Quebec to ease PEQ rules announced in May for foreign students and temporary foreign workers

This year’s graduates will be able to take advantage of the rules in effect to access the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ), announced Quebec’s new immigration minister, Nadine Girault. The Québec government is making adjustments to the PEQ reforms announced last May, affecting foreign students as well as temporary foreign workers.

Students already in Quebec, who will have obtained a qualification eligible for the PEQ, or who will obtain it by December 31, 2020, will be able to apply under the rules in effect before the coming into force of the new regulations.

The Quebec government announced stricter rules for the PEQ on May 28, increasing the work experience requirements for temporary foreign workers (TFWs) from 12 to 36 months to be eligible for the PEQ. The duration of the professional experience required for TFWs is now set at 24 months.

In May, Quebec also announced a requirement of 12 to 24 months of work experience for international students, depending on their program of study.

Today, it has been announced that the length and work experience requirements for students will be relaxed. As such, work experience acquired during a mandatory internship as part of the study program will be considered, up to a maximum of three months of full-time work.

The changes announced today will come into effect on July 22, 2020. Until the new regulations come into force, the current PEQ eligibility requirements will continue to apply and all requests received before the coming into force of the new regulations will be dealt with under the current rules.

Requirements for Quebec Experience Program

The PEQ is part of two economic immigration programs in Quebec, the other being the Skilled Worker Program QSWP. The PEQ was launched in 2010 and quickly became a very popular immigration component because it offers a fast route to permanent residence for temporary foreign workers (TFW) and international students who are already in Quebec.

Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW)

Temporary foreign workers (TFWs) will now have to obtain at least 24 months of full-time work experience during the 32 months preceding their application for permanent residence in jobs at NOC skill level 0, A, B, and C. They will also have to hold such a job at the time of the request.

International Students

To be eligible for the PEQ, international students who obtain a university degree in Quebec or a college diploma in Quebec must have 12 months of full-time work experience in Quebec in jobs that fall under the NOC Skill Level 0, A and B. They must also hold such a job when submitting the application.

Students who obtain a professional studies diploma from Quebec must have 18 months of work experience in Quebec in NOC level 0, A, B, and C jobs. Students working in C level jobs cannot be eligible under the new PEQ rules only if their work experience is linked to their study program in Quebec.

The work experience acquired by international students during the compulsory internships as part of the study program can be taken into account in the requirement for a maximum of three months.

Measures to move to a new phase

Temporary foreign workers who hold a work permit and who are in Quebec before the coming into force of the regulation will be able to submit a request according to the rules that applied before the coming into force of the reforms, including workers in jobs of level C and D as defined by the NOC system.

International students who have obtained a qualification eligible for the PEQ or who will obtain one by December 31, 2020, will be able to apply under the conditions that applied before the entry into force of the new rules.

Spouse’s French Language proficiency

In order to ensure that all candidates selected under the PEQ have a minimum knowledge of French and to promote better opportunities for integration into Quebec society, the province will require spouses of PEQ principal applicants to demonstrate Level 4 speaking knowledge of French.

However, this requirement will come into force one year after the new regulations come into force, on July 22, 2021.

Certificates of success for advanced intermediate French courses issued by educational institutions in Quebec will no longer be admissible as proof of knowledge of French. However, persons who have already followed, followed, or registered for courses before the entry into force of the new regulations may still present these documents as evidence.

A New Pilot Program to be added

Quebec’s Immigration Minister also announced today a new pilot program for the food industry. She has not yet provided details about the program. The province previously announced two more pilot projects in May.

A pilot project will be designed to respond to the high demand for nursing assistants and orderlies in the province. The province’s goal would be to hire up to 550 nurse assistants per year for this pilot project.

The other pilot project focuses on the artificial intelligence and information technology sector, which is booming in Quebec. A new pilot project will be implemented to allow the province to select 550 highly skilled workers in these fields annually.

Reference is taken from CIC News

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