A few days ago, during a press conference in the National Assembly of Quebec, the Minister of Immigration of Quebec, Mr. Jolin-Barrette, among other things, unveiled the theme of reform in the immigration program “Québec experience program” (or PEQ in French). The attempt to modify this program in the fall of 2019 caused a flurry of criticism.

During this press conference the Minister answered a question from journalists saying that work on new requirements regarding the selection of candidates in this program is in active stage, and soon the new rules will be announced. Mr. Jolin-Barrette did not delve into the details of the upcoming changes, but emphasized that all of them would be aimed at recruiting for the Quebec labor market truly demanded specialists who would not need time to adapt, learn French and immerse themselves in local realities.

It is worth recalling that there are two streams in the program under discussion: for those working in the province and for graduates of Quebec educational institutions. For both streams, you need to know French at a level above the average.

So, what are the planned changes? For those who are in Quebec on work permits, it is planned to increase the duration of work in the province of Quebec from 12 months under these rules to 24-36 months under the new rules (a specific number of months is still being discussed), and only certain professions (a list of them is under development) will count as “Quebec experience”.

For those who graduated from Quebec educational institution, it is planned to introduce two new strict requirements. Firstly, the future immigration candidate will need to graduate only from those programs that will be approved by the Quebec Ministry of Immigration, Francisation and Integration (a list of them is also under development) and, secondly, the fact of graduation from Quebec educational institution, as now it is, for example, will not be the only reason for obtaining a Quebec Certificate of Selection (or CSQ in French): a graduate will have to work in his specialty two years if he graduates from college and one year if he graduates from university.

Only by fulfilling these conditions, graduate students will receive the right to immigrate through the province of Quebec. According to the authors, the new rules should concern only those who arrive in Quebec after the publication of the new requirements, and those who are already in the province, as a student or a foreign worker, should not be affected by this reform.