At a Glance
- The Quebec government announced that once suspending regulations are published in the Official Gazette, foreign nationals will no longer be subject to the stricter requirements which went into effect on November 1 relating to the Quebec Selection Certificates under the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ). The publication of the regulations is expected imminently.
- The changes were suspended due to the public outcry stemming from the number of foreign nationals suddenly ineligible to apply under the program.
- The PEQ-Graduate category, which had just re-opened for applications on November 1, will remain open for applications, along with the PEQ-Worker category. Applications should be adjudicated under the criteria which were in place prior to November 1, 2019.
- Changes to the Quebec Skilled Worker Program, which were announced at the same time as the restrictive PEQ regulations, remain in effect at this time.
The Quebec government announced that foreign nationals will no longer be subject to the stricter requirements when applying for Quebec Selection Certificates (CSQs) under the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ), which went into effect on November 1, 2019. The suspension of these requirements will be in effect once suspending regulations are published in the Official Gazette, expected imminently.
A closer look
Details on the suspension of the regulations include the following:
- Quebec Experience Program to remain open. Both the PEQ-Graduate and PEQ-Worker categories will remain open for applications. Foreign nationals applying for the PEQ programs should have their applications adjudicated under the criteria that was in place prior to November 1, 2019.
- Adjudication of applications filed under restricted regulations. It is unclear at this time how the government will adjudicate applications filed under the restricted regulations. Fragomen will provide an update once this information is available.
- Foreign graduates. Foreign graduates will no longer be subject to the new government list of allowable areas of training under the PEQ or the stricter requirements concerning training and experience.
- Temporary workers. Foreign temporary workers will no longer be required to hold a job on the List of Jobs in Demand under the PEQ.
- Changes remaining in effect. Changes to the Quebec Skilled Worker Program, which were announced at the same time as the restrictive PEQ regulations, will remain in effect. This includes the new ranking system and the new CSQ criteria.
The suspension of the regulations will benefit the immigrant population since the restrictive criteria will no longer apply; it will allow more foreign nationals will be eligible to apply for a CSQ under the PEQ, which will provide them with a pathway to permanent residence if they are selected.
- Rationale for suspension. Due to the extremely restrictive nature of the new regulations, many foreign nationals, including those already living in Quebec, were no longer eligible to apply for a CSQ through the PEQ program. As a result, there was a large outcry from the public and large organizations, resulting in the government changing its stance.
- Quebec's restrictive government. The Quebec government is more conservative than the federal government and has taken a stronger stance on limiting immigration by implementing programs that encourages immigration by foreign nationals whose training and work experience will fulfil a labor market need and promoting integration through values tests.
The suspending regulations are expected to be published in the Official Gazette over the next few days, which would immediately implement the suspension. However, at this time, it is not clear if the new regulations pertaining to language and Quebec value attestations and French language proficiency for spouses, which were announced at the same time as the PEQ restrictive regulations and which were expected to come into effect on January 1, 2020, will also be suspended.
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