Quebec Selected Skilled Workers Program

Developed by the Government of Quebec and the Canadian Federal Government, the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) enables highly educated and trained foreign nationals to immigrate to Quebec as skilled workers. Prospective immigrants who apply to the Skilled Worker Quebec Program are evaluated according to a selection grid of factors, and applicants who score enough points are given a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) which they can then use to apply for Canadian permanent residency.

The Quebec immigration selection system for Quebec Skilled Workers is designed to identify immigration candidates who are most likely to become economically established in the province. This program attracts skilled workers all around the world to immigrate Canada and contribute to the economic growth of the nation by utilizing their education, talent, work experience and skills. Criteria have been established by the Canadian government, which all the foreign nations will have to follow before applying for Permanent Residence under this program. Once the provincial government of Quebec provides you a Quebec Selection Certificate you may then proceed to apply for Canadian Immigration and a Permanent Residence visa under the national government.

For QSWP Program, applicants need to apply under two stages:

  • The applicant must apply to the Quebec government for a Certificate of Selection (CSQ). This confirms that Quebec has accepted the applicant as an immigrant.
  • Applicant must also apply to IRCC for Permanent Residence after getting a Quebec Selection Certificate.

As per rules, applicants need to qualify the medical examination and obtain a police verification certificate.

Quebec Skilled Worker Eligibility

Eligibility for the Quebec Immigration Skilled Worker Program is determined by nine selection factors. Quebec Skilled Worker Program points are awarded according to these Immigration Quebec selection criteria in order to identify which possible immigrants are most likely to flourish economically once in Quebec. To qualify for immigration to Canada as a Quebec-selected skilled worker, a solo applicant must score at least 50 points. Potential immigrants who apply with a spouse or a common-law partner must score at least 59 points in order to be eligible for the QSW Program.

Training (maximum 26 points)

As many as 26 points are awarded under the Training category of the Quebec Skilled Worker Immigration Program. These points are given across two sub-categories: Education (up to 14 points), and Areas of Training (up to 12 points).

The Education sub-factor has a minimum cutoff score of 2 points, which means that applicants must have obtained at least a secondary school general diploma in order to be eligible to become a Quebec-selected skilled worker. The level of education must also have been attained in the five years prior to applying for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program. Otherwise, the prospective immigrant must have worked in a field directly related to their degree or diploma for a minimum of 12 months in the five years before submitting their application.

Education (maximum 14 points):

  • General high school diploma – 2 points
  • Vocational high school diploma – 6 points
  • General postsecondary school diploma (full-time for 2 years) – 4 points
  • Technical postsecondary school diploma (full-time for 1 year) – 6 points
  • Technical postsecondary school diploma (full-time for 2 years) – 6 points
  • Technical postsecondary school diploma in section A or B training area (full-time for 1 or 2 years) – 10 points
  • Technical postsecondary school diploma (full-time for 3 years) – 8 points
  • Technical postsecondary school diploma in section A or B training area (full-time for 3 years) – 10 points
  • Undergraduate degree (full-time for 1+ years) – 4 points
  • Undergraduate degree (full-time for 2+ years) – 6 points
  • Undergraduate degree (full-time for 3+ years) – 10 points
  • Master’s degree – 12 points
  • Doctorate – 14 points

The Areas of Training sub-category is intended to identify potential immigrants who are professionally trained in areas with strong job prospects in Quebec. A detailed Quebec Skilled Worker Program list of Areas of Training is available to help prospective applicants determine which section their degree or diploma is classified under.

Areas of Training (maximum 12 points):

  • Section A – 12 points
  • Section B – 9 points
  • Section C – 6 points
  • Section D – 2 points
  • Section E – 0 points
  • Section F – 0 points
  • Section G – 0 points

Work Experience (maximum 8 points)

As many as 8 points are available under the Quebec Skilled Worker Program Work Experience category. Eligible work experience must have been gathered in the five years preceding submission of the Skilled Worker Program Quebec application. Eligible job experience includes both paid and unpaid employment. However, unremunerated employment and internships must have been undertaken in accordance with a training or educational program.

Job Experience Points Grid:

  • Less than 6 months – 0 points
  • 6 months to 1 year – 4 points
  • 1 to 2 years – 4 points
  • 2 to 3 years – 6 points
  • 3 to 4 years – 6 points
  • More than 4 years – 8 points

Age (maximum 16 points)

The economic immigration program is designed to attract potential Quebec skilled workers who will have long and prosperous careers in the province. Consequently, the Quebec Skilled Worker Programme Age selection factor rewards young prospective immigrants with up to 16 points towards their eligibility score.

Age Points Grid:

  • 18 to 35 years old – 16 points
  • 36 years old – 14 points
  • 37 years old – 12 points
  • 38 years old – 10 points
  • 39 years old – 8 points
  • 40 years old – 6 points
  • 41 years old – 4 points
  • 42 years old – 2 points
  • 43+ years of age – 0 points

Language Proficiency (maximum 22 points)

As many as 22 Quebec Skilled Worker Program points are available under this selection factor. French language skills are preferred by Immigration Quebec, and consequently, French language proficiency is weighted more strongly than English language proficiency with an opportunity for the applicant to score 16 points for French compared to 6 points for English.

In general, a person is classified as a “Low Beginner” if they are only able to comprehend short or common phrases, and express simple things. A “High Beginner” is someone who is able to comprehend basic day to day information, and express themselves effectively in standard situations. A person is considered a “Low Intermediate” if they can understand most information they hear in typical situations, and are able to communicate effectively in most day to day scenarios. A “High Intermediate” is a person who can comprehend detailed info regarding a wide variety of subjects either standard or abstract. They can also speak clearly and effectively about many topics they are interested in. An individual is considered “Advanced” if they can understand complicated information in both professional and casual settings, and can clearly and confidently communicate on a wide array of topics.

French Language Proficiency (maximum 16 points):

  • Reading – A1 Low Beginner (0 points), A2 High Beginner (0 points), B1 Low Intermediate (0 points), B2 High Intermediate (1 point), C1 Advanced (1 point), C2 Advanced (1 point)
  • Writing – A1 Low Beginner (0 points), A2 High Beginner (0 points), B1 Low Intermediate (0 points), B2 High Intermediate (1 point), C1 Advanced (1 point), C2 Advanced (1 point)
  • Listening – A1 Low Beginner (0 points), A2 High Beginner (0 points), B1 Low Intermediate (0 points), B2 High Intermediate (5 points), C1 Advanced (6 points), C2 Advanced (7 points)
  • Speaking – A1 Low Beginner (0 points), A2 High Beginner (0 points), B1 Low Intermediate (0 points), B2 High Intermediate (5 points), C1 Advanced (6 points), C2 Advanced (7 points)
  • Reading – CLB 1 to CLB 4 Beginner (0 points), CLB 5 to CLB 8 Intermediate (1 point), CLB 9 to CLB 12 Advanced (1 point)
  • Writing – CLB 1 to CLB 4 Beginner (0 points), CLB 5 to CLB 8 Intermediate (1 point), CLB 9 to CLB 12 Advanced (1 point)
  • Listening – CLB 1 to CLB 4 Beginner (0 points), CLB 5 to CLB 8 Intermediate (1 point), CLB 9 to CLB 12 Advanced (2 points)
  • Speaking – CLB 1 to CLB 4 Beginner (0 points), CLB 5 to CLB 8 Intermediate (1 point), CLB 9 to CLB 12 Advanced (2 points)

Please note: while it is significantly more difficult, it is possible to immigrate to Quebec as a skilled worker without speaking French or English.

Quebec Connection (maximum 8 points)

Quebec skilled immigration applicants who have spent time in Quebec or have family in the province can be awarded as many as 8 points under this selection factor. The sub-category for having family members in Quebec offers up to 3 points, while the Stay in Quebec sub-category can provide up to 5 points. Please note: family members who reside in Canada but not in Quebec do not count under this category. Points are only awarded for relatives actively residing in Montreal, Quebec City, Gatineau, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivieres (Three Rivers), Saguenay, Drummondville, or any other city, town, village, or area in the Province of Quebec.

Family in Quebec (maximum 3 points):

  • Spouse – 3 points
  • Sibling – 3 points
  • Parent – 3 points
  • Child – 3 points
  • Grandparent – 3 points
  • Uncle or aunt – 0 points
  • Nephew or niece – 0 points
  • Cousin – 0 points

Visiting Quebec (maximum 5 points):

  • Worked in Quebec for at least 3 months (includes Working Holiday Visa holders) – 5 points
  • Worked in Quebec for at least 6 months – 5 points
  • Studied in Quebec for at least 3 months – 5 points
  • Studied in Quebec for at least 6 months – 5 points
  • Stayed in Quebec (not for work or school) for more than 2 weeks – 1 point
  • Stayed in Quebec (not for work or school) for more than 3 months – 2 points
  • Visited Quebec for less than 2 weeks – 0 points

Characteristics of Spouse (maximum 17 points)

The Spouse’s characteristics criterion is one of the Quebec skilled immigration selection factors and up to 17 points are awarded under this category. The level of education of a spouse is worth up to 4 points, their training area up to 4 points, their age as many as 3 points, and their proficiency in French language oral interaction up to 6 points. The minimum score required of an applicant with a spouse or common-law partner is higher than that of a single applicant, so even though unmarried applicants are ineligible to receive points under this category these are certainly not “bonus points.”

Spouse’s Education (maximum 4 points):

  • General high school diploma – 1 points
  • Vocational high school diploma – 2 points
  • General postsecondary school diploma (full-time for 2 years) – 1 points
  • Technical postsecondary school diploma (full-time for 1 year) – 2 points
  • Technical postsecondary school diploma (full-time for 2 years) – 2 points
  • Technical postsecondary school diploma (full-time for 3 years) – 3 points
  • Undergraduate degree (full-time for 1+ years) – 1 points
  • Undergraduate degree (full-time for 2+ years) – 2 points
  • Undergraduate degree (full-time for 3+ years) – 3 points
  • Master’s degree – 4 points
  • Doctorate – 4 points

Spouse’s Area of Training (maximum 4 points):

  • Section A – 4 points
  • Section B – 3 points
  • Section C – 2 points
  • Section D – 1 points
  • Section E – 0 points
  • Section F – 0 points
  • Section G – 0 points

Spouse’s Age (maximum 3 points):

  • 18 to 35 years old – 3 points
  • 36 years old – 2 points
  • 37 years old – 2 points
  • 38 years old – 2 points
  • 39 years old – 2 points
  • 40 years old – 1 point
  • 41 years old – 1 point
  • 42 years old – 1 point
  • 43+ years of age – 0 points

Spouse’s French Language Proficiency (maximum 6 points):

  • Reading – All skill levels (0 points)
  • Writing – All skill levels (0 points)
  • Listening – A1 Low Beginner (0 points), A2 High Beginner (0 points), B1 Low Intermediate (0 points), B2 High Intermediate (2 points), C1 Advanced (3 points), C2 Advanced (3 points)
  • Speaking – A1 Low Beginner (0 points), A2 High Beginner (0 points), B1 Low Intermediate (0 points), B2 High Intermediate (2 points), C1 Advanced (3 points), C2 Advanced (3 points)

Validated Job Offer (maximum 10 points)

Skilled Worker Program Quebec applicants who have received a validated permanent employment offer can be awarded up to 10 points under this selection factor depending on the location of the job.

Validated Job Offer Points Grid:

  • Validated employment offer in Montreal area – 8 points
  • Validated employment offer outside Montreal area – 10 points

Accompanying Children (maximum 8 points)

Candidates for skilled worker immigration to Quebec who will be bringing their children to Canada are eligible for up to 8 points under this selection criterion.

Accompanying Children Points Grid:

  • Per child under 13 years of age – 4 points
  • Per child 13 to 19 years old – 2 points

Financial Self-sufficiency (maximum 1 point)

Quebec Canada Skilled Worker Program applicants are eligible to receive one point under this “Financial Autonomy” qualification category should they meet the Quebec immigration minimum settlement funds requirement. The Government of Quebec requires potential immigrants to possess a minimum amount of money that is determined by the number of family members immigrating and their ages. Applicants who sign the Quebec Immigration Skilled Worker Program financial agreement stating that they possess the required funds will receive a point for this selection factor. A score of 1 point in this category is required in order to be eligible for the Skilled Worker Program.

What is the Highest Possible Quebec Skilled Worker Score?

Although extremely unlikely, it is possible for an applicant to attain a QSW Canada immigration score of 116 (26 + 8 + 16 + 22 + 8 + 17 + 10 + 8 + 1). To do so, he or she would need to have a PhD in a Section A area of training, have more than 4 years of eligible job experience, be 35 years of age or under, be exceptional at both French and English, have close family living in Quebec, have previously worked or studied in the province, have a validated Quebec job offer, have 2 or more children also moving to Canada, be financially self-sufficient, and have a spouse or partner that is also young and highly educated in an ideal industry. The minimum cutoff score for participating in the Quebec Canada Immigration Skilled Worker Program is 50 points for single applicants and 59 points for couples.

Quebec Skilled Worker Requirements

The Quebec Skilled Worker Program requirements were changed in 2015, lowering the score required to obtain a Certificate de Selection du Quebec (CSQ). The Adaptability selection factor was also removed from the points-based Quebec immigration program. As a result, the adaptability interview is no longer a requirement of the Canada Immigration Quebec Skilled Worker Program. Previously, attending a scheduled interview was an obligatory element of the QSW Program application process. Now it is no longer mandatory, although Immigration Quebec retains the right to conduct QSWP interviews should they wish to verify in person settlement plans, authenticity of documentation, language proficiency, relationships in Quebec, or other aspects of a candidate’s application.

The Quebec immigration points grid was updated again in 2017. The minimum points required for single applicants was increased from 49 to 50, and the number of points required for married couples was raised from 57 to 59. The 2018 Immigration Quebec Areas of Training list was also updated. In addition to these changes, the Government of Quebec has been steadily improving the “Mon projet Québec” online immigration system, and it is now better than ever.

The new Quebec immigration rules for skilled workers favor potential candidates who have been trained in a “preferred area” or who have a validated offer of employment in the province. In 2018, the Education sub-category is more heavily weighted than the Areas of Training sub-category, which means what a person is trained in affects their eligibility to migrate to Quebec less than the actual level of education they have attained. The Quebec Immigration Skilled Worker list of occupations has also been enlarged, and points are now awarded for an exceedingly wide range of degrees and diplomas from foreign and Quebec institutions. Canadian immigration for Quebec skilled workers is more consistent and objective than ever thanks to the new ranking formula, and many subjective elements such as the in-person interview have been removed. The new and improved Quebec immigration eligibility criteria for the program should prove to be more effective at identifying human capital with strong credentials.

Which Canadian Visa Offices Process Quebec Skilled Worker Program Applications?

The following Canada Visa Offices accept Skilled Worker Quebec applications.

Asia and Australia:

  • Beijing (China)
  • Colombo (Sri Lanka)
  • Hong Kong (China)
  • Islamabad (Pakistan)
  • Manila (Philippines)
  • New Delhi (India)
  • Singapore (Singapore)
  • Sydney (Australia)
  • Accra (Ghana)
  • Cairo (Egypt)
  • Dakar (Senegal)
  • Nairobi (Kenya)
  • Pretoria (South Africa)
  • Rabat (Morocco)
  • Tel Aviv (Israel)
  • Bucharest (Romania)
  • Kiev (Ukraine)
  • London (United Kingdom)
  • Moscow (Russia)
  • Paris (France)
  • Rome (Italy)
  • Vienna (Austria)
  • Warsaw (Poland)
  • Abu Dhabi (UAE)
  • Amman (Jordan)
  • Ankara (Turkey)
  • Beirut (Lebanon)
  • Guatemala City (Guatemala)
  • Havana (Cuba)
  • Kingston (Jamaica)
  • Los Angeles (USA)
  • Mexico City (Mexico)
  • New York City (USA)
  • Port-au-Prince (Haiti)
  • Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic)
  • Bogota (Colombia)
  • Buenos Aires (Argentina)
  • Lima (Peru)
  • Santiago (Chile)
  • Sao Paulo (Brazil)
  • Financial self-sufficiency contract (Quebec immigration form A-0522-OA)
  • Power of attorney mandate (if using a legal representative)
  • Declaration for practicing a regulated trade or profession (if applicable)
  • Declaration for being a teacher (if applicable)
  • Declaration for having attended Medical School in Canada or USA (if applicable)
  • Photocopy of valid passport (showing issue date and expiry date)
  • Photocopy of birth certificate
  • Photocopy of marriage certificate, judgment of divorce, and/or certificate of death of spouse (if applicable)
  • Photocopy of 2+ civil status documents attesting to de facto spouse status such as utility bill, shared bank account statements, mortgage or lease, etc. Documents must contain both names. (if applicable)
  • Photocopy of valid residence permit if residing in country in which you are not a citizen (if applicable)
  • Photocopy of proof of enrollment as a foreign student (if applicable)
  • Photocopy of letter from educational institution indicating start date for foreign student as well as expected end date (if applicable)
  • Original declaration of parental consent if child under 18 years of age will be accompanying you to Canada without the other parent. Consent must be made before a judge, magistrate, officer of the court, notary, Government employee or diplomatic representative from your country of citizenship. A certificate of death of the other parent, or a court judgment granting sole custody of the child to the accompanying parent will also suffice. (if applicable)
  • Photocopy of adoption papers for accompanying child (if applicable)
  • Original medical certificate indicating physical or mental incapacity of accompanying adult child (if applicable)
  • Original passport-sized photos of all family members immigrating to Quebec
  • Certified true copy of all degrees and diplomas, as well as all corresponding transcripts (if applicable)
  • Photocopy of official work attestation for each job declared in your Quebec Skilled Worker application. Must be printed on company letterhead and contain detailed information about job duration, positions held, tasks performed, and hours worked per week. (if applicable)
  • Photocopy of internship attestation on company letterhead and containing company contact information (if applicable)
  • Certified true copy of all internship agreements completed as part of a study program
  • Photocopy of documentation supporting your work as a self-employed person or contractor
  • Photocopy of certificate of company registration (if applicable)
  • Photocopy of documents demonstrating membership in a professional order (if applicable)
  • Original or certified true copy of income tax return to prove legality of work experience
  • Photocopy of professional practice permit in Quebec as well as authorization to practice a regulated trade in Quebec by local regulatory body (if applicable)
  • Photocopy of certificate of competence or qualification by regulatory body in Quebec (if applicable)
  • Photocopy of mutual recognition arrangement (ARM) eligibility for residents of France (if applicable)
  • Photocopy of French language testing: TEF, TEFAQ, TEF Canada, TCF, TCFQ, DELF or DALF (if applicable)
  • Photocopy of English language testing: IELTS (if applicable)
  • Photocopy of proof of relationship with Quebec. Either a Quebec work permit or study permit, or proof of exemption for one, or passport stamps demonstrating a visit to Quebec. (if applicable)
  • Photocopy of proof of family in Quebec. Birth certificate of family member domiciled in the province, as well as their valid Quebec healthcare card and Canadian passport or residency card. (if applicable)

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