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Quebec Skilled Worker Program

Quebec Skilled Worker Program

Quebec Immigration: Regular Skilled Worker Program (QSWP)

Quebec does indeed have a unique position in the Canadian immigration landscape due to its French language and cultural heritage. As a result, the province has the authority to set its own immigration policies and operate its own permanent immigration programs separate from the federal programs.

The Regular Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) is one of the main immigration pathways available to individuals who wish to settle in Quebec. This program is designed to select skilled foreign workers who have the potential to integrate successfully into Quebec society.

The selection process under the QSWP is based on various factors, including the candidate’s profile, level of education, language skills, work experience, and ties to Quebec. These factors are assessed on a points-based system, with applicants needing to reach a certain threshold to be eligible for selection.

Here are some key points to know about the QSWP:

  1. Points assessment: Candidates are awarded points based on various selection factors, such as education, work experience, language proficiency in French and English, age, and other factors.
  2. Passing score: The passing score for the selection grid is determined by the Quebec government and may vary depending on the labor market needs and other factors.
  3. Area of Training list: Quebec has a list of preferred areas of training, and candidates with degrees or diplomas in those areas may receive additional points.
  4. Language requirements: Proficiency in French is crucial for the QSWP. Applicants need to submit valid language test results to demonstrate their French language skills. Some applicants may also need to provide English language test results.
  5. Work experience: Candidates must have acquired a certain amount of work experience in a skilled occupation to be eligible for the QSWP. The work experience must be within the past five years and meet specific criteria.
  6. Valid job offer: While not mandatory, having a valid job offer from a Quebec employer can significantly increase the chances of being selected under the QSWP.
  7. Application process: The QSWP application process involves submitting an expression of interest (EOI) through the online Arrima portal. Candidates who meet the eligibility criteria and have sufficient points are invited to apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ). Once obtained, the CSQ allows the applicant to apply for permanent residence with the federal government.

It’s important to note that the QSWP is just one of the immigration pathways available for individuals who wish to settle in Quebec. There are also other programs, such as the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) for temporary residents and the Quebec Entrepreneur Program, designed for individuals who want to start or acquire a business in Quebec.

For the most up-to-date and accurate information about the QSWP, it’s recommended to visit the official website of the Quebec government’s immigration department or consult with a qualified immigration professional.


The Quebec Regular Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) is a well-established permanent immigration program for skilled workers in Quebec. Similar to the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW) under the Express Entry system, foreign nationals interested in immigrating through the QSWP must complete an expression of interest (EOI) form through an online portal to declare their interest in immigrating to Quebec. The Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) regularly selects candidates from the pool and invites them to apply for permanent selection.

Recent Application Processing Improvements Under the QSWP

Previously, applications under the QSWP were submitted in paper format and subject to a quota. Quebec set a maximum number of applications it could receive for the year, resulting in a “first come, first served” selection system. However, this approach was inefficient and led to significant backlogs.

In 2018, the Quebec Immigration Ministry introduced an online Expression of Interest (EOI) system called “Arrima” to address these challenges. This system eliminated the first-come, first-served approach and backlogs, providing an equal opportunity for permanent selection to all potential candidates. Candidates aged 18 and older can declare their interest in immigrating to Quebec at any time.

Quebec’s Expression of Interest System

The EOI system for the QSWP is a two-step process applicable to skilled immigrants both within and outside the province.

Step 1: Candidates submit an electronic expression of interest through Arrima, which ranks them based on human capital and labor market-related criteria.

Step 2: The government invites the highest-ranked candidates from the pool to apply for permanent immigration through regular draws. Invitations depend on factors such as annual admission targets, processing capacity, candidate rankings, job offers, and targeted occupations at the time of each draw.

Immigration Process Under the QSWP

Candidates start by submitting an expression of interest through the Arrima pool, where profiles are scored based on factors like age, education, language skills, and work experience. Top-scoring candidates may be invited by the Government of Quebec to apply for permanent selection in regular draws.

Invited candidates complete and submit an application form for permanent selection through the Mon Projet Quebec portal. The portal enables candidates to complete their application, make online payments, track application status, make changes, and access a personal email throughout the process.

Successful candidates under the QSWP receive a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) and can then apply to the Government of Canada for permanent residence. The final approval process includes a medical examination and criminal background check conducted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

QSWP Eligibility

To be eligible for a CSQ under the QSWP, candidates must obtain sufficient points based on the Quebec Immigration selection grid. The grid consists of nine factors:

  1. Education
  2. Area of Training
  3. Validated Employment Offer
  4. Work Experience
  5. Age
  6. Language Proficiency
  7. Stay and Family in Quebec
  8. Spouse/Common-law Partner Characteristics
  9. Presence of Accompanying Children
  10. Financial Self-Sufficiency

A single candidate must score at least 50 points, while a candidate with a spouse or common-law partner must score at least 59 points.

QSWP Selection Factors

The Quebec Immigration selection factors and their corresponding points are as follows:

  • Education: Up to 14 points (Cutoff Score = 2 points)
  • Area of Training: Up to 12 points
  • Validated Employment Offer: Up to 14 points
  • Work Experience: Up to 8 points
  • Age: Up to 16 points
  • Language Proficiency: Up to 22 points
  • Stay and Family in Quebec: Up to 8 points
  • Spouse/Common-law Partner Characteristics: Up to 17 points
  • Presence of Accompanying Children: Up to 8 points
  • Financial Self-Sufficiency: 1 point

Certified true copies of required documents are necessary for the QSWP application, and language test results must be submitted to be awarded points for language proficiency.

For more information on approved French tests, please refer to “Proving French Language Ability (Quebec Skilled Worker Program).” Similarly, for information on the approved English test, please see “Proving English Language Ability – International English Language.”