The CAQ has recently updated the Quebec Experience Program (or Programme de l’expérience québécoise/PEQ in French), and the changes went into effect last Friday, November 1, 2019. Language requirements will change as of January 1, 2020, but for now, the major updates are to fields of study, professional domains, and amount of work experience that the government considers as acceptable for applicants seeking permanent residency in Quebec.

The news has shaken several groups across the province, particularly those who have been studying in fields that have now been removed from the list, as the updates do not provide a grandfather clause or other protections for individuals that were on track to receive permanent residency but now no longer qualify.  

According to the Minister of Immigration, Francisation and Integration, Simon Jolin-Barrette, the changes are meant to reflect the needs of the labour market, by focusing the new list of occupations and fields of study on areas that are in-demand in Quebec.

Additionally, the government has tweaked the rules around applicable work experience and the length of experience gained, as well as required and relevant work experience for international students who have recently graduated. 

The list of in-demand jobs that are eligible for the Quebec Experience Program is available, in full, only in French right here.

The list categorizes the jobs into five categories or levels of competence: 0, A, B, C, and D.

Levels 0, A, and B require that the applicant has 12 months of work experience in Quebec. Levels C and D require that applicants have 18 months of work experience in Quebec.

The full list is comprised of only 162 jobs, but spans the spectrum of work, from Fish and Seafood Processing (category D), to Industrial Electricians (category B).


READ ALSO: The CAQ Says New Arrivals To Quebec Cannot Receive Government Services In English

In addition to this new list of eligible professions, the CAQ has also updated the fields of study that are eligible for the PEQ, which can be seen in French here.

This list lays out which fields of study are acceptable for immigrating students, whether they studied in Quebec or abroad, as well as the level of education that is required for the fields specified. 

Split into two parts, PART I - Foreign Diplomas and PART II - Quebec Diplomas (or equivalent), the list includes university degrees, technical college diplomas, and professional certifications.

It also breaks these areas of study down into 5 sections, lettered A through E, that designate how many points each field of study is worth.

Fields of study in section A are worth 12 points for the principal applicant (4 for a spouse or common-law partner) and points decrease by section. Fields of study in section E are worth 0 points for both principal applicants and spouses/common-law partners.

Single applicants looking to qualify for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program are required to have a total of 50 points out of 100, while couples need 59 points.

In Section A, worth 12 points for the principal applicant, the only foreign university degrees being accepted are:

  • Chiropractics (PhD)

  • Other health professions (PhD)

  • Computer engineering and Computer construction (Bachelors)

  • Information management (Bachelors)

  • Psychoeducation (Masters)

  • Operations research (Masters)

Notably missing from the list is master's or doctorate grads in computer science, an exclusion that caused particular outrage from those in Montreal's growing AI industry.

In response to the outcry, Legault responded with an openness to adjust... if necessary. 

Which at least implies the willingness to examine other fields of study or work, if these updates prove to be too rigid and exclusive, considering Quebec's labour shortage and the dire need for skilled workers in various fields. 

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