Quebec has changed its immigration rules again for the PEQ program, following a global backlash from students, workers and lawyers associations. The new PEQ regulations were heavily criticized for their lack of humanity and severity of the harm for those affected. While it was previously announced that the new PEQ rules would apply to all new and existing applicants, we are informed today that there will be a grace period for all those who have a valid status as of November 1st. 2019.
Why are they backtracking now?
The Prime Minister of Quebec, François Legault, has explained that he did not foresee the scale of consequences that have emerged from the new PEQ policies. The CAQ government did not realize that students and workers were studying french for the sole reason of obtaining permanent residency through the PEQ program.
Who will be able to apply under the old rules?
As stated this morning by Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette, all applicants that have a valid status as of November 1st, 2019 and meet the previous and current eligibilites of the PEQ program will be able to submit their applications. Having a valid status means a valid work permit or a valid study permit.
Which programs are affected by the rule change?
At the moment, only the PEQ program seems to be affected by this "retroactive" clause. The regular Quebec skilled workers stream has also changed their bonus points structure for the area of training but we have not heard if this clause will be retroactive yet.
If you are a student or worker in Quebec reading this, we would advise to check the eligibility requirements carefully to see if you can apply under the old PEQ rules or the new PEQ rules. Feel free to book an in-person consultation with us if you are unsure about the program or the recent changes.