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Quebec's new 2019 plan reduces Immigrant intake, what does it really mean?

Quebec's new government, the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), has announced its plan to reduce the intake of immigrants coming to Quebec in 2019. The reason for the reduced intake is to ensure that Quebec can integrate these new immigrants and offer more support to them.

This was a campaign promise made by prime minister François Legault and Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette, which prime minister Justin Trudeau commented “I’m not sure this is the best time to reduce the number of people coming.” as Quebec faces a labour shortage.

According to Quebec's 2018 immigration plan, between 36 700 and 43 000 certificats de sélection du Québec (CSQs) were supposed to be issued in 2018. According to the most recent estimates, we are looking at 37 800 CSQs issued in 2018 and 53 000 new immigrants to the province.

40,000 new admissions to Quebec in 2019

The recently elected Quebec government (Coalition Avenir Québec) has announced in their 2019 immigration plan that between 38 000 and 42 000 immigrants will be admitted to Quebec. This is a slight decrease compared to 2018, which under a different government had a maximum quota of 53 000 persons admitted.

When looking at the number of "admitted" people to Quebec, keep in mind that these 2019 numbers include the CSQ applications currently in processing at the provincial or federal level.

Number of CSQs issued

When we look at the number of CSQs issued in the CAQ's 2019 immigration plan, we can see that this is where there is an evident decrease in the numbers. In 2018, an approximate of 37 800 CSQs were issued while in 2019, the maximum number of CSQs issued will be 24 800. Keep in mind that this does not include the CSQs issued for the family sponsorship applications, for which a quota has not been set.

Is french required to keep my CSQ?

During the electoral campaign, prime minister François Legault had discussed the idea of making a mandatory french test within the 3 years of obtaining the CSQ. We have not seen such test be implemented in his government's 2019 immigration plan and we seriously doubt that this can be possible. This is considering that with the Programme de l'Expérience Québécoise, there is already a Quebec immigration program that requires the knowledge of french. It would simply not make any sense that the regular Quebec Skilled Workers Program be focused on french rather than skilled work. Furthermore, it would be highly against the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms to impose this test on Canadian permanent residents, especially after they obtain PR status!

It is also interesting to mention that according to the Coalition Avenir Quebec's own 2019 Immigration plan, the proportion of admitted immigrants knowing french will be 41% in 2019. In 2018, the liberal government planned this number to be even higher at 44%.

How to ensure to be part of the 40,000 selected?

While the total number of CSQs to be issued will definitely decrease in 2019, this does not mean that you have to miss out on your chance to immigrate through Quebec. There are steps you can take to ensure that you are giving yourself the best possible chances :

  • Apply early: the ARRIMA portal is already open and you can already submit your declaration of interest.

  • Apply for a validated job offer: applicants with a validated job offer will receive priority processing of their applications, we believe they have the highest chance of being part of the 40,000 selected

  • Make sure there are no mistakes in your application: if your application has a mistake or is missing a document, you will delay the processing time and maybe miss your chance to be selected.

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