Today’s news concerns only those who are interested in immigration to Quebec. On March 28, the Immigration, Diversité et Inclusion Québec (MIDI) issued a new package of statutory provisions relating to the Quebec provincial immigration programs. Some of these provisions are of a temporary nature, while others can be attributed to fundamental changes.

So, all those who are tensely waiting for the opening of a new cycle to submit their applications for the program of Quebec Skilled Workers, promised at the end of March, can, unfortunately, drown their sorrows in wine (or a stronger drink). The same applies to those wishing to immigrate through the creation of their own business in Quebec. The Ministry reported that all economic programs will be suspended from April 1 to August 15, 2018, with the exception of Quebec Experience program and those skilled workers (or students) who are already in Quebec and pass beyond the quota.

Despite the fact that the program is frozen until mid-August, the accompanying communique states that the claimed quota for 5 000 new candidates for the program of Quebec Skilled Workers in 2018 will not be accepted at all.

The main reason why the government suspends the acceptance of applications is a huge number of non-examined applications that have been submitted during the previous five years. Here are the specific figures: the backlog of the Ministry as of January 1, 2018 for processing applications from qualified workers was 26 607 applications and from investors – 2 409 applications. Just imagine a line of millionaires who wait for five years when they are allowed finally invest their money in the economy of Quebec!

At the same time, the Quebec Experience program has blossomed with all kinds of indulgences and improvements. Here are the most basic of them:

• From now on, all categories of workers (0, A, B, C and D will be eligible for the PEQ) will be accepted for the Temporary Foreign Worker program;
• Applicants who have an open work visa through a spouse’s visa will now be eligible to apply under the PEQ – this change is simply revolutionary. It opens up a lot of additional opportunities for couples who are already in Quebec and have their work and student visas.

By the way, there are no changes in the level of knowledge of the French language – the minimum required level remains B2.

There have been changes in the Investor program: if earlier with a capital of $ 1 600 000 it was required to invest $ 800 000, now the rates have increased: the minimum capital level is $ 2 000 000 with a minimum investment level of $ 1 200 000.

The government plans to carry out reform in the following business programs: Entrepreneur and Self-Employed.

Also, the ratios of the Stay in Quebec and Validated Job Offer in the Quebec Skilled Workers program will be reconsidered. It’s very probable that the updated criteria will be more favourable (applicants will receive more points).

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