Controversial changes to the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) came into force on Wednesday, July 22.
The changes see new work experience requirements introduced for international student and increase work experience requirements for temporary foreign workers.
The admissible occupation levels for temporary workers has also been changed.
A series of transitional measures were also introduced aimed at those already in Quebec, allowing them to qualify under the old requirements.
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Changes to Quebec Experience Program To Take Effect July 22
1) Increased Work Experience
- Temporary workers will be required to have 24 months of full-time work experience during the 48 months preceding their request for permanent selection.
- Quebec graduates will require 12 or 24 months of full-time work experience to qualify for the PEQ. Mandatory internships as part of study programs to count up to a maximum of 3 months of full-time work. For holders of a vocational diploma, the work experience requirement is 18 months.
2) Knowledge of French for Spouses
Spouses of principal applicants will have to demonstrate a level 4 oral knowledge of French. This measure will only come into force in a year, on July 22, 2021.
3) Proof of French Ability
A certificate of success of an advanced intermediate level French course offered in Quebec by an educational institution will no longer be admissible as proof of knowledge of French.
4) Processing Time
Target processing times will increase from 20 days to 6 months, given “the significant increase in requests submitted in the PEQ”.
5) Transitional Measures
- Foreign students who have obtained a diploma eligible for the PEQ or will obtain it by December 31, 2020 may submit an application under the requirements that existed before July 22, 2020.
- Temporary foreign workers in Quebec on July 21, 2020, may submit an application under the requirements that existed before July 22, 2020.
- A certificate of successful completion of an advanced intermediate-level French course can be presented as proof of French language for those who have already passed the course, who were taking it or who were already registered to take it on July 21, 2020.
- The level 4 knowledge of oral French requirement for a spouse or common-law partner will come into force on July 22, 2021. Spouses who held a valid work permit on July 21, 2020 do not have to demonstrate their knowledge of oral French.
- All applications submitted before the changes will be processed under the requirements that existed before July 22, 2020.
In 2019, 14,748 Quebec Selection Certificates (CSQs) were issued through the program, compared to the 2010 total of 1,895. In 2019, the number of foreign workers to receive CSQs rose to 9,881 from 5,566 in 2018, an increase of 78 percent.