Immigration to and integration in Quebec: the new regulations

Published 2019-05-16 13:13

Thousands of expats make Quebec their new home every year. The immigration system is, therefore, forever evolving.. To better meet the needs of the province, but also to allow better integration of immigrants to Quebec.

Immigration has always been at the heart of Quebec’s economic development, with the province being able to choose its own immigrants. It is a strategic economic development issue in a province of about 8.5 million inhabitants.

But the seemingly simple solution of "bringing in more immigrants," particularly francophones, is also increasingly raising the question of the proper integration of newcomers into the socio-economic fabric of the province. Indeed, many of them (85%, according to the figures of the last census of 2016) tend to settle in the Montreal area, which means other regions of Quebec are still affected by the labor shortage..

Immigration in the news...

The past year has been no easy ride for immigration in Quebec. The drastic decrease in the number of immigrants (a sharp 10, 000 decrease in just a year) as well as the 18,000 immigration files suspended by the Quebec Prime Minister François Legault have made it a tough year for immigration in Quebec.

But if the political context related to immigration is very fluid, it would be wrong to see only controversial grounds. Positive measures have been taken both provincially and federally to draw the new contours of immigration in Quebec and to all immigration candidates to understand the main current and future issues.

Meeting the needs of the province...

In 2018, the provincial government reformed Quebec’s regular procedure for applying for permanent selection, that is, the first step towards permanent residence in Canada. Since the summer of 2018, applicants for immigration have indeed to go through an additional step in the process, and submit a declaration of prior interest on the portal ARRIMA. Only those who are explicitly invited by Quebec, based on this declaration of interest, can now submit an application and hope to obtain a Quebec selection certificate (CSQ).

The reason behind this more rigorous and carefully chosen selection, we are told, is to better match the skills of immigrant workers with the current labor needs across the province. It also allows more personalized support for immigrants to the areas where their skills are required, in Montreal and especially in the regions where skills shortage is growing by the day.

Ensuring better integration of immigrants

Aside from ensuring efficient immigration, the integration of expatriates is also of utmost importance. The proper integration of permanent immigrants also means better care for people who already reside, live and work in Quebec with a temporary status. Here again, a major reform came into effect in the summer of 2018, aimed mainly at low-skilled workers and spouses of students and temporary workers. The latter are now eligible for the Quebec Experience Program (QIP), an accelerated permanent selection procedure that was previously reserved for skilled workers in the position of principal applicant - as opposed to spouses, even workers, attached to a license. studies or closed work, for example.

In addition to meeting the high expectations of many temporary residents, this measure also attracts low-skilled workers- which has been a challenge for a while now.

Immigration and security

Canada, like other countries with an increasing number of immigration applications, has introduced new border security measures. Among them, the measure that has the most significant impact is, undeniably, the generalization of collection of biometric data. With only a few exceptions, everyone, from the tourist to the temporary and the permanent resident is concerned by this measure.


Do you have plans to move to Quebec? Come and find the answers to all your questions and build your project at the Salon de l'immigration et l'intégration du Québec, which will be held on May 29 and 30, 2019 at the Palais des Congrès in Montreal.