Pre-November 1 Quebec Experience Program criteria now in effect

International graduates who apply to the Quebec Experience Program will once again be assessed based on the criteria that were in place prior to November 1, 2019.

This change became effective on November 14.

The Quebec Experience Program (Programme de l’expérience québécoise, or PEQ) is a popular fast-track immigration program that allows eligible international graduates of Quebec schools and temporary foreign workers living and working in the province to apply for permanent residence selection.

New criteria introduced November 1 were widely denounced as unfair to applicants already living in Quebec, forcing the province’s Immigration Minister, Simon Jolin-Barrette, to backtrack and restore the previous requirements.

The focus of the furore over the new criteria were two new lists that limited eligibility to specific areas of training for international graduates and targeted occupations for temporary foreign workers.

These restrictions did not exist prior to November 1 and would have disqualified many previously eligible students and workers in Quebec.

Jolin-Barrette has promised to revise the lists in consultation with the province’s academic and business communities.

The criteria introduced on November 1 opened the PEQ to graduates who have studied in Quebec for at least 900 hours (one year) and have at least six months of work experience in Quebec in their area of training that was obtained after graduating.

Quebec’s Immigration Ministry says candidates who met this requirement and who applied between November 1 and November 13 will be assessed based on the selection criteria “that prevailed on November 1, 2019.”

As of November 14, candidates with degrees of between 900 and 1,799 hours are no longer eligible for the PEQ due to the reversion to the pre-November 1 criteria.

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