent residence. The standards are determined by local labor market needs, so the eligibility requirements vary by the particular province, territory, or stream. For example, some require the applicant to have a job offer while others do not. In fact, many PNP streams do not mandate that applicants have a job offer, but instead consider an applicant’s work experience, education, language proficiency, and other personal competencies. These other factors are known as human capital.
The following PNP streams do not require a job offer, but rather base eligibility on human capital, interest, connections to the province or territory, and other considerations:
- Ontario’s Express Entry Human Capital Priorities Stream
- Prince Edward Island (PEI) Express Entry
- New Brunswick’s Labour Market Demand Express Entry Stream
- Manitoba’s Express Entry and Human Capital Pathways
- Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry (Category B)
- International Skilled Worker: Saskatchewan Express Entry Sub-Category
Check each PNP stream’s website for the exact requirements. Note that while a job offer is not required to enter these Express Entry pools, having one in hand can improve your ranking within the stream.
PNP Stream Openings
Just as the eligibility requirements vary by stream, the dates on which each opens to receive applications also vary. Some provinces, like Nova Scotia, announce in advance when their Express Entry stream will open, but others, like Saskatchewan, generally do not give advance notice. Once opened, many PNP streams fill their applicant quotas quickly, so you should check each PNP stream’s website regularly for updates and announcements regarding openings.
Tips for Applying to a PNP Stream
Webinar panelist David Cohen stressed the importance of staying proactive and preparing your supporting documents well in advance, so that you will be ready to apply when the application window opens for your desired Express Entry-linked PNP. Being prepared is especially advised if you are applying to the more popular and competitive PNPs, like Nova Scotia Demand or Saskatchewan Express Entry. Best of luck in obtaining a provincial nomination!