The previously announced reforms in the Programme de l’expérience québécoise [PEQ – Québec experience program] have come into effect on July 22, 2020.
The provincial government of Quebec had introduced the new eligibility criteria for the PEQ earlier this month, on July 9.
Previously, in a Press Release dated May 28, Quebec had announced a reform of the PEQ “for better integration into the labor market”.
The PEQ is a simplified expedited pathway to permanent residence through Quebec for temporary foreign workers and international students. Eligible candidates can apply for Canada PR from within Quebec after having completed a specified period of approved studies or qualified work in the province.
As per the Ministry of Immigration, Francisation and Integration [MIFI], effective July 22, 2020, “new selection conditions will apply” to applications that are submitted under the PEQ. These changes will affect applications submitted by temporary foreign workers as well as international students.
For foreign students that wish to submit an application for the PEQ, the changes will be pertaining to “work experience or a required apprenticeship”.
For temporary foreign workers, on the other hand, the changes will be related to –
As per the MIFI, some of these new selection conditions are pertaining to the language requirements for the spouse [or de facto spouse] that will be accompanying the principal applicant.
List of eligible documents as proof towards knowledge of French has also undergone a change.
Certain “transitional measures” have been planned for all Canada immigration candidates that are expected to be affected by these changes.
As per the MIFI, “All applications submitted before the date on which the new regulation comes into effect will be processed according to the previous conditions.”
The timeframe for the processing of Canada permanent residence applications under the PEQ has been extended to 6 months, from the earlier 20 days’ processing timeframes, owing to “the significant increase in requests submitted in the PEQ”.
An Overview of the PEQ changes [effective July 22]
|Increased work experience||
Temporary workers: 24 months full-time work experience required in the previous 36 months.
Quebec graduates: 12 months’ full-time work experience required [in jobs that come under NOC Codes 0, A, B].
Mandatory internships, as part of their study programs, to count for up to a maximum of 3 months’ full-time work.
Vocational diploma holders – Quebec diploma of professional studies [DEP] – to have a 18 months’ work experience requirement [in jobs that come under NOC Codes 0, A, B, C].
|Knowledge of French for spouses||Come into force on July 22, 2021, this involves spouses of principal applicants having to demonstrate a Level 4 oral knowledge of French.|
|Proof of French proficiency||
Final transcripts on having successfully completed an advanced French course [intermediate level] offered in Quebec by a recognized institution will no longer be accepted as evidence of possessing a command of the French language.
Only transcripts of studies completed in French and approved test results will be accepted.
As per the part of the transitional measure of the reform, PEQ applications submitted by the temporary foreign workers are to be processed under the previous rules, provided they had a valid work permit or were authorized to work, and were in Quebec as on July 21, 2020.
International students graduating with a diploma issued before January 1, 2020, will have their PEQ applications processed as per the conditions that were in effect prior to the reform.
In 2019, Quebec issued a total of 14,748 Quebec Selection Certificates [CSQs] though the PEQ.
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