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Quebec counts a lot of immigrants and the Quebec government tries every year to attract French-speaking and skilled workers. You may find different opportunities if you would like to immigrate to Quebec.

To work in the "Belle Province", after your arrival, you must apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN), a personal identification number necessary to find a job, open a bank account, and register at the tax administration.

You cannot apply for a SIN outside Canada. To obtain it, you must visit a Canadian Service centre in your city with your passport and a proof of your status in Canada. Your SIN will be given to you directly at the counter. This process is free.

For further information about the SIN and the process to obtain it, please visit a Canadian Service centre.

The permanent resident visa

The permanent resident status allows you to live in Quebec for an unlimited period of time. It allows you to find a job with no restrictions and guarantees you the same rights as the other Quebec citizens regarding access to healthcare, education and work.

However, the permanent resident status does not allow you to vote or occupy security sensitive jobs. Even with the permanent resident status, you will not be able to stay in Canada if you are guilty of a serious crime.

Applying for a permanent residency visa

The process to obtain a permanent residency visa in Quebec counts three steps.

PEI

Check first that you are eligible for the Preliminary Evaluation for Immigration (PEI). Following a scale that takes into account your age, your skills, your professional experience and your knowledge of English and French, your chance to be qualified to live in Quebec will be measured. If the outcome is positive, you can reach the "Certificat de sélection du Québec" level, the next level on your way to permanent residency. You can have the PEI online.

CSQ

Quebec is the only province in Quebec capable of selecting newcomers following its own immigration program. It delivers to the candidates a "Certificat de Sélection du Québec" (Quebec Selection Certificate) or CSQ, the second step towards the permanent residency.

To apply for the CSQ, you must download the relevant form from the Immigration Quebec website and attach a résumé, a copy of your diplomas, school certificates ordered and stapled in descending order (except the ones from elementary school), any proof of work or internship as well as visa copies if you already worked abroad.

The main applicant will have to pay 773 CAD in fees and 167 CAD for any subsequent candidate (like a spouse or a child). Once the form is completed, you can send it to the Immigration Quebec office in charge of your area. To obtain its address, please visit the Immigration Quebec website. Once your application is processed, you will be contacted to arrange a meeting for the final interview with a counsellor from the Quebecker immigration. This one will decide if you obtain the CSQ or not.

 Good to know :

The CSQ applications in Skilled Workers and Businessmen categories are subject to yearly quotas. Double check on the Immigration Quebec website if the category in which you want to apply is not already closed. People applying in the Quebec experience category can do it at any time. Please consult the PEI to know in which category you should apply.

Permanent visa

After your selection, you will go through the last step of the immigration process: the admission by the Canadian federal government. At this point, you will apply for the permanent residency visa.

You will attach your CSQ to the application, valid for three years from the application date, as well as the necessary documents like the results of a medical examination, your criminal record and the payment of the 550 CAD fees. Additional fees of 490 CAD may apply to obtain permanent resident status in Canada.

Once you have gone through all these steps and after the acceptance of the Canadian federal government, you can receive the stamp on your passport directly at the Canadian embassy in your region or send it by mail before receiving it back from the embassy. The citizens of some countries like France that have agreements with Canada do not need a visa and will receive a simple letter called "Permanent Residency Confirmation".

Once you obtain the permanent resident status, you will receive your permanent resident card at your address in Canada. Please note that you have 180 days to send your address to the CIC after your entry in Canada. If you exceed this deadline, you will be required to pay a 50 CAD fee and request a new card. The permanent resident card, which is valid for five years, is a Canadian ID. 50 CAD fees will be asked to renew it. For further information, please visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

The temporary work permit

If you would like to request a temporary work permit for Quebec, you must first get a work contract in this province. In order to protect Canadians in the local labour market, the human resources representative from the company that would like to hire you must get their job offer certified from the Human Resources Ministry of Canada and conduct an impact study over the labour market. The company will have to pay for these two procedures.

They will have to publish a job offer on the "Emploi Québec" website in order to give a chance to local job seekers.

If the answer from the ministry is positive, the foreign candidate needs to apply for a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) online as a temporary worker from the "Immigration, Diversité et Inclusion du Québec" ministry. Fees of 194 CAD will apply for every application.

Once you receive your CAQ, you can send your work permit application by mail to the federal office of Vegreville, Alberta or apply directly on the CIC website. If you are already in Quebec, you can obtain the form in an immigration office when you enter Canada.

 Good to know :

You may not need a work permit every time you wish to work in Quebec. Some occupations are not subject to this rule, like athletes, journalists, etc. You will find a list of these occupations on the CIC website.

The WHV - Working Holiday Visa

Canada WHV is a temporary work permit that allows citizens from over 30 countries to work in Canada. This program is a part of International Experience Canada (IEC) that allows students to gain professional experience in Canada. Please note that you do not need a job offer to enter this program.

To obtain your WHV, you must apply online and register as a candidate before waiting for the Canadian government to open free slots. You will only be able to apply if the Canadian government draws your profile and asks you to do so.

Since November 2014, the duration of the WHV is 24 months. the candidates from the United Kingdom, Finland, Sweden, Danemark, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, South Africa and Ukraine can also apply to the IEC.

For your application, you will need the following documents: a copy of your passport, a cover letter, a résumé, four passport photos and a bank statement proving you hold at least 2,500 CAD to sustain yourself.

If you would like to work in a hospital or a school, a medical examination is also needed. Afterwards, send your application to the embassy of Canada of your country or to a visa centre in charge of your area. The processing delays vary, generally between three and eight weeks.

If your application is accepted, show the acceptance letter you received to the immigration officer upon arrival to Canada. The immigration officer will also ask for health and repatriation insurance that you must have before leaving your country. You may also be requested to show a return ticket.

Please note that the WHV is only available once and is not renewable. However, if you asked for a WHV for a period under one year and if you would like to extend it, you should request it at least 30 days before the end of your visa from the immigration services.

In June 2017, a fee of 226 CAD was applied for a WHV application.

 Useful links:

Immigration and citizenship
Canadian Embassies
Immigration Quebec - Preliminary Evaluation for Immigration (PEI)
Immigration Quebec - Temporary Workers
Internation Experience Canada - Work and Holiday Visa

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