New PEQ rules completely change face of the program

Updated July 9th, 2020

Quebec's immigration Minister has announced another reform to the Programme de l'Experience Québécoise (PEQ). After a huge setback in November of 2019 when attempting to change the PEQ, this is a second attempt from the Immigration Minister to limit the eligiblity of graduating students to obtain a Certificat de Sélection du Québec (CSQ).

The main objective of the reforms seems to be axed on the combination of studies and work experience in Quebec in order to be eligible for a CSQ.

The new rules are set to come into effect on July 22nd, 2020 (for those that do not qualify for the transition period). See details below.

July 9th, 2020 UPDATE:

  • There will be a transition period for applicants who are already in Quebec as students or workers, this will allow the to apply under the old PEQ rules.

  • The transition period for students is available to any candidates who will obtain their admissible diplomas before December 31st, 2020.

  • The transition period for workers is available to any candidates who have 1 year of work experience (including NOC level C and D) before December 31st, 2020.

  • Work experience gained during an internship or "stage" will be considered valid for a maximum of 3 months.

  • For workers looking to apply for the PEQ, they will now need 24 months of work experience before applying, lowered from 36 months previously.

  • Spouses need to demonstrate beginner levels of Oral French (level 4) in order to be included in the PEQ application. This requirement will start on July 22nd, 2021.

French language tests

No more French courses as proof of knowledge of French.

Previously, candidates looking to apply for the PEQ could submit a final transcript attesting the successful completion of an advances intermediate level French course (level 7 or 8) taken in Québec at a recognized educational institution.

Applicants now have to provide other proof of knowledge of French such as a TEFAQ or TEF exam (Level B2), a final transcript showing completion of a program in French, a final transcript showing 3 years of secondary or post-secondary education competed in French or a regular licence to practice from a professional order in Quebec.

PEQ for students

12-24 months of work experience required prior to applying for PEQ

Students will no longer be able to apply directly after graduating from their study program in Quebec. The new PEQ requirements will need students to have worked 12 months if they have completed a Phd, Master's, Bachelor's or technical DEC (diplôme d'études collégiales). The work must be at NOC level 0, A or B.

If the student completed a Diplôme d'études professionnelles (DEP) of 1800 hours, a work experience of 18 months will be required in a NOC level 0, A, B, or C job. Furthermore, the work must be related to your studies in Quebec if it is under NOC level C.

PEQ for workers

24 months of work experience required prior to applying for PEQ

Workers in Quebec looking to apply for the PEQ will now have to accumulate 24 months of work experience prior to being eligible to submit an application. A transition period has been mentioned for current workers who are already working in Quebec and planned to apply for PEQ.

The works must have been a NOC level 0, A or B. Work that is considered NOC level C and D are no longer eligible for the PEQ.

Spouse of PEQ applicants

Spouses of applicants to the PEQ will need to demonstarte knowledge of French at level 4 according to the "Échelle Québécoise des niveaux de compétences en Français" for speaking and listening. This is equivalent to beginner French.

This measure is only set to come into effect in 1 year.

Processing Time

Application processing time has been extended from 20 business days to 6 months.

For many years, the main attraction of the PEQ was that an applicant could obtain a CSQ within a month. This would secure the applicant's status in Quebec while they wait for permanent residency.

Pilot project for Orderlies (PAB) working in healthcare

550 CSQ's per year will be given to orderlies (préposé aux bénéficiaires).

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that Quebec has a gigantic lack of workers in the healthcare system, especially for the position of orderlies. There will be 550 CSQ's reserved yearly to fill out these positions

Pilot project for the Artificial Intelligence (A.I) Industry

550 CSQ's per year will be given to workers who are employed specifically in the A.I industry.

Alternatives to PEQ

It is our opinion that the PEQ is now very unattractive for potential immigrants looking to settle in Canada. There are much faster ways or obtaining permanent residency such as the Canadian Experience Class (Express Entry). We urge applicants to consider all options available to them and make an informed decision regarding their immigration plans to Canada.

We will be updating the article as the regulations come into effect in the upcoming weeks. Feel free to book a consultation with us if you would like to discuss your future immigration options in Canada.

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