Rumors of a new immigration program and 5 job fairs
The Canadian province of Quebec decided it needed more immigrants.
The Quebec government has created a plan to expand the settlement of newcomers, and the province will also hold five job fairs and information sessions both online and live in the next few months.
You will learn how many immigrants Quebec is planning to accept this year, about the measures taken by the government, about job fairs, as well as the features of the province, and who can get permanent residency there.
Province of Quebec
Quebec is probably one of the most welcoming regions for immigrants and one of the best places to start life in Canada. All because this province has fairly strong social support. There you can count on benefits, child support, free language courses, and other services.
For the sake of fairness — over time, the more you earn, the less you will be helped, and you will have to pay taxes, which in Quebec are the highest in all of Canada. So it is not uncommon for immigrants to end up leaving for other regions. Quebec has other special features, such as the fact that its immigration program gives extra points for children, but more on that later.
Quebec immigration plans
In a recent interview with Radio Canada, Quebec's immigration minister revealed that the provincial government plans to admit more than 71,275 new permanent residents this year, an increase of about 40 percent over 2021 when only 50,285 people were admitted. The minister attributed this to the fact that the province was hit by the pandemic and needed to make up for a lost time.
Quebec is the province that has been hit hardest by labor shortages of late, and not long ago local business organizations were demanding a 90% increase in immigration to the region. Businessmen are pushing for a provincial election in October, and they want some kind of action from the parties on admitting immigrants, so maybe something will come out of this. Maybe that's why the government is making such high-profile claims about the number of immigrants.
So far, the province, on the contrary, for some reason holds very small immigration selections, in April and May they invited only 30 people, although in March they invited 500, and before that the drawings were generally twice a month, and each time they sent out 300-500 invitations. And there are officials who oppose more immigrants. Apparently, we won't see how this really ends until the end of the year.
The Minister of Immigration also expects more professionals to come to the province with work visas, who have received invitations from local employers. Every year, Quebec publishes a list of professions for which simplified employment is available. It is in French.
Settlement of immigrants
The fact that the province wants to give out more permanent residency is a good thing. But there is a nuance. Most immigrants who move to Quebec settle in the largest city, Montreal. In 2021, more than 80% of new residents moved there. Another 14% settled in four other cities, including Quebec City, the regional capital, and Gatineau, which is close to Canada's capital, Ottawa. A total of 94% of immigrants settled in five major cities.
The Quebec government does not like this, and so they want to take a number of measures to attract newcomers to other areas. In short, they want to create the most favorable conditions possible for newcomers, that is, to develop non-profit organizations there that help immigrants, provide services, and more.
The new plan is not very specific yet, it says that immigrants will be able to look for jobs in unpopular cities through special portals, there will be training courses for them, integration and language learning services, and so on. They want to increase the attractiveness of small cities by all means.
There is something else interesting, Quebec's immigration minister said that newcomers could also be attracted through some kind of regional immigration pilot, such as the Atlantic Immigration Program. The Atlantic program is very popular because of its low eligibility requirements.
It is not yet known what the Quebec pilot is, because it has not been mentioned anywhere before, but perhaps the provincial government is preparing some new immigration pathways with reduced requirements. If it is launched, it will probably be possible to move to some small towns. But so far this is more of a rumor.
It's probably a topic of interest to everyone. Over the next few months, Quebec will hold five information sessions and job fairs. Some will be online, and anyone who registers will be able to join, but there is a limit to the number of places. Some of the sessions will take place in Paris.
The info-sessions usually talk about immigration, life, and work in the province, and the job fairs offer generally interviews with local employers and job invitations. In fact, there are more info-sessions and job fairs but some are only suitable for residents of France or the European Union. Below are the ones where there are no restrictions.
On May 18, the government will hold a webinar on "Working as a Medical Imaging Technologist." It's a very narrow topic, but maybe someone is interested in it, and there are plenty of spots available to register. On May 24, there will be a virtual information session on a similar topic: "Employment opportunities for medical imaging, radiation oncology, and electrophysiology technologists in different regions of Quebec." There are plenty of spots there, too.
If you thought it was just the medics who got lucky this time, don't rush to despair. Three more live events will take place in Paris, on May 25, June 29, and July 26, at the La Villette shopping center. These will be informative sessions about work and life in Quebec. Places are already scarce for the May session; the others are still available, but it's best to register in advance. There are no restrictions on professions at the live sessions.
You can register for any event on the Québec website.
Features of Quebec and immigration to the province
What are the peculiarities of the province of Quebec, besides the fact that it has strong social support and gives extra points for children? Many people probably know this: Quebec is a French-speaking region. If you move to Montreal, the largest city, you can basically survive with English, but if it's some backwoods, a small town, where the government is just trying to lure immigrants, there's a high chance that no one there will speak English.
Quebec's Regular Skilled Worker Program, under which most selections to this province are made, has no language requirement, so in theory, you can immigrate without French if you score enough points on other criteria. When you move, you can apply for integration assistance and get into some language courses.
But this is at your risk because almost all services in Quebec are provided in French, many companies operate in French if it is not IT, and your children will also be forced to learn in French because Quebec law requires immigrants to send their children to French-speaking schools.
Another peculiarity of Quebec is that candidates for immigration take a provincial democratic values test, which is not available anywhere else in Canada. And if a family immigrates, both spouses and children over the age of 18 take the test.
In addition to the skilled worker program, Quebec has programs for professionals who are already working in Quebec, for québécois graduates, and temporary pilot programs for workers in the fields of food processing, orderlies, and workers in artificial intelligence, IT, and visual effects. For all but the last of these programs, the province requires above-average knowledge of French. So with the knowledge of the language, the chances of getting an invitation from Quebec are much higher.
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