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Frequently asked questions Programme de l’expérience québécoise

Updated 
December 5, 2019

On November 14, 2019, the Québec government issued a decree formalizing the announcement made on November 8 to suspend the changes to the Programme de l’expérience québécoise [Québec experience program] (PEQ) that had been in effect since November 1. With this, the Programme de l’expérience québécoise has become active once again with the rules that were in effect before November 1, 2019.

For the PEQ graduate stream, this means that the list of areas of study has been removed and that all graduates who have completed a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD and who meet the program criteria can apply for a CSQ through the PEQ once again. For the PEQ worker stream, the list of eligible jobs has also been removed.

Regarding the French language requirements, the rules that were in effect before November 1 are being implemented once again. Only the principal applicant must demonstrate an advanced intermediate proficiency level in spoken French, and completing a PEQ eligible study program entirely in French in Québec is one of the ways of meeting this requirement. Note that, for applications submitted on or after January 1, 2020, the new requirement for learning democratic values and Québec values will come into effect.
 

Is it possible to apply for a certificat de sélection du Québec [Québec selection certificate] (CSQ) through the PEQ graduate stream?

Yes. The PEQ graduate stream is no longer being suspended. If you meet the criteria for this program, you can apply for a CSQ.

PEQ graduate stream

As of November 14, what are the current main criteria for the PEQ graduate stream?

Here are the main criteria that you must meet to apply through the PEQ graduate stream:

  • You have earned a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD degree from Université Laval within the last 36 months.
  • You have not started a new study program in Québec since you were issued your diploma.
  • You have stayed in Québec for at least half of the duration of your study program.
  • You have complied with the conditions of your stay (full-time registration, a CAQ with the correct degree level, etc.).
  • You commit to providing for your basic needs and those of your family.
  • You intend to settle in Québec to work.
  • If you are a scholarship recipient with a return-to-country clause, you have complied with that condition.
  • You have an advanced intermediate proficiency level in spoken French, at the least; this applies to the principal applicant only.
  • For applications submitted on or after January 1, 2020, you have met the requirement for learning the democratic values and Québec values expressed in the Québec Charter of human rights and freedoms; this applies to both the principal applicant and their spouse.
     

What are the French language requirements to be eligible for the PEQ (graduate and worker streams)?

The principal applicant must demonstrate an advanced intermediate proficiency level in spoken French to be eligible for the PEQ. Contrary to what was announced on November 1, spouses do not have to meet this requirement.
The following means are accepted for demonstrating knowledge of French:

  • Results of a standardized test (TEFAQ, TCF, etc.)
  • Three years of full-time secondary or post-secondary education entirely in French 
  • Meeting the language requirements of a professional order in Québec
  • Successful completion of a study program eligible for the PEQ – graduate stream that was taken in Québec and entirely in French
  • Advanced intermediate French course taken in Québec
     

Will the new requirements for the PEQ that came into effect on November 14, 2019, change again in the near future?

The Québec government has announced that it will conduct consultations with different partners in the economic and educational sectors. Université Laval will continue to work with other Québec universities and intends to actively participate in the consultations that will be held.

However, it is impossible to predict when new changes will come into effect or what they will entail.

If I submitted my CSQ application (graduate and worker streams) between November 1 and November 14, 2019, what conditions will be used to assess my application?

If you applied for a CSQ (graduate and worker streams) between November 1 and November 14, 2019, your application will be assessed based on the conditions that existed before November 1 (these include, among other things, not considering the lists of eligible areas of study and eligible jobs). 

Only recipients of diplomas that attest to between 900 and 1,799 hours of study inclusive who have submitted an application during this period will have their application assessed based on the selection criteria that existed before November 1, 2019. It is worth noting that all Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD degrees from Université Laval attest to more than 1,800 hours of study.
 

Can I still work during my studies?

The right to work in Canada during your studies is managed by the federal government and remains unchanged.

Is it still possible to apply for a post-graduation work permit after my studies?

Yes. The post-graduation work permit program is managed by the federal government and has not changed. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you will be able to apply for a post-graduation work permit and work anywhere in Canada after your studies.

I have already obtained my Certificat de sélection du Québec [Québec selection certificate] (CSQ), and my permanent residence application is currently being processed. Do the changes that were just announced cancel my CSQ?

No. If you have already obtained a CSQ, it remains valid.

What are the other programs that could allow me to immigrate to Québec or the rest of Canada?

You may be able to qualify for the Regular Skilled Worker Program. Applications for selection are processed through an expression of interest principle. You must first complete and submit an expression of interest through the Arrima portal. MIFI then sends invitations to submit applications for selection based on people’s profiles. Having a validated job offer [in French only] significantly increases the chances of receiving an invitation. The application is then analyzed according to the Selection Grid for the Regular Skilled Worker Program.

If you intend to settle in a province other than Québec, you can find out about the various immigration programs managed by the federal government. For more information on this topic, you can attend one of the information sessions on “Post-Graduation Work Permit and Possibilities to settle in another Canadian Province,” which Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offers on campus, or you can have a look at the presentation online. The next information sessions will be held on January 24, 2020; for more details, go to the Conferences section of the Bureau de la vie étudiante website.
 

My spouse currently has an open work permit and is employed. Can he or she apply for permanent selection as the principal applicant?

If the person holds a job for 12 months, they may be eligible to submit a CSQ application through the Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ) worker stream.

Will the “values test” be a requirement that I will have to meet if I want to immigrate permanently to Québec?

Effective January 1, 2020, a new selection condition related to learning democratic values and Québec values expressed in the Québec Charter of human rights and freedoms will come into effect. Applications from this date must include this attestation, both for the principal applicant and for their spouse, if applicable. 

 

Postdoctoral Fellows

Is it possible to apply for a CSQ through the PEQ – worker stream?

Yes. The list of eligible jobs has been removed from the PEQ – worker stream. The program now operates under the rules that were in place before November 1.

Applying for permanent residence – postdoctoral fellow [in French only] (see Étape [step] 13)
 

As of November 14, what are the current main criteria for the PEQ – worker stream?

Here are the main criteria that you must meet to apply through the PEQ – worker stream:

  • You are a foreign worker 18 years of age or older who is still working in Québec at the time of application.
  • Over the last 24 months, you have accumulated 12 months of legal, full-time (minimum of 30 hours per week) paid work that was carried out in Québec.
  • You have an advanced intermediate proficiency level in spoken French; this applies to the principal applicant only.
  • You commit to providing for your basic needs and those of your family.
  • For applications submitted on or after January 1, 2020, you have met the requirement for learning the democratic values and Québec values expressed in the Québec Charter of human rights and freedoms; this applies to both the principal applicant and their spouse.

Before preparing your application, you must ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria for the program.

Applying for permanent residence – postdoctoral fellow [in French only] (see Étape [step] 13)
 

What are the French language requirements to be eligible for the PEQ (graduate and worker streams)?

The principal applicant must demonstrate an advanced intermediate proficiency level in spoken French to be eligible for the PEQ. Contrary to what was announced on November 1, 2019, spouses do not have to meet this requirement.

The following means are accepted for demonstrating knowledge of French:

  • A final transcript attesting to the successful completion of a study program taken in Québec and entirely in French (including the Master’s and PhD theses, if applicable).
  • Proof of results of a French test or diploma recognized by the Ministère demonstrating a level of proficiency in oral comprehension and oral production of 7 or higher on the Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français des personnes immigrantes adultes or its equivalent (Level B2 or higher of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages); the list of recognized tests is available here.
  •  A final transcript attesting to the successful completion of at least three years of full-time secondary or post-secondary study completed entirely in French (including the Master’s and PhD theses, if applicable) and, where the national language of instruction is not exclusively French, an attestation from the issuing institution indicating the duration of the study program and the language of instruction.
  • A final transcript attesting to the successful completion of an advanced intermediate level French course taken in Québec at a recognized educational institution and included on the list of French courses eligible under the PEQ: Secondary level [in French only], College level [in French only] University level [in French only]
  • A regular licence to practise from a professional order in Québec, an attestation of fulfillment of the language requirements of a professional order in Québec, or an attestation of successful completion of the examination administered by the Office québécois de la langue française [French language bureau of Québec] for the purposes of obtaining a regular licence to practise.
     

Will the new requirements for the PEQ that came into effect on November 14, 2019, change again in the near future?

The Québec government has announced that it will conduct consultations with different partners in the economic and educational sectors. Université Laval will continue to work with other Québec universities and intends to actively participate in the consultations that will be held.

However, it is impossible to predict when new changes will come into effect or what they will entail. 
 

I have already obtained my CSQ. Do the changes that were announced cancel my CSQ?

No. If you have already obtained a CSQ, it remains valid.

Apart from the PEQ, what other programs could allow me to immigrate to Québec or elsewhere in Canada?

You may be able to qualify for the Regular Skilled Worker Program to obtain a CSQ. Applications for selection are processed through an expression of interest principle. You must first complete and submit an expression of interest through the Arrima portal. The ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration [minister of immigration, French-language enhancement, and integration] (MIFI) then sends invitations to submit applications for selection based on people’s profiles. Having a validated job offer [in French only] significantly increases the chances of receiving an invitation. The application is then analyzed according to the Selection Grid for the Regular Skilled Worker Program.

If you intend to settle in a province other than Québec, you can find out about the various immigration programs managed by the federal government. For more information on this topic, you can attend one of the information sessions on “Post-Graduation Work Permit and Possibilities to settle in another Canadian Province”, which Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offers on campus, or you can have a look at the presentation online. The next information sessions will be held on January 24, 2020.

My spouse has an open work permit and is employed. Can he or she apply for permanent selection as the principal applicant?

If the person has been employed for 12 months, they may be eligible to apply for a CSQ through the PEQ worker stream, as explained in the responses above.

Will the “values test” be a requirement that I will have to meet if I want to immigrate permanently to Québec?

Effective January 1, 2020, a new selection condition related to learning democratic values and Québec values expressed in the Québec Charter of human rights and freedoms will come into effect. Applications submitted on or after this date must include this attestation, both for the principal applicant and for their spouse, if applicable.