From time to time, someone asks me how to immigrate to Québec. So I have decided to tell the stages of my immigration to Québec. Even if things may have changed since 2007, I hope that my story can give an idea of how it works.
The story of my immigration starts in late 2006. My partner and I had had the idea to live abroad for several years but we never knew where to go nor how to proceed.
That year, my partner heard about Québec and that it was open to immigrants, offered job prospects, a quality of life and a French-speaking environment.
So we attended an information meeting organized by Québec Government Office. Such a meeting is informative but you need to take a broader view of things. Indeed the speakers were here to sell Québec. They emphasised the upsides and didn’t linger on all the downsides.
Following this meeting, we did some research on Québec (if you read French, I give some links in the French version of this post).
After weighing the pros and the cons, we decided to try our luck in Québec.
The next stage was to determine which visa to apply for. There are several possibilities (You can see the different visas on Immigration Québec website and if you are between 18 and 35, you can also check International Experience Canada ). We chose the permanent resident visa that would enable to stay in Canada as long as we wished. To meet the selection criteria, we needed to have enough points. The points are given by degrees, being of childbearing age (Québec needs to counter population ageing), speaking French and English… On Immigration Québec Website, you can fill out a Preliminary Evaluation for Immigration that enables you to evaluate your chances of being selected by Québec. The result of our evaluation was positive, so we started to fill out the official immigration application.
It took us a lot of time and effort to prepare the Application for a Selection Certificate. We had to get degrees, school reports since high school, work certificates, certificates of internship… To ask for those proofs, we had to call workplaces and schools we had not visited for years.
After presenting our immigration application and paying 500 CAD, we waited 6 months. Then we were invited for an interview at Québec Government Office in Paris.
The waiting period can be shorter if your occupation is listed “in demand” in Québec.
The waiting period can be longer and last several years if you live in Africa or in South America.
We took advantage of those few months to visit Québec, practice our English and to enquire about professional orders. Professional orders manage a number of occupations in Québec ( cf the list of interested occupations ). For example, an engineer who has studied somewhere other than in Québec needs to apply for membership in the order of engineers. If his application is rejected, he won’t be able to use the title “engineer”. Sometimes, a professional order requires the applicant to start again his studies from scratch in Québec in order to be recognized. Thus it is important to be informed of professional orders before immigrating to Québec.
I will publish the continuation of my immigration process including the interview at Québec Government Office in Paris in a few days.