The Government of Quebec has released details of three pilot permanent immigration programs that will be implemented in early 2021.
The draft regulation relating to the implementation of three new permanent immigration pilot programs was published on October 28, 2020 in the Gazette officielle du Québec.
Over the next 45 days, the government intends to gather comments on these programs before their official implementation.
The three new permanent immigration pilot programs are the following:
- the pilot program for orderlies;
- the pilot program for workers in the artificial intelligence (AI), information technologies (IT) and visual effects sectors;
- the pilot program for workers in food processing (FP).
In addition, the government announced major improvements to the application intake process for the Program for Refugees Abroad, or Collective sponsorship, as well as new regulations for the Self-Employed Worker Program and the Entrepreneur Program.
New pilot programs are being implemented to attract and retain the workforce
Through these new pilot programs, the government of Quebec aims to attract and retain people whose skills meet the specific needs of the Quebec labour market and to address labour shortages in three key areas. The three pilot programs will come into effect after a 45-day consultation period.
The pilot program for orderlies will allow up to 550 principal applicants per year to be selected to work as attendant care workers in Quebec. Accompanying family members will also receive selection certificates under this program.
The pilot program for workers in food processing will provide a pathway to permanent immigration for temporary foreign workers working in the food processing sector. It will also be a five-year program under which up to 550 eligible workers and their families will be selected each year.
The third pilot program covers the artificial intelligence, information technology and visual effects sectors. Like the two previous pilot projects, it will also last five years and will select up to 550 people and their families.
The selection will be equally distributed between the artificial intelligence sector and the other two sectors. This pilot project is meant to both attract international talent working in these sectors and ensure the retention of those who are already in Quebec on a temporary basis.
Application processing times and improvements to immigration programs
Two ministerial orders were issued to determine the number of applications that will be received in the economic immigration programs for the coming year. These decisions include:
- A limit of 50 permanent selection applications has been set under the Self-Employed Program for the period from November 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021.
- A limit of 25 permanent selection applications will be accepted under the first stream of the Entrepreneur Program from November 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021.
- The second stream of the entrepreneur program is suspended for the next year so that it can be improved.
- Criteria in effect for immigration candidates who have filed a declaration of interest in Arrima to apply for selection under the Regular Skilled Worker Program have also been renewed and are in effect until November 1, 2021
In addition, the government has introduced a new mechanism and a new intake period for applications under the Program for Refugees Abroad.
A maximum of 750 applications for group sponsorships of between two and five people will be accepted from April 6 to May 5, 2021.
A new mechanism has been put in place to allow the online submission of sponsorship applications which will then be randomly selected through a draw.
The intake of sponsorship applications is temporarily suspended for organizations until November 1, 2021, in order to complete criminal and administrative investigations due to allegations that call into question the integrity of the actions of certain refugee protection organizations.
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