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The Québec Experience Program (PEQ or Programme de l’expérience québécoise) is a permanent immigration pathway for French-speaking skilled workers who have gained recent work experience in the province of Quebec.

The PEQ is segmented into two streams, one for workers in Quebec and one for students and graduates who attended post-secondary programs in Quebec. The program allows temporary work permit holders and international students in Quebec to transition to Canadian permanent resident status.

In 2019, the vast majority of people approved for immigration to Quebec were approved through the PEQ.

Quebec Experience Program (PEQ): Program Overview

Immigration to Quebec under the PEQ is a two-step process. First, applicants must be eligible to apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate (Certificat de sélection du Québec, or CSQ). This document signifies that the applicant has been approved by the government of Quebec for permanent settlement. With a CSQ, the applicant may then apply to the federal government for Canadian permanent residence. This stage is just to check for potential medical and security issues.

After receiving a CSQ, some types of Quebec immigration applicants may be eligible to apply for a Quebec-based work permit enabling them to begin working in Quebec while their federal application is processing. Details are available .

One important thing to note about the Quebec Experience Program is that applicants must prove advanced-intermediate or better French oral expression and comprehension skills in order to be considered eligible. Proof may come in the form of:

  • results of an approved language test;
  • a final transcript showing the successful completion of at least three years of secondary or post-secondary full-time study, pursued entirely in French; or
  • a regular licence to practice from a professional order in Quebec or an attestation of fulfilment of the language requirements of a professional order.

If an applicant is applying with a spouse or common-law partner, it is now required that both the principal applicant and the partner demonstrate French language proficiency. The principal applicant must prove ability at or above advanced-intermediate level; the spouse or partner’s spoken (oral) French must correspond to a minimum of level 4 on the .

Workers and students in Quebec may be eligible to attend French lessons for free which will help those qualify under this immigration program. For those who are not eligible under the PEQ, either due to a lack of French skills or otherwise, may be eligible to apply or a CSQ under the points-based Quebec Skilled Worker Program.

All applicants for permanent residence through Quebec immigration programs are required to show they understand Quebec values. This can be done by passing a Quebec values test or completing a course in Quebec values.

Quebec Experience Program: Foreign workers

In order to obtain a CSQ under the Quebec Experience Program, foreign workers must:

  • be employed in an occupation in National Occupational Classification (NOC) TEER category 0, 1, 2, or 3, at the time of application;
  • have at least 24 months of full-time work experience gained in this job in the 36 months prior to applying; and
  • prove the requisite level of French ability (see above).

Quebec Experience Program: Students and graduates

The Quebec Experience Program offers international students the opportunity to begin their formal immigration process before completion of their studies, a privilege generally not granted in other provinces or at the federal level.

In order to obtain a CSQ under the Quebec Experience Program, international students and graduates must:

  • have obtained a degree or diploma from a program on the list of PEQ Eligible Areas of Training;
  • the eligible degree or diploma must be from the past 36 months and from an educational institution recognized by the Quebec Ministry of Education;
  • gain appropriate work experience (see below); and
  • prove the requisite level of French ability (see above).

PEQ eligible areas of training for students and graduates

The following areas of training are eligible for applicants who wish to apply through PEQ:

PEQ Eligible Areas of Training (French only)

PEQ work experience for students and graduates

The amount of work experience required for the student and graduates stream of the PEQ depends on the type of educational credential obtained in Quebec.

For those who completed a diploma for technical college studies, a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, the work experience requirements are:

  • Have gained full-time work experience of at least 12 months after the end of the study program in a job at National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Level 0, A, or B; and
  • Hold a full-time job at National Occupational Classification (NOC) TEER category 0, 1, 2 or 3, when submitting the application (work experience and current employment do not have to be related to the study program)

For those who completed a Diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP – Diploma of vocational Studies) which, on its own or with an Attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP – Attestation of vocational specialization) obtained consecutively, attests to 1,800 hours or more of continuing education and leads to a particular trade, the work experience requirements are:

  • Have gained full-time work experience of at least 18 months after the end of the study program in a job at National Occupational Classification (NOC) TEER category 0, 1, 2 or 3;
  • Hold a full-time job at National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill TEER category 0, 1, 2 or 3, when submitting the application (work experience and current employment do not have to be related to the study program);
  • If the qualifying work experience and employment is at TEER category 0, 1, 2 or 3, it does not need to be related to the study program;
  • If the qualifying work experience and employment is at TEER category 4 then it must be related to the study program.

Work experience acquired during a mandatory internship as part of the study program will be considered in the calculation of work experience, up to a maximum of three months of full-time work. In addition, the work experience required of holders of a vocational diploma is reduced to 18 months.

Graduates who hold a post-graduation work permit may be eligible to submit an application under either stream of the Quebec Experience Program, if they satisfy the requirements.

In all cases, applicants must be at least 18 years of age and residing in Quebec at the time of the application, with the intention to settle in Quebec on a permanent basis.

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Rebecca Major

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Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Rebecca Major is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (R511564) with nearly 15 years of licenced Canadian Immigration experience, gained after graduating with a Bachelor of Laws in the UK. She specializes in Canadian immigration at Â鶹ӳ»­´«Ã½.
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