2013 Areas of Training List Released for Quebec Skilled Worker Program

A view of the Tower of Montreal. Applicants for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) must intend to settle in Quebec to qualify for the program (Antonello Musina)

The Quebec government released the new ‘Areas of Training’ list for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) on August 1 2013, which includes changes to the number of points awarded for dozens of areas of education and training.

The QSWP is one of Canada’s most popular immigration programs, allowing foreign nationals who are proficient in French and have qualifying educational and/or training credentials to become permanent residents of Canada.

The changes to points awarded for various educational and training qualifications in the new Areas of Training list can be found in full here.

A large number of new educational and training specialties have been added to the list of those awarded points for the QSWP. Under the QSWP, only those areas of training that receive points qualify individuals for the program, so the additions made have substantially changed who can apply through the program.

In addition to the new Areas of Training list, the QSWP has also introduced new, more demanding French language requirements for the program, as described here.

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New Quebec Immigration Rules Announced

Quebec Immigration, which runs the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) and the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP), two of Canada’s most popular immigration programs, announced this week that changes will be coming to its immigration rules and procedures (Jenny Poole)

Quebec Immigration, which runs two of the most popular Canadian immigration programs, announced on Wednesday that changes will be coming to its immigration rules and procedures.

The new rules will affect Quebec skilled worker, investor, business people, and self-employed immigrant applicants, and will be instated in stages from August 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014.

The maximum number of applications that will be accepted through the Quebec Skilled Worker Program will be 20,000 for the one year quota period.

Furthermore, the level of French language proficiency a Quebec skilled worker applicant needs to attain to obtain points in the language criteria will be increased, with the Advanced Intermediate proficiency becoming the minimum level that will grant points, which is three levels higher than Low Beginner, the previous minimum point-granting level.

The eligible areas of education and vocational training for the skilled worker program are also being changed, with the new list not as of yet announced.

Investors

The maximum number of Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) applications that will be accepted for the one year quota period will be 1,750, with a maximum of 1,200 applications per country.

The application must be received by Quebec Immigration between August 1 and 16, 2013, and can be sent only by regular mail.

The applications will be reviewed by an order determined by a random draw, which will remove any advantage in trying to be the first to have one’s application submitted.

Businesspeople and self-employed workers

500 applications under the businesspeople and self-employment category will be accepted for the one year quota period.

As with the skilled worker category, the advanced intermediate level in French language proficiency will become the new minimum threshold for obtaining language points. The new weighting will affect both principal applicants and their spouses in the Entrepreneur stream, while only affecting principal applicants in the Self-Employed stream.

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New Statistics Canada Report Shows High Education Levels Among Immigrants

Canadian immigrants hold slightly over half of all STEM university degrees in the country according to a new Statistics Canada report (Chris Moncus, CC-BY-SA-2.0)

A new Statistics Canada report on the educational attainment of Canadians shows once again that the country’s immigrants tend to be highly educated and educated in demanding fields of study.

The report’s most striking finding is that immigrants hold about half (50.9 percent) of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) university degrees in Canada.

With adult immigrants making up about 25 percent of the adult population of Canada, this indicates that immigrants are about twice as likely to hold STEM degrees as members of the general population.

These findings are likely a result of Canadian immigration selection criteria, that over the last few decades, has favoured applicants with occupational skills and experience that are in demand in Canada, which, like doctors and engineers, tend to require a STEM education.

Consistent with this explanation and demonstrating the high standards applicants for Canadian immigration are held to, the report found that over two-fifths of doctorate degrees held by Canadians were earned outside of Canada.

Despite these impressive figures, new Canadian immigrants earn substantially less than the average Canadian, with the gap growing since 1980 despite immigrants gaining on the general population in average level of educational attainment.

One possible cause of this discrepancy is a shift, that started in the 1970s, in immigration source countries, away from English-speaking countries at similar levels of economic development as Canada, to less developed, non-English-speaking countries.

The educational credentials from less developed countries are often not as valuable as an equivalent degree in Canada, while immigrants from these countries often require an adjustment period to adapt to Canada’s culture and become proficient in its official languages.

Immigrants from developed, English-speaking countries on the other hand often have an easier time adopting Canadian culture and integrating economically in the country.

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Immigration Department to Make it Difficult for Vancouver / Toronto Bound Immigrants to Use Quebec Investor Program

The Parliament of Quebec in Quebec City. Quebec Immigration announced new rules for Quebec Skilled Worker and Investor applicants requiring applicants to have either permission from Citizenship and Immigration Canada or a connection to the province of Quebec in order to apply for either program

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said last week that his department wanted to put an end to foreign nationals immigrating to Canada through the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program, but settling in Vancouver or Toronto.

At a press conference on March 26st, Kenney said that immigrant investors who apply for permanent residence through the Quebec program but intend to settle in a city outside Quebec are committing fraud.

“If you are sitting somewhere today hoping to apply for the Quebec investor program but you expect to go and live in Vancouver or Toronto, that is fraud. It’s misrepresentation under the Immigration Act. It doesn’t matter what agents and recruitment people tell you and we intend to begin cracking down on the fraud being committed,” said Kenney.

According to Kenney, 90 percent of Quebec Immigrant Investor Program immigrants settle in Vancouver or Toronto. Last year, speaking on the same subject, he said that this large inflow of immigrant investors into Vancouver and Toronto pushes up housing prices in these metropolitan regions, making it more difficult for other residents to afford to buy property in those cities.

The Quebec Investor Program is expected to start accepting applications on July 31st, after a more than one year moratorium on acceptance of new applications, and Kenney says his department would take efforts to stop the practice of immigrants using it as a means to settle in the two immigrant magnet cities.

New rules for the Quebec Investor and Skilled Worker programs, announced last week after Kenney’s statements, require that applicants either receive permission from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to apply for the Quebec programs, or have some prior or existing connection to the province.

A connection would constitute any one of several situations, including an offer of employment by a Quebec employer and a diploma treated as a Quebec diploma.

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Chinese learning French to Immigrate to Canada

The Toronto Star reports that an increasing number of people in China are finding the best way to successfully immigrate to Canada is to learn French and apply through Quebec’s immigration program:

Chinese desperate to emigrate have discovered a backdoor into Canada that involves applying for entry into the country’s francophone province of Quebec — as long as they have a good working knowledge of the local lingo.

So, while learning French as an additional language is losing ground in many parts of the world — even as Mandarin classes proliferate because of China’s rise on the international stage — many Chinese are busy learning how to say, “Bonjour, je m’appelle Zhang.”

Unlike Canada’s federal immigration program, Quebec’s immigration program has no caps and no backlogs. This makes it the few remaining avenues of immigration for those not eligible for the investor program or family class sponsorship.

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