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If You Immigrate To Quebec (4/10)

The Canadian Parliament In Ottawa

The Cana­dian Par­lia­ment In Ottawa

Wel­come to my new series, “How to immi­grate to Canada“!

I recently received quite a lot of emails, ask­ing me ques­tions about the immi­gra­tion process. So I decided to explain the whole process in 10 posts, which will be pub­lished every Saturday.

I also encour­age you to ask any ques­tion you may have. I’m not an immi­gra­tion con­sul­tant, but from expe­ri­ence, I may be able to point you to the right direction!

In the series, we will see the dif­fer­ent options you have to come to Canada, as well as your rights and duties as a Per­ma­nent Res­i­dent, what hap­pens after you arrive etc.

In the last two arti­cles, I reviewed the two most com­mon ways to immi­grate to Canada: through the skilled worker cat­e­gory, and through the spon­sor­ship cat­e­gory. But what if you want to set­tle in Que­bec? Things are a lit­tle bit different.

Que­bec is a province of Canada. As such, it shares immi­gra­tion laws with the fed­eral gov­ern­ment of Canada. How­ever, the province signed an immi­gra­tion accord with Canada. Que­bec is respon­si­ble for select­ing the work­ers wish­ing to set­tle in Que­bec, to achieve cer­tain immi­gra­tion objec­tives. But the fed­eral gov­ern­ment of Canada is still respon­si­ble for admit­ting the immigrants.

So what does it mean for a prospec­tive immi­grant who wishes to set­tle in Quebec?

It means that as a prospec­tive per­ma­nent res­i­dent in Que­bec, you will have to fol­low two major steps:

  • Being selected by the provin­cial gov­ern­ment of Que­bec. Your edu­ca­tional and work back­grounds will be assessed, as well as your abil­ity to inte­grate into Que­bec. You will need to apply for and obtain a CSQ.
  • Being accepted by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment of Canada. It is respon­si­ble for your med­ical exam­i­na­tion and your secu­rity check. It will grant you per­ma­nent res­i­dence if you are successful.

If you apply in the skilled worker cat­e­gory and wish to set­tle in Quebec

The first thing you need to know is that Que­bec is dif­fer­ent than the other provinces. The most obvi­ous dif­fer­ence is lin­guis­tic in nature: the offi­cial lan­guage in Que­bec is French, not Eng­lish and French. The pop­u­la­tion is 80% fran­coph­one, and even though they are some Eng­lish com­mu­ni­ties, the impor­tance given to French is huge.

The gov­ern­ment of Que­bec empha­sizes the fact that the province has a very dis­tinct cul­ture. Indeed, you need to research the spe­cific of Que­bec before you con­sider set­tling there.

You may want to start with a gen­eral idea of Quebec’s core val­ues. Don’t for­get to research the job mar­ket: Cana­dian laws may be dif­fer­ent in Que­bec, where cer­tain pro­fes­sions and trades are reg­u­lated, which means your cre­den­tials may not be rec­og­nized. Finally, get the facts about daily life in Que­bec.

The impor­tance of French can­not be stressed enough, as it is both a prac­ti­cal and a polit­i­cal issue. You may need to speak both French and Eng­lish in some posi­tions, but knowl­edge of French is almost a pre-requisite. Que­bec also has language-laws requir­ing kids to attend school in French in most cases. Polit­i­cally speak­ing, let’s just say it’s a touchy issue…

Like if you were set­tling in other provinces, you need to be selected as a skilled worker. There are also a cer­tain num­ber of cri­te­ria and a pass mark. You can eval­u­ate your chances of being selected online for free, with the Pre­lim­i­nary Eval­u­a­tion for Immi­gra­tion.

The most impor­tant cri­te­ria are:

  • Edu­ca­tion
  • Work expe­ri­ence, espe­cially acquired train­ing and occu­pa­tional skills
  • Knowl­edge of French, or will­ing­ness to learn the lan­guage. Eng­lish is an asset.
  • Age: ide­ally, the younger the better!
  • Finan­cial capac­ity: you must show that you can sup­port your­self for the first few months fol­low­ing your arrival in Quebec
  • Your immi­gra­tion project

If you pass the pre­lim­i­nary test, you can pre­pare your application.

  • Down­load the appli­ca­tion for a CSQ, fill in all the paper­work and pay the fees.
  • Your appli­ca­tion will be reviewed and assessed by a Bureau du Que­bec. An inter­view is some­time required. The inter­viewer will check your cre­den­tials (edu­ca­tion, degrees, work expe­ri­ence…). He may test your knowl­edge of Que­bec, your lan­guage skills and ask about your immi­gra­tion project.
  • You can check the pro­cess­ing time for a CSQ, it depends on the coun­tries where the Bureau du Que­bec is located.
  • If your appli­ca­tion is accepted, it will be for­warded to the fed­eral gov­ern­ment of Canada, which will assess your med­ical back­ground and do the secu­rity check.

If you apply in the spon­sor­ship cat­e­gory and wish to set­tle in Quebec

You will have to sub­mit your spon­sor­ship appli­ca­tion to the fed­eral gov­ern­ment of Canada, as described in this arti­cle.

But, since you will set­tle in Que­bec, you must add two extra steps.

How much does the CSQ cost?

For the prin­ci­pal appli­cant, it cost CA$390. For the spouse and each depen­dent child, it’s CA$150.

Note that if you immi­grate as a fam­ily, each per­son must apply for a CSQ, regard­less of if you will be work­ing or not (i.e. even kids need their CSQ).

To the cost of the CSQ, you still have to add the cost of apply­ing for per­ma­nent res­i­dence in Canada.

What if I wanted to set­tle in Que­bec and changed my mind?

Whether you apply to live in Canada or in Que­bec, the result is the same: you obtain, if suc­cess­ful, the per­ma­nence res­i­dence in Canada. Sure, the two processes are a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent, but your per­ma­nent res­i­dent card is the same.

Hav­ing the per­ma­nence res­i­dence in Canada gives you the right to live and work any­where you like. There­fore, even if you apply for per­ma­nent res­i­dence in Que­bec, no one can force you to stay there.

How­ever, when apply­ing for per­ma­nent res­i­dence in Que­bec, you do declare that you wish to live in Quebec.

What if I applied for per­ma­nent res­i­dence in Canada and want to set­tle in Quebec?

Well, that is a bit more dif­fi­cult… which is kind of weird actu­ally. Per­ma­nent res­i­dents in Que­bec can move wher­ever they want, but per­ma­nent res­i­dents in other provinces have to take sev­eral steps to live and work in Que­bec, even though they have already immigrated.

You must sub­mit an appli­ca­tion for a CSQ (even if you are already a per­ma­nent res­i­dent in Canada) and pay the fees. Then, you will likely have to come back for an interview.

What if you applied for per­ma­nent res­i­dence in Canada but will land in Quebec?

In a word: don’t. Yes, it may be eas­ier for you for what­ever rea­son, but it’s a big pain.

If you land in Que­bec but have proof on onward travel to another province (plane con­nex­ion, bus or train ticket), you are fine.

If you don’t, the immi­gra­tion offi­cials will very likely refuse to val­i­date your land­ing doc­u­ments. You will have to sub­mit an appli­ca­tion for a CSQ and pay the fees, and have an inter­view. If suc­cess­ful, you will have to have the doc­u­ments val­i­dated… before that, your travel doc­u­ments may be confiscated.

So basi­cally, if you apply to live in Que­bec, arrive in Que­bec, if you apply to live in other provinces, arrive wher­ever you want but in Quebec.



  1. Hello Zhu!

    I’m still check­ing out all my options, but I’ll prob­a­bly start my immi­gra­tion process through Que­bec because, for the moment, I do not ful­fill all the require­ments needed to apply directly on the fed­eral level. How­ever, I’m not quite sure that I want to live in Que­bec after­wards.
    My ques­tion is, if I land in Mon­tréal, can I leave the same day for Toronto for exam­ple, or would I actu­ally need an address in Mon­tréal? Does the whole process of land­ing con­sist only of putting a stamp in your pass­port or there are some more things to be done dur­ing the fol­low­ing days?
    Also, if I land in Toronto with a Que­bec immi­gra­tion visa, what are the chances of the offi­cer say­ing to me that I am at the wrong port? Will they refuse to “land” me?
    It gets com­pli­cated due to the lim­ited time frame, as I won’t be offi­cially quit­ting my job before I land in Canada. What I had in mind is doing the whole land­ing process in a week dur­ing my hol­i­days, com­ing back to Europe to fin­ish up what­ever I have here and then going back again to set­tle.
    I know, it’s com­pli­cated :D but, do you think it’s pos­si­ble?

    • I know for sure that if you immi­grate through Que­bec, you can land in Mon­tréal and leave the same day for Toronto. As a per­ma­nent res­i­dent, you live wher­ever you want in Canada so even if you “signed up” for Que­bec you can live right away. Land­ing is a fairly straight­for­ward process, you just need to leave an address to receive your PR card and it can be out­side of Que­bec. It will take more than a week to receive your PR card though, I’d say about a month from mem­ory. If you are from Europe you don’t need a visa to come to Canada as a vis­i­tor (most of the time any­way) so re-entering Canada should be easy.

      Now on the other side I’m not sure you can land in Toronto if you went through the Que­bec process. I heard sto­ries where it went just fine and I heard peo­ple say­ing if was a big mess.

  2. Hi Zhu!

    I am plan­ning to immi­grate to Canada as a skilled worker, but because my pro­fes­sion is not in the list, I will apply through Quebec.

    I am really not plan­ning to set­tle in QC because most of the job oppor­tu­ni­ties for me would be in Alberta.

    So, if I landed in Mon­tréal and left to Alberta right after, stayed and set­tled there in Alberta, what will be my sit­u­a­tion after 3 years when apply­ing for the citizenship ?

    I know there is some dec­la­ra­tion to sign that you are intend­ing to set­tle in QC. Will this make a prob­lem for me in get­ting the citizenship?

    I heard that in such case I might be accused of lay­ing in the appli­ca­tion form. Please advise.

    Thank you.

    • As a per­ma­nent res­i­dent, you can live, work and study wher­ever you want in Canada. You do not have to stay in Que­bec even if you immi­grated through the Que­bec process.

      How­ever, if you declare you will go straight to Alberta dur­ing your immi­gra­tion inter­view, you may have issues.

      • Hello Zhu!

        Thanks a lot for your answer.

        I still need clar­i­fi­ca­tion, please bear on me :)
        Is it true that I have to sign the dec­la­ra­tion on my land­ing that I will set­tle in QC?

        If yes, will I have to inform the immi­gra­tion about any change of my set­tle­ment plan in case I moved to another province?

        Thanks again.

        • Sorry, no idea. I didn’t immi­grate to Que­bec myself. My under­stand­ing is that you sign an agree­ment but it doesn’t really havea legal value.

  3. hello
    i found ur page infor­ma­tive
    i have some doubts.…do we need to show funds if we intend to immi­grate to quebec…we dont have any arranged employ­ment
    our sponser said we need to show 4000 dol­lars liq­uid cash when we land in que­bec. is that enough or do we need to show bank statements?

    • Hi,

      It depends under which cat­e­gory you are immi­grat­ing. If you are a skilled worker, yes, you must show some funds when you enter.

  4. Hi Zhu,

    With respect to the Que­bec PNP, you men­tioned that it is not nec­es­sary to stay in Que­bec after land­ing because the PR lets one stay any­where in Canada. How­ever, sev­eral sources online have men­tioned that in this par­tic­u­lar case you obtain the PR via the CSQ, so if the Que­bec author­i­ties want, they can instruct the Fed­eral dept to can­cel that person’s PR. This, in my opin­ion, is very scary and peo­ple would be tak­ing a big risk by mov­ing out of Que­bec imme­di­ately and mak­ing it very clear to the author­i­ties that they NEVER INTENDED to set­tle in Que­bec. Don’t you think it is prefer­able to stay there for a few months or a year atleast before mov­ing for min­i­miz­ing the risks of hav­ing the PR cancelled?

    Sec­ondly, do you have any idea if it is nec­es­sary to “work” when you move to Que­bec? I ask this because my friend is an online poker player wish­ing to set­tle in Que­bec through the Skilled Worker Pro­gram because he has the nec­es­sary points, includ­ing work expe­ri­ence. Would this be con­sid­ered as mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion of intent by him because he does not intend to do a 9-to-5 job once in Que­bec but rather stay home all day and play poker. But ofcourse dur­ing the inter­view, he can­not men­tion about poker and has to show an intent to do a job only. Do you have any idea on this?


    • Please, note that I’m not an immi­gra­tion con­sul­tant and that I base my answers on my expe­ri­ence and a lot of time spent read­ing immi­gra­tion websites.

      I have never seen or heard of a PR visa being can­celed because the appli­cant applied through the Que­bec Skilled Worker pro­gram and decided to move to another province. PR are guar­an­teed mobil­ity rights and can live, work and study wher­ever they want in Canada. There is no min­i­mum time you are sup­posed to stay in Que­bec after you land.

      Now, if you make it clear that you won’t live in Que­bec dur­ing your inter­view with an offi­cer as your visa is being processed, yes, the visa can be denied. Immi­gra­tion offi­cers will likely tell you to apply for immi­gra­tion at the fed­eral level if you don’t intend to live in Que­bec, which kind of make sense. But what you decided after receiv­ing the visa is another story, as I said above.

      As for your friend, I have no idea. I don’t see a poker player being accepted with open arms by the immi­gra­tion offi­cers because let’s face it, no mat­ter how skilled the work is, it doesn’t really fit in the skilled immi­gra­tion pro­gram :-) What he does after he has the visa and landed in Canada is up to him though.

  5. Hi there,

    To prove work expe­ri­ence, what are the doc­u­ments equiv­a­lent to social secu­rity con­tri­bu­tions (listed as 21 in the Doc­u­ments check­list) from India? The exact sen­tence from the PDF is

    Doc­u­men­tary proof that your work expe­ri­ence was acquired legally: record of your con­tri­bu­tions to social secu­rity or proof of exemp­tion from pay­ing social secu­rity pre­mi­ums. If you can­not pro­vide these, then proof of pay­ment of Income Tax.”

    As far as I know, there is noth­ing like social secu­rity in India. Also, my annual salary is less than Rs.1,80,000/- because of which it is exempt from Income Tax.

    So what should I do about this?

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