Canada Immigration Through QUEBEC Skilled Worker Program (QSW)

The Quebec Skilled Worker Program was originated by the Quebec Government alongside the Federal Government of Canada with the aim of allowing well-educated and trained foreigners to relocate to Quebec as skilled workers so as to make lasting contributions to the economy of Quebec.

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Intending immigrants who indicated interest by applying for the Skilled Worker Quebec Program are screened according to a good number of factors and those who scored high at the end of the evaluation are issued a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) which they can use to apply for Canadian permanent residency.

Irrespective of the fact that the official language in Quebec is French, the ability to speak French proficiently is not a requirement for applicants thereby making this program more intriguing for English speakers living in Quebec. Also, the program irrespective of having its own spectacular rules for selecting immigrants but it does not require a valid job offer from any Canadian employee.

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How Can You Apply For QUEBEC Skilled Worker Program?

Candidates who applied for QSW must prove that they reach or even exceed the least required score on the QSW points assessment grid. 

If you have earned enough QSW points, you can now proceed to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) so as to be considered for the program through the use of the Arrima online portal.

After this, you will receive an invitation from the Government of Quebec to submit a complete application for a CSQ – Québec selection certificate.

When you receive a CSQ, you are now qualified to submit an official application for Canadian permanent residence.

What Is ARRIMA Online Portal?

It was formed by the Quebec  Ministère de l’Immigration, Francisation et Integration (MIFI), in order to assist in managing applications, channeled to the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSW). 

Before now, we mentioned that applicants can submit an Expression of Interest (EIO)  form online with the use of Arrima online portal and this form carries information such as the candidate’s work experience, the field of training, language proficiency, and education.

Moreover, candidates will be selected by MIFI from this pool but they are yet to confirm how selections will be made. Nevertheless, candidates who successfully got an invitation to apply to the program will be required to submit an application for a CSQ within a limited time.

Also, note that the time expected to process applications submitted via the Arrima online portal should not exceed 6 months. 

Criteria For QUEBEC Skilled Worker Eligibility

As we earlier mentioned, the program has spectacular criteria for qualification. Eligibility for the Quebec Immigration Skilled Worker program depends on nine factors of selection.

Points are awarded based on these selection factors in order to identify which of the possible immigrants is capable of contributing greatly to their economy by flourishing economically in Quebec.

 As a result of this, each applicant is expected to score a minimum of 50 points while applicants who applied with a spouse, dependent children (especially young ones), or common-law partner must score a minimum of 59 points in order to be qualified for the QSW program


Once an individual is able to meet the criteria set out by the authorities of Quebec immigration, he/she is eligible for the program irrespective of their occupation.

 At this point, successful applicants under the Quebec Immigration selection system are given a Quebec Selection Certificate.

Please note that applicants are not evaluated based on the Federal Skilled Workers Program selection factors and can proceed to apply for a Canadian permanent resident visa.

Below are the details of each of the Quebec Skilled Workers requirements.

Training (maximum of 26 points)

Under the Training category of the Quebec Skilled Worker Immigration Program, a total of 26 points are given which cuts across two major categories: Education (14 points) and Areas pertaining to training (12 points).

For the Education sub-factor, applicants must have acquired a minimum of a secondary school general diploma in order to attain the minimum cutoff point of 2 points so as to become qualified for Quebec-selected skilled workers.

 Also, applicants must have attained this level of education five years prior to submitting for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program and must have worked in a field that is connected to their diploma or degree for at least twelve months within those five years.

Education (maximum of 14 points):

  • General high school diploma – two marks
  • Vocational high school diploma – six marks
  • General postsecondary school diploma (full-time for a period of two years) – four marks
  • Technical postsecondary school diploma (full-time for  a period of one year) -six marks
  • Technical postsecondary school diploma (full-time for a period of two years) – six marks 
  • Technical postsecondary school diploma (full-time for a period of three years) – eight marks
  • Technical postsecondary school diploma in either section A or B training area (full-time for a period of three years) – ten marks 
  • Undergraduate degree (full-time for a period of a year +) – four marks
  • Undergraduate degree (full-time for a period of two years +) – six marks 
  • Undergraduate degree (full-time for a period of three years + years) – ten marks 
  • Master’s degree – twelve marks 
  • Doctorate – fourteen marks 

The Areas of Training sub-category is primarily targeted at identifying intending immigrants who had undergone professional training in areas with strong job prospects in Quebec. We have made available a comprehensive Quebec Skilled Worker Program list of training areas to assist applicants in what category their degree or diploma belongs to.

Areas of Training (maximum of twelve marks):

  • Section A – twelve marks 
  • Section B – nine marks 
  • Section C – six marks  
  • Section D – two marks 
  • Section E – zero score
  • Section F – zero score
  • Section G -zero score

Work Experience (maximum of 8 marks)

Under this category, as many as eight marks are available. Applicants must have garnered up to five years of work experience prior to submission of the Skilled Worker Program Quebec application and this experience involves employment both paid and unpaid.

Moreover, unpaid employment and internships must have been done in relation to educational programs or training.

Job Experience Score Grid:

  • Below 6 months – 0 score
  • From 6 months to 1 year – 4 marks
  • From 1 to 2 years – 4 marks
  • From 2 to 3 years – 6 marks
  • From 3 to 4 years – 6 marks
  • Above 4 years – 8 marks

Age (maximum of 16 marks)

The economic immigration program is designed in such a way that lures potential Quebec skilled workers who they feel will have a lengthy and successful career in the territory. Furthermore, the age selection factor in Quebec skilled worker program awards young intending immigrants with up to 16 marks during their eligibility grading.

Marks for Age Grid:

  • From 18 to 35 years old – sixteen marks
  • 36 years old – fourteen marks
  • 37 years old – twelve marks
  • 38 years old – ten marks
  • 39 years old – eight marks
  • 40 years old – six marks
  • 41 years old – four marks
  • 42 years old – two marks
  • 43+ years of age – zero score

Language Proficiency (maximum of 22 marks)

22 marks have been made available under this selection factor. Immigration Quebec prefers French language skills.

 This means that the French language is highly valued thereby having 16 points awarded for applicants who are proficient in the French language while applicants who are more proficient in the English language are awarded 6 points.

Immigration Quebec permits different English and French evaluation diplomas and tests from institutions such as International English Language Testing System (IELTS),  the Centre international d’études pédagogiques (CIEP), and Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris Île-de-France (CCIP-IDF) and any other test results from elsewhere are not accepted. Applicants are evaluated based on oral comprehension and oral production, written comprehension, and written production.

Generally, an applicant that understands common or short phrases and expresses common things can be classified as a “Low Beginner” while an applicant that is able to understand the major day-to-day information and effectively express themselves when the situation presents itself is classified as a “High Beginner”. 

 A “Low intermediate” is someone who comprehends most of the information they hear in typical scenarios and is capable of communicating it effectively while an applicant who is capable of comprehending comprehensive information concerning different subjects, including abstract and standard, and clearly talks about all the topics they show interest in is known as a “High intermediate”. An “Advanced” is someone who comprehends complicated information in whatever setting; casual or professional and is able to effectively speak on a broad range of topics. 

Though it may seem very hard, it is possible for you to immigrate to Quebec as a skilled worker without having knowledge of either French or English language

Quebec Connection (maximum of 8 marks)

Under this selection, if you are applying for the Quebec Skilled Immigration program and you have stayed in Quebec or have a family there, you can be awarded 8 marks for that. 

Having a family in Quebec fetches you 3 marks while living in Quebec gives you the remaining 5 points but also know that family members who live in Canada and not Quebec do not fall under this category. 

The points are only awarded for relatives living in Saguenay, Drummondville, Montreal, Quebec City, Gatineau,  Trois-Rivieres (Three Rivers), Sherbrooke, or any of the towns, cities, or territory of Quebec.

Please note that aside from brothers and sisters, parents, grandparents, and children you are not awarded any points for having any of the following family members in Quebec; uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece and cousins.

Visiting Quebec (maximum of  5 marks):

  • If you worked in Quebec for a minimum of 3 months including Working Holiday for Visa holders) – 5 marks
  • If you worked in Quebec for a minimum of 6 months – 5 marks
  • If you studied in Quebec for a minimum of 3 months – 5 marks
  • If you studied in Quebec for a minimum of 6 months – 5 marks
  • If you stayed in Quebec excluding for the purpose of work or school for more than 2 weeks – 1 mark
  • If you stayed in Quebec excluding for the purpose of work or school for more than 3 months – 2 marks
  • If you visited Quebec for less than 2 weeks – 0 score

Characteristics of Spouse (maximum of 17 marks)

The attributes of a spouse are one of the criteria for the Quebec skilled immigration selection factors and 17 points are designated for this category. The scores are awarded as follows: the spouse’s level of education (4 marks), proficiency in the French language (6 marks), and age of the spouse (3 marks).

The least score an applicant with either a spouse or common-law partner is expected to have should be higher than that of a single applicant, in other words, these are not bonus points for married applicants.

Validated Job Offer (maximum of 10 marks)

Depending on the job location, applicants of the Quebec Skilled Worker Program who have obtained a valid permanent employment offer can be given 10 marks under this selection factor. 

Validated Job Offer Points Grid:

  • Valid employment offer in Montreal region- 8 marks
  • Valid employment offer outside Montreal region- 10 marks

Accompanying Children (maximum of 8 marks)

Under this selection factor, applicants for skilled worker immigration to Quebec who intend to bring their children along with them to Canada are rewarded up to 8 marks.

Accompanying Children Marks Grid:

  • Each child below the age of 13 years – 4 marks
  • Each child between 13 to 19 years of age – 2 marks

Financial Self-sufficiency (maximum of one mark)

You can term this category “Financial autonomy” and Quebec Canada Skilled Worker Program, applicants who are able to meet the requirements of Quebec immigration minimum settlement funds are eligible to receive 1 point. According to the Quebec Government, intending immigrants must have a minimum amount of money depending on the number of family members immigrating with them and their ages.

Therefore applicants who append their signature on the Quebec Immigration Skilled Worker Program financial agreement indicating that they have the said funds will be awarded a point under this selection factor.

Please note, as little as the point may seem, it is highly important thereby making it a prerequisite to participate in the program.

Immigration Quebec Minimum Settlement Funds Requirement:

  • One adult – CAD $3,016
  • One adult and one child (less than 18 years of age) – CAD $4,052
  • One adult and 2 children ( less than 18 years of age) – CAD $4,574
  • One adult and 3 children  (less than 18 years of age) – CAD $5,096
  • One adult and 4+ children ( less than 18 years of age) – Add CAD $522/child
  • One adult and 1+ children (18+ years of age) – Add CAD $1,406/child
  • Two adults – CAD 4,422
  • Two adults and 1 child ( less than 18 years of age) – CAD $4,954
  • Two adults and 2 children ( less than 18 years of age) – CAD $5,347
  • Two adults and 3 children  (less than 18 years of age) – CAD $5,739
  • 2 adults and 4+ children ( less than 18 years of age) – Add CAD $393/child
  • Two adults and 1+ children (above 18 years of age) – Add CAD $1,406/child

Also, the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI) will continuously update the needed settlement funds for Quebec immigrants as the cost of living increases.

What is the Highest Possible Score An Applicant Can Get?

Well, it is most unlikely yet possible for an applicant to obtain  a QSW Canada immigration score of 116 (26 + 8 + 16 + 22 + 8 + 17 + 10 + 8 + 1). But to attain this score, the applicant must have a Ph.D. in a Section A area of training, be 35 years of age or below, have worked or schooled in the province, be fluent in both English and French language, obtain a valid Quebec job offer, have above 4 years valid work experience, be self-sufficient financially, have a close family member residing in Quebec, have a spouse that is young as well as educated in an ideal industry and have two or more kids also relocating to Canada.

Meanwhile, the least cutoff mark for participating in the Quebec Canada Immigration Skilled Worker Program for single candidates is 50 marks while for couples is 59 points.

Updated Quebec Skilled Worker Requirements

The scores required for obtaining the Certificate de Selection du Quebec (CSQ) were reduced in 2015. The adaptability interview has been scrapped out because the adaptability selection factor has been removed from the points-based Quebec immigration program. 

In the past, applicants would usually attend an interview during the QSW Program application process, although, this is no longer compulsory, nevertheless, Immigration Quebec still retains every right to conduct these interviews should in case they need to confirm in-person settlement plans,  relationships in Quebec, language proficiency, the authenticity of documentation, and any other aspect of the application.

The Government of Quebec is continuously updating the QSW requirements and as of 2019, the Education sub-category is highly validated more than the Areas of Training. This is to say that your educational level has more impact on your qualification to migrate more than your area of training especially if you obtained a degree or diploma from Quebec or foreign institutions.

The surprising yet amazing fact about Quebec immigration is their ability to identify human capital with competent credentials, all thanks to their recent method of ranking.

Can One Immigrate to Other Canadian Provinces Through the QSWP?

According to the immigration criteria, skilled applicants who desire to live in any part of Quebec are selected on the basis of criteria different from people who wish to live in other parts of Canada, therefore all applicants of the Quebec Skilled Worker program must intend to reside in Quebec. The aim of this program is major to lure skilled workers into the province as well as give successful applicants unconditional permanent residency in Canada where they can freely live, work or even study in any Canadian city of their choice.

In conclusion, we have succeeded in exhausting all there is to know if you want to migrate to Canada through the Quebec Skilled Program.

Also recall that if you do not wish to live in Quebec, you have no business applying for the Quebec Skilled Program but if you desire to live there, you can go ahead to apply as long as you score the minimum points necessary to be a successful applicant.

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