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.



About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. Pingback: Immigrating to Canada through Quebec: Still Worth It? | Correr Es Mi Destino

  5. Hi,
    I have the CSQ and the permanent resident visa … with confirmation of permanent residence… on it my destination…Montreal… 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 Montreal? 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 Montreal? 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 Montreal to avoid issues. You can move out of Quebec as soon as you want after landing.

      • ICCRC Consultant on

        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.

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