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Express Entry for Quebec Residents?

If you are currently living in Quebec and looking to apply for Canadian Permanent Residency, you must considering options through the Quebec Skilled Worker programs (Ex. PEQ). However, the processing times for Quebec Immigration paths are much slower than the federal programs and not every applicant is elgibile to apply for the Quebec skilled workers program.

This is very frustrating for Quebec residents that do not speak french or don't have a validated job offer as they are not able to apply for a CSQ. Moreover, many applicants currently have jobs in Quebec and cannot afford to make a move outside the province unless there is a guaranteed immigration path.

This leads us to the very common question of: Can Quebec residents apply for Express Entry?

Short answer: Yes, but you need to prove that you will leave Quebec.

Long answer: You can apply for Express Entry as a Quebec resident but you need to be not only extremely careful but also truthful with your answers as this will reflect on how you application is presented. You need to demonstrate to the officer reviewing your application that you have real intentions to leave the province of Quebec.

Here is the official legal standpoint from IRCC's website:

According to IRCC, you must plan to live outside the province of Quebec.

This does not mean that you must necessarily live outside the province of Quebec at the moment of submission of your application, but you must make serious and realistic plans to do so. Once your permanent residence application is approved, you should also be able to demonstrate that you are living in a province outside of Quebec.

1. Does work experience gained in Quebec count as Canadian work experience?

Yes, work experience gained through an employer in Quebec counts towards Canadian work experience for the purposes of the Federal skilled worker class. The experience needs to be at NOC skill level 0, A or B and full-time, continuous for a period of at least 1 year.

2. Do I need to show intent to leave the province of Quebec?

Absolutely, as mentioned above, you must plan to move outside the province of Quebec. There are many ways to prove your intentions to leave the province and each applicant usually provides different kind of evidence that is subjective to their case.

3. Does work experience gained in Quebec count for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC)?

Yes, work experience gained through an employer in Quebec will count towards qualifying you for the Canadian Experience Class, unless you obtained this experience while you were a student or coop/internship program. Self-employed experience does not count towards the Canadian Experience Class either. Applicants that qualify under this class will not have to show a proof of funds (financial self-sufficiency).

4. Do I have to stay outside of Quebec after obtaining permanent residency through Express Entry?

We advise to have truthful and honest intentions to live outside the province of Quebec, but once you become a Canadian resident, you are free to live anywhere in Canada. This doesn't mean that you should move back to Quebec the moment you get your permanent residency through Express Entry.

5. Can I apply for Quebec Skilled Workers and Express Entry at the same time?

No, the Quebec skilled workers program and the Express Entry program are mutually exclusive, which means you must withdraw from one of the applications.

The reason for this is if you submit a Quebec skilled workers application, you will have to commit legally to settling in the province of Quebec, which would be contradictory to an Express Entry application.

Download our Free Express Entry Guide to help you submit a complete application!

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