Quebec Government Announces Details Of Three New Pilot Programs

The Quebec government has released details of three new pilot programs for permanent residence, that will be implemented in early 2021.

The draft regulation relating to the implementations of the three new permanent immigration pilot programs was released on October 28, 2020, in the Gazette officielle du Québec.

Over the next forty-five (45) days, the government plan to gather comments on these programs prior to their official launching.

The three new pilot programs, already announced by Quebec earlier this year, are as follows:

  • the pilot program for orderlies;
  • the pilot program for workers in the information technologies (IT), the artificial intelligence (AI), and visual effects sectors;
  • the pilot program for workers in food processing sector (FP).

In addition, Quebec announced major improvements to the application intake process for the Program for Refugees Abroad, as well as new regulations for the Entrepreneur Program and the Self-Employed Worker Program.

New pilot programs are designed to attract and retain the workforce

Through these new permanent immigration pilot programs, the Quebec government aims to “attract and retain people whose skills meet the specific needs of the Quebec labor market” and to address labor shortages in three key areas. The three new pilot programs will start after a 45-day consultation period.

The new pilot program for orderlies will allow up to 550 principal candidates per year to be selected to work as nurses aides and beneficiary attendants in the province. Accompanying family members will also get Quebec Selection Certificates under this program.

The pilot program for workers in the food processing sector will provide a pathway to permanent residence for temporary foreign workers working under the food processing sector. It will also be a five-year program under which about 550 eligible workers and their families will be chosen each year.

The third pilot program covers artificial intelligence, visual effects, and information technology sectors. Like the two previous pilot programs, it will also last five years and will choose up to 550 people and their families.

The selection will be equally shared across the artificial intelligence sector and the other two sectors. This pilot project is meant to both attract and retain international talent working in these sectors, especially those who are already in Quebec on a temporary basis.

Application processing times and immigration programs changes

Quebec government has also released details of the number of applications that will be received under economic immigration programs for the next coming year. Here are the highlights:

  • A limit of fifty (50) permanent selection applications has been set under the Self-Employed Program for the period from Nov. 1, 2020, to Sept. 30, 2021.
  • A limit of twenty-five (25) permanent selection applications will be taken under the first stream of the Entrepreneur Program from Nov. 1, 2020, to Sept. 30, 2021.
  • The second project of the entrepreneur program is suspended for the next year so that it can be improved.
  • The selection requirements in effect for immigration candidates who have submitted an Expression of Interest in Arrima, Quebec’s immigration application management system, for selection under the Regular Skilled Worker Program have also been revamped and are in effect until Nov. 1, 2021.

In addition, the Quebec government has brought in changes and a new admission period for applications for collective sponsorships under the Program for Refugees Abroad.

There will now be a maximum of 750 applications for group sponsorships of two to five applicants accepted from April 6 to May 5, 2021. Sponsorship applications need also now be filed online and will then be randomly selected through a draw.

According to a recent government press release, the receipt of sponsorship applications for organizations, situated in Montréal as well as those outside the city, is temporarily suspended until Nov. 1st, 2021.

This is being done in order to complete administrative and criminal investigations due to “serious allegations that calls into question the integrity” of some refugee protection organizations.