Quebec Immigration Minister Proposes Expression of Interest System

On December 2, 2015, Quebec Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil proposed a new bill (Bill 77) to Quebec’s National assembly. Bill 77 proposes reforms to the current immigration laws. If adopted, the draft law would make it possible to implement a new immigration system. Quebec’s immigration Act, adopted in 1968, has undergone amendments but has never been reformed. The proposed changes would involve a shift to a similar system that Australia and New Zealand offer, one that involves an expression of interest. The bill would also facilitate the implementation of pilot projects to address temporary and permanent needs and affirm Quebec’s commitment to promote full participation of immigrants in Quebec society. Quebec has several immigration programs, and it will be interesting to see how the proposed changes would affect these programs. The Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP), a popular, first come, first-served program, is one of Quebec’s immigration programs and is. A successful QSWP application results in a candidate obtaining a Quebec selection certificate, which can then be used in order to pursue Canadian permanent residence. It remains to be seen if or when the proposed bill will become law. As of this time, Quebec has not yet adopted an Expression of Interest (EOI) system. As a result, the 2015-2016 Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) could be the last of its kind — a way to apply for and obtain Canadian permanent residence on a first-come, first-served basis. The next application cycle for the QSWP opens on January 18, 2016.

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