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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. Hi I was hop­ing you could help me (fin­gers crossed)

    . I have applied for the CSQ Que­bec a year ago and due to enter the coun­try in the next 3 weeks. I am a qual­i­fied skilled worker. I have been search­ing for jobs and done alot of research and have come to realised that both Toronto and Van­cou­ver are bet­ter suited for my career/employment and can­not set­tle in que­bec due to my speciality

    There­fore I wanted to know whether it would be ok for me to fly straight to Toronto or Van­cou­ver and present my CSQ (I am a skilled worker).

    Also how would I obtain my PR card? I assume you have to go to a cen­ter, can you go to the one in Toronto?

    Last but not least, would it still be a 3 month wait­ing period to get the medicals?

    Would appre­ci­ate a very quick and as much infor­ma­tion as pos­si­ble. Need to book my ticket in the next 24 hours! Thanks alot

    • Hi,

      1) You do not need to show your CSQ. CSQ is only for Que­bec, the rest of Canada doesn’t need this par­tic­u­lar paper.
      2) Your PR card was be sent to you by mail, at the address you pro­vided when you landed at the air­port.
      3) Yes, there is a three-month wait to be eli­gi­ble for OHIP, the provin­cial health insur­ance system.

  2. Hi,
    I have the CSQ and the per­ma­nent res­i­dent visa … with con­fir­ma­tion of per­ma­nent res­i­dence… on it my destination…Montréal… the prob­lem is that I have a fam­ily near Toronto and offered to help me in the first weeks… The ques­tion… can I land in Toronto instead of land­ing in Mon­tréal? I have read a few com­ments on the site settlement.org that I could have prob­lems with CIC, that I may lose my cred­i­bil­ity since I applied for Que­bec Skilled Worker pro­gram and landed in Toronto, and that my right of resid­ing in Canada may be revoked(I do not want that). Should I first land in Mon­tréal? If yes do I have to stay there a period of time…or ask them to send me my PR card near Toronto which of course is not Que­bec!
    I’m really stressed out and I need to be sure that things are going to be OK, and I will not lose my right of stay­ing in Canada.
    Please answer me fast I have to pay the ticket in a few days.
    Thank you very much.

    • Land­ing in Toronto could lead to prob­lem since you applied for immi­gra­tion to set­tle in Que­bec. I would land in Mon­tréal to avoid issues. You can move out of Que­bec as soon as you want after landing.

      • You are giv­ing very ille­gal advice — if a per­son applies for Que­bec and then lives in Canada instead, they are defraud­ing the gov­ern­ment and can be deported due to Mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion (Arti­cle 40).
        Zhu, you and this web­site will be reported to the ICCRC for giv­ing advice on how to defraud the gov­ern­ment, so I stongly rec­om­mend to any­body read­ing this to ignore her advice and seek out the advice of an ICCRC reg­u­lated consultant.

        • Please, feel free to report me. I love peo­ple like you–always pick­ing on lit­tle things and cre­at­ing trou­ble. And pro­vid­ing bad advice too!

          I love the fact you didn’t even have the guts to pro­vide an email address.

  3. Hello…

    i got cou­ple of queries.….

    1) Cur­rently i am work­ing in US. We have CSQ now, and should be get­ting the visa stamped (for PR) in a month. We are plan­ning to set­tle in mon­treal. is it nec­es­sary that, when i land for the first time in Que­bec, i should be trav­el­ling by plane?. it seems we have a train from NY directly to Mon­tréal. Will there by any immi­gra­tion issues? As we are com­ing there with­out a job, we would like to take train as it is cheap and bag­gage restric­tions is very less.

    2) i read in the above post that PR will be sent to the address which we give at time of land­ing. if we are stay­ing in hotel for the first two weeks, what we wil do? or do i need to find an apart­ment before land­ing mon­treal. Response on this is greatly appreciated.

    Please reply only if you are sure. as i dont want to take anyy risks. or can you pls let me know, who will able to give a cor­rect answer? Thanks in advance.…

  4. hi,
    I have the CSQ and the per­ma­nent res­i­dent visa … with con­fir­ma­tion of per­ma­nent res­i­dence,therefore i would to go toronto or van­cou­ver can i move there the same day or should i stay in quebec.

  5. Hi Zhu, i want to know whether a for­eigner can apply to another province with­out going through spon­sor­phip of fam­ily for instance in alberta?the pro­ce­dure for immi­gr­tion to que­bec is quite long with the CSQ. thnkz

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