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PEQ Immigration to Quebec for Oversea Students

The Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) is one of several Quebec immigration programs operated by the province of Quebec. More specifically, it is a simplified, accelerated selection program that helps certain individuals become permanent residents in Canada.

The PEQ program of Quebec is designed especially for international students and skilled workers from abroad who wish to obtain a “Certificat de sélection du Québec” (Quebec Selection Certificate), with a view to becoming permanent residents in Canada. No prior working experience is required for international student applicants who have successfully completed eligible diplomas under PEQ. Participants of approved working holiday programs are also eligible in applying as skilled workers.

Is the PEQ application process difficult?

The Canadian government is optimistic about the young, hard-working international students immigrating to the Great White North. The provinces of Canada have different policies on immigration, but the PEQ of Quebec has been consistently rated as among the fastest.

International students who wish to apply for the PEQ must obtain a diploma issued by a Québec university or an educational institution recognized by Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur. It can be a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree (including an MBA), a Doctorate or a Diploma of college studies or technical training. The program in which the applicant studies should be a full-time program with at least 1,800 hours. Diploma of Vocational Studies is often a more affordable option with specialization in maintenance mechanics, interior design, food services, health services, tourism, etc. 

All complete applications received under the PEQ will be processed on a priority basis within 20 working days. Unlike the Regular Skilled Worker Program, the PEQ does not use a point system based on different assessment factors.

The PEQ application has numerous advantages, such as:

  • Fast application turnaround
  • Low cost
  • Minimal interview requirements
  • No International English Language Testing System requirements
  • No employer letter requirements
  • No quota limit (making it unique in the realm of Canadian immigration)

It is renowned for its substantial natural resources, booming economy and thriving industries, including aerospace, information, communications, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Characterized by wondrous architecture, sophisticated culture and a friendly population, Quebec is a great place to live and an increasingly popular destination for Hong Kong immigrants.

Applying for the PEQ

The PEQ is intended not only for Quebec graduates but also for temporary foreign workers who meet certain conditions, such as demonstrating advanced intermediate knowledge of oral French. Hong Kongers who have spent most of their lives in Hong Kong may find the language requirement a major barrier. However, as of 2019, the government of Quebec is now offering French courses free of charge to help eligible immigrants improve their French-speaking skills. The PEQ is a highly coveted certification — but how does one go about acquiring it?

All PEQ applicants must meet the following general requirements:

  • Intention of settling in Quebec for work.
  • Previous temporary residence of Quebec with the primary goal of working or studying, and respecting the conditions of their stay.
  • Able to provide for their own needs and those of their spouse and dependent children for at least 3 months.
  • At least 18 years old.
  • Valid passport.

Applicants must demonstrate advanced intermediate knowledge of French. (Only applicable to the primary applicant; children and the accompanying spouse are not required to.) There are several acceptable methods of proving one’s proficiency in French:

  • Accepted French language tests, including:
    • Test d’évaluation du français adapté pour le Québec (TEFAQ)
    • Test de connaissance du français pour le Québec (TCF-Québec)
    • Test d’évaluation du français (TEF)
    • Test d’évaluation du français pour le Canada (TEF Canada)
    • Test de connaissance du français (TCF)
    • Diplôme d’études en langue français (DELF)
    • Diplôme approfondi de langue française (DALF)
  • Final transcript attesting to the successful completion of at least 3 years of secondary or post-secondary full-time study, pursued entirely in French
  • Final transcript attesting to the successful completion of an advanced intermediate-level French course (most candidates choosing this option will be selected for an in-person interview in order to confirm their proficiency)
  • Regular license to practice from a professional order in Quebec

Applicable to Hong Kong immigrants are criteria that must be met by temporary foreign workers in Quebec who wish to apply for the PEQ:

  • Legal habitation in Quebec as a skilled temporary foreign worker or under a youth exchange program, such as a Working Holiday, Young Professionals or International Co-Op permit.
  • Occupation of a full-time role at the managerial, professional or technical level for at least 12 of the 24 months preceding the submission of the application (part-time work is not accepted).
  • Occupation of a full-time role at the managerial, professional or technical level (levels O, A, B, C or D under the National Occupational Classification) at the time of submission of the application.

If a foreign worker meets all the above criteria, they are free to submit an application for the PEQ. There is no quota for the program, and applications are accepted throughout the year. PEQ applications are submitted in hard copies to MIDI for processing.

What’s new with the PEQ?

The Ministère is temporarily suspending the intake of permanent PEQ immigration applications under the Quebec Graduates stream of the PEQ, from July 10–November 1, 2019, in order to give priority to those applicants who are already working in the province. However, there are 2 notable exceptions to this suspension:

  • Graduates who have a valid work permit as of July 10, 2019, which expires before November 1, 2019.
  • Applicants whose application for selection filed under the Regular Skilled Worker Program was terminated under the Act to increase Quebec’s socioeconomic prosperity and adequately meet labor market needs through successful immigrant integration (2019, ch. 11).
Quebec is waiting for you!

Designed especially for international students and skilled workers with fast application process time, Quebec’s PEQ is an ideal gateway for Hong Kong immigrants who are looking at becoming permanent residents in Canada. 

Simard & Associates can help you with all your immigration inquiries. We are a Hong Kong-based professional immigration intermediary for clients in Canada, North America and other popular and desirable immigrant countries. Get in touch today and one of our friendly team will set you on the path to your ultimate adventure in the Great White North!