Immigrate to Quebec

The province of Quebec has a special agreement with the Government of Canada regarding immigration and has a distinct set of rules for choosing foreign nationals who will sufficiently integrate into Quebec society. In order to immigrate to Quebec as a skilled worker, one must first apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ).

A Quebec Selection Certificate, also known as a Certificat de sélection du Quebec and/or CSQ, allows a foreign national to immigrate to and settle in Quebec. If a foreign national’s intended destination in Canada is within the province of Quebec, then they must obtain a CSQ before they are able to apply for permanent residence with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (Immigration Canada).

The Ministère de l’immigration, de la diversité et de l’inclusion (Immigration Quebec) has a yearly cap on the number of CSQ applications that they will receive per year. However, the yearly cap does not include those whom qualify under the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ), those whom have a validated job offer or those who are temporary residents in Quebec.

Application Process

Immigrating to Quebec as a skilled worker is a two-step process: 

  1. The foreign national must first apply to Immigration Quebec for a CSQ; 
  2. Once the CSQ is issued, the foreign national must then apply to Immigration Canada for permanent resident status. 

Only once the CSQ is issued by Immigration Quebec, a foreign national can then submit their application for permanent residence with Immigration Canada.  The foreign national will need to submit the required forms and supporting documentation to Immigration Canada, along with the CSQ. Immigration Canada will assess the foreign national against their own criteria, as well as completing the required medical and criminal inadmissibility assessments. If the application for permanent residence is successful, Immigration Canada will issue a document called a Confirmation of Permanent Residence. With this document, the foreign national may then complete the landing process in order to obtain permanent resident status. 

Quebec Certificate of Selection (CSQ)

A CSQ is not a status document. If a foreign national is living and working in Quebec, during the processing of their permanent residence application, he or she must continue to maintain valid status in Canada. The CSQ can be used, however, to help extend one’s work permit. 

Immigration Quebec has two programs available to those who would like to live in Quebec:

  1. Quebec Skilled Worker Program; or 
  2. Quebec Experience Program (PEQ)