The Quebec Experience Program (Programme de l’expérience québécoise, or PEQ) is a popular immigration pathway for foreign students and individuals with work experience in Quebec.
Immigration to Quebec can be considered a two-step process in which an individual interested in immigrating to Quebec must first apply for a Certificat de sélection du Québec (also known as a Quebec Selection Certificate or “CSQ”), a document that allows the holder to immigrate to Quebec. To apply for a CSQ, it is important to satisfy the eligibility requirements of one of the many Quebec immigration program offered by Quebec’s Ministry of Immigration, Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion(MIDI).
Once the applicant obtains a CSQ, he or she must then submit an application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for federal approval before the Canadian Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visa can be issued. Federal immigration authorities will primarily be responsible for processing criminal and medical checks.
Potential applicants who do not meet the eligibility criteria for the PEQ, but who have experience working or studying in Quebec, may also be eligible to apply for a CSQ through the Quebec Skilled Worker Program. Read more about the differences between the PEQ and QSW programs.
The Government of Quebec has suspended new applications through the PEQ’s Graduate Stream until Nov. 1, 2019. The two exceptions to this rule are:
Foreign students who have studied in Quebec may be eligible to apply for a CSQ under the PEQ if they:
MIDI will not issue a CSQ until the applicant submits a complete transcript and an attestation of successful completion of diploma.
NOTE: Prospective Quebec graduates can no longer apply for a CSQ six months before obtaining their diploma. Quebec graduates have to obtain their diploma or provide an attestation of successful completion, as well as the transcript of their final grades, in order to submit a CSQ application to the Quebec Immigration Ministry.
Temporary Foreign Workers in Quebec may be eligible to apply for a CSQ under the PEQ if they:
The MIDI considers a minimum of 30 hours of paid work per week as full-time employment. Full-time work experience acquired as an international student while on a Post-Graduation Work Permit or under a Youth Exchange/International Experience Canada (IEC) Program may be taken into account if the applicant meets all PEQ requirements. MIDI will not consider any period of part-time work, self-employment, or entrepreneurial work under the PEQ.
Quebec immigration authorities expect the assessment of applications under the PEQ to be completed on a fast-track basis.