2009-10-13 09:15:22

There are different criteria to be filled in if you wish to live and work in Quebec. Find out more about work visas and permits for Quebec in this article.

You have to apply for an appropriate visa or permit if you intend to live and work in Quebec. Relating procedures are explained in this article.

Like the rest of the country, Quebec is also very welcoming toward foreign professionals who are looking for new opportunities. Indeed, many fields continuously require foreign expertise. Although the city is keener about employing French-speaking profiles, opportunities do exist for other nationalities depending on their particular skills.

 Good to know:

Some professions are regulated by professional orders which may not recognise your diplomas or training. In case your qualifications are not recognised in Quebec, you will not be able to eligible to employment. Make sure to seek all relevant information from these regulatory bodies or the Quebec Immigration website.

Moving to Quebec

To be able to work in Quebec, the first thing you need to do is to apply for your Social Insurance Number (NAS), a personal identification number required to find a job, open a bank account or register at the Canada Revenue Agency. You may not apply for a NAS from outside Canada. To get your NAS, you must go to your local Service Canada Center with your application form. Then, you will be given your NAS and you will receive your permanent card by mail within a few weeks. There is no fee associated with applying for a NAS.

For further information regarding the NAS social insurance number and the steps required to get a NAS, check the Immigration Quebec website.

The permanent resident visa in Quebec

Holding a permanent resident visa will allow you to settle anywhere in Quebec for an unlimited period of time while receiving the same benefits as any Quebec resident. The application process is three-staged: first, you must assess your eligibility by taking the Preliminary Evaluation for Immigration (Évaluation Préliminaire d’Immigration - EPI). A scoring table, which takes into account your age, qualifications, professional background and your abilities in French and English, will evaluate your chances of being selected by Quebec. If your evaluation is successful, you will be able to apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ – Certificat de sélection du Quebec). To take this test online, proceed to the Quebec Immigration website.

Quebec is the only Canadian province which can select its immigrants following its own criteria. To this purpose, it provides its eligible petitioner with a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ – Certificat de sélection du Quebec). To apply for a CSQ, refer to the Immigration Quebec website where every step is thoroughly explained. Documentary evidence of education, sufficient amount of assets and identity is required, along with payment for processing fees. Once you filed the application, you will have to return it to your local Immigration Quebec office. To find the address of the Immigration Quebec office you belong to, refer to the Immigration Quebec website. Once your file is processed by competent authorities, you will have to take a final interview with a counsellor from Immigration Quebec who will decide whether to grant you your CSQ.

Once you obtained your CSQ, you will be able to proceed to the last immigration step, which is to be selected by the Federal Government of Canada. You will have to attach your CSQ (valid for one year) to your application along with all the required documents, medical certificates and payment for processing fees. All relating formalities are detailed on the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship website.

Once you have successfully completed all these steps, and upon approval from the federal government, you can either collect your visa on directly at your local Canada Embassy or the Embassy will send it back to you by post mail.

The temporary work permit in Quebec

To be eligible for a temporary work permit in Quebec, you must already have landed a job offer in the province. In order not to compete with Canadians from the local employment market, the human resources department of the company that would like to hire you must have the job offer certified by the Human Resource Canada department. There is a fee associated with the job offer evaluation and the company that would like to hire you will have to post this job offer on the Quebec employment web site so that local workers may respond.

A the same time, the petitioner will have to apply for a Quebec acceptance certificate (CAQ) at Québec's MICC (Ministère de l'Immigration et des Communautés culturelles – temporary workers department). The steps to take as well as the documents to provide are detailed on the Quebec government website. Some fees are associated with the CAQ application.

Once you obtained your CAQ, you will have to mail your work permit application to the federal centre of Vegreville in Alberta if you are already residing in Quebec, or you may get it directly at the immigration desk while entering Canadian territory. You will have to pay the fees for your work permit directly at the airport.

 Good to know:

Sometimes, a visa is not required to work in Quebec. Some professions are not subjected to visas (athletes, news reporters etc.) For a list of jobs exempted from a work permit, refer to Canadian Immigration and Citizenship website.

The Working Holiday Visa 

The Working Holiday Visa (WHV) is a special program that allows young people aged 18 and 35 to live and work in Canada for a period ranging from 6 month to a year and coming from United Kingdom, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New-Zealand, Switzerland, South Africa, Ukraine and some other countries eligible for the program. 

In order to file your application, you are required to provide the following documents: a copy of your passport, a cover letter, a resume, 4 “passport”-type pictures, a financial self-sufficiency document certifying that you can support yourself up to 700 euros per month during the first three month following your arrival in Canada.

If you wish to work in a hospital or school, a medical examination may be required.

Next, mail your application to the Canada Embassy of your country. Processing delays vary, usually within 3 to 8 weeks.

If your application is accepted, you will receive a letter explaining that you will have to bring the document enclosed in the letter to the immigration services upon arrival in Canada, along with your insurance certificate (because you will have to subscribe to a personal health insurance, a typical medical emergency plan (physician visit, hospital stay, trip interruption) is around 30 euros per month).

Your WHV CANNOT be renewed, and you may apply only once. If you applied for a WHV for a period of less than one year and you wish to extend it, you may do so by simply sending your application for extension at least 30 days before your permit expires.

 Useful links:

Canadian Immigration and Citizenship www.cic.gc.ca
Canadian Embassies and Consulates travel.gc.ca
Immigration Quebec – Preliminary Evaluation for Immigration (PEI) www.immigration-quebec.gouv.qc.ca
Immigration Quebec – Quebec Selection Certificate www.immigration-quebec.gouv.qc.ca/en/immigrate-settle/permanent-workers
Immigration Quebec – Temporary workers www.immigration-quebec.gouv.qc.ca/en/immigrate-settle
International Experience Canada www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/iec

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