Migrating to Quebec could be an attractive option for those who are looking for a better quality of life and want to learn French. The province is an attractive destination for immigrants due to its unique immigration system and the province’s commitment to protecting the French language within its borders. The Quebec government recognizes the importance of protecting the French language and culture within its borders, which is why it has implemented a unique immigration system that allows for tight control over who can enter the province. Although it requires a bit more work than immigrating to other provinces, with a clear plan and some research it’s definitely achievable.
This system requires those wishing to immigrate to apply directly to Quebec through one of its various programs. The applicants who meet the program’s criteria and are selected are issued with a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ). This document is issued by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration du Québec. Once a candidate has a CSQ, they must then apply to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent residence. IRCC will conduct medical, security, and criminality checks before granting permanent residence status.
The Autonomy of Quebec’s Immigration System
Quebec has more autonomy over its immigration programs due largely to the launch of its own immigration ministry in 1968. Ever since the establishment of the ministry, the province continued to push for more control over immigration until over 20 years later in 1991, when the Quebec-Canada Accord gave the province the responsibility for setting its own admission targets. Today, Quebec is the only province in Canada that releases yearly immigration-level plans and has total control of its economic immigration admissions.
This autonomy however is not absolute, as immigration remains a shared responsibility between the federal and provincial governments in Canada. While Quebec selects the skilled workers it wishes to admit, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has the final decision on all admissions, regardless of the class of immigration.
Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) Immigration Policy
The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) has been in power since 2018, and its immigration policy focuses on selecting immigrants who have the best chances of integrating into Quebec society. In order to achieve this integration, they prioritize French language skills, as well as knowledge of Quebec’s culture and values. For instance, the Ministry of Immigration, Francization, and Integration expects that 79% of economic immigrants in 2023 will have knowledge of the French language, as well as 66% of immigrants across all categories.