Significant Changes to Quebec Immigration

“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”
-Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

Quebec-City-CICSOn March 28 2018, Quebec has announced significant changes to the Quebec immigration program.

Quebec Revamping their Intake System for Skilled Workers

The Quebec Government has unveiled plans to revamp their intake system for skilled workers and will be modeled similarly to the federal Express Entry system. The new Expression of Interest (Déclaration d’intérêt) system will manage profiles for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) and will replace the previous first-come, first-served application process.

Similar to Express Entry, candidates who are eligible for the QSWP will have to submit anExpression of Interest (Déclaration d’intérêt) as a first step and their profile will be valid for up to 12 months. It is expected that candidates will then receive a different score, similar to the CRS score, and candidates who meet or exceed a specified cut-off score will be invited to apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ). They will then have 90 days to submit their complete application.

Major Changes to the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program

The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) is the only passive investment program in Canada offering permanent residence.

The Quebec Government plans on increasing the QIIP investment threshold from $800,000 to $1.2 million and the minimum net worth requirement from $1.6 million to $2 million. All remaining requirements will remain the same.

We expect the walk-away investment will increase from $220,000 to around $350,000.

The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program has been suspended from April 1st to August 15th, 2018 and it is projected that these significant changes will come into effect in August.

More details about these significant changes will be announced in the near future. Please make sure to visit our website for up-to-date information.

The Citizenship Rules Have Changed!… Sort of.

Canadian Citizenship and Passport

The Canadian Passport is finally within reach for many Permanent Residents.

Bill C-6, an Act to amend the Citizenship Act received Royal Assent. The Citizenship Rules will take effect at different stages, in the next 6 months.

Changes That Will Happen Now

As of now, applicants are no longer required to intend to continue to live in Canada once granted citizenship.

Changes That Will Happen in ‘Late Fall’

We will finally see the reduction of physical presence in Canada of three out of five years (3 out of 5), from four out of six years (4 out of 6).

Applicants can also count up to a year of residency while they were a temporary resident, towards their physical presence requirement for citizenship.

The age range for people to meet the language and knowledge requirement for citizenship will change to 18-54, from what it is now, which is 14-64.

For a more detailed information, please see Bill C-6 Backgrounder.

Express Entry update


Today, we’re discussing the new changes in the express entry scoring system.

My name is Alex Khadempour – Let’s talk Canadian Immigration!

On November 19th, the changes in the express entry system were implemented. Things moved quickly between the announcement and the implementation of the points, which is a change compared to what we have seen in the past from immigration Canada when it came to bringing in updates. As expected, there are some questions and issues, which should be resolved in due time.

There are a few Express Entry updates, but the main ones that I’ll touch on are on the points received for job offers and international students who have graduated in Canada.

There have been many discussions about giving students who have graduated in Canada some incentive in their immigration application process. It was either going to be a new stream for graduating students, or extra points in the express entry pool, and of course, the latter was chosen.

Here is how Canadian graduates can receive points:

For those with one or two year post secondary education with a certificate/diploma – they will receive 15 points extra

For those who have graduated with a three year or longer education OR a master’s, or PhD of at least one academic year: 30 points will be added to their Express Entry points

And there were also changes made in how a person can receive points under a job offer:

Before the changes, someone with an LMIA, and a permanent job offer would receive 600 points, which guaranteed selection from the Express Entry pool. However, those points have now been reduced. At the same time, points for job offers also include applicants with “qualifying offer of arranged employment”, providing the person has at least one year of work experience with the same employer who has provided the job offer. In other words, the name of the employer must be on your work permit and you must have worked for that employer for at least a year, in order to be eligible to get the extra points. Since post graduate work permits and most IEC work permits, like working holiday visa, are open work permits, they do not qualify for extra points.

Here is how those with work permits can receive points:

Those under skill levels 0, A or B, would receive 50 points and those under skill level 00, such as executives, would receive 200 points.

These changes and updates will make a difference in many applicants’ immigration plans, especially those who relied on the magical 600 points they would have received under LMIA. Due to that change, we will see a gravitation towards provincial programs and Provincial Nominations, which still give applicants 600 points under Express Entry.

We will all be looking at the minimum threshold in points in Express Entry, which have not gone below 470 for some time now. The next few rounds of invitations should give us a good indication of how much of an effect these changes will have and what the minimum invited points will be.

My recommendation to anyone with an Express Entry profile is to go into it or get their representative to do so, and update the information. Be sure to save the profile. Your points should update, eventually.

There are still some issues with how points are being tallied in the online application. If you notice issues with your total score, then click on ‘Report a Technical Issue’ under the Express Entry profile. It’s not unusual to come across problems when something is first implemented. These will be fixed as time goes by.

Please stay tuned for our next podcast for more information on Canadian Immigration where we continue to cover a variety of topics and questions. As always, you can visit to get even more information.

I’m Alex. Until next time!

Canada’s Temporary Foreign Workers -TFWP- in Numbers


In 2014, more than 360,000 people had their temporary work permit take effect, a 64 per cent increase compared with 2004. An additional 212,000 international students had their study permit take effect, with many of them eligible to work in Canada temporarily.

Ahead of a major parliamentary committee report on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) set for release this month, a new report by Conference Board of Canada’s National Immigration Centre provides a comprehensive overview of the state of Canada’s foreign worker population.

The report, A Primer on Canada’s Foreign Workers, suggests that while Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program population has declined in recent years, Canada’s overall foreign worker population is rising and may continue to increase.

“Workers entering Canada under the TFWP make up only a slice of Canada’s diverse foreign worker population, which includes International Mobility Program workers, international students, those awaiting permanent residence in Canada, and refugee claimants. All these individuals are able to work in Canada on a temporary basis,” said Michael Bloom, Vice-President, Industry and Business Strategy, The Conference Board of Canada. “Ensuring that foreign worker programs benefit Canada is a matter of reconciling the needs of federal, provincial, and territorial governments, industry, and Canadians and foreign workers.”


  • In 2014, more than 360,000 people had their temporary work permit take effect, a 64 per cent increase compared with 2004. An additional 212,000 international students had their study permit take effect, with many of them eligible to work in Canada temporarily.
  • The TFWP accounted for one-quarter of individuals who were granted a temporary work permit in 2014.
  • Canada could see its foreign worker population continue to rise as a result of more international students entering the country and recently negotiated free trade agreements.

In 2014, more than 360,000 people had their temporary work permit take effect, a 64 per cent increase compared with 2004. Most temporary work permits signed between 2004 and 2014 were exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), the test used by the federal government to determine what effect the hiring of a foreign national might have on the Canadian labour market. The number of TFWP permits signed has declined over the past two years likely due to a combination of Canada’s economic conditions and TFWP policy reforms.

TFWP accounted for only 26 per cent of individuals who were granted a temporary work permit in 2014. Despite possible reforms to the TFWP, Canada could still see its overall foreign worker population increase in the future due to rising levels of international students arriving to Canada. International students make up a significant share of foreign workers eligible to participate in the Canadian labour market. In 2014, close to 212,000 international students had their study permit signed compared with just over 126,000 in 2004. This number could increase further as federal, provincial, and territorial governments encourage more foreign nationals to study in Canada.

Recently negotiated free trade agreements by Canada could also up the number of foreign nationals eligible to work in Canada under the International Mobility Program, which does not have LMIA requirements. The Canada and European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) both contain labour mobility provisions. If ratified, they could result in more Canadians working abroad, and more foreign workers arriving to Canada.

“Balance is the key to a well-designed and well-executed TFWP,” said Dr. Bloom. “The government has a legitimate role to monitor the TFWP to ensure domestic workers are given priority in the labour market. Employers across Canada would like enough flexibility to fill their temporary employment needs when domestic workers are unavailable to do the job. The Canadian public wants assurance that foreign workers are supplementing, rather than supplanting domestic workers. And protections must be in place to ensure temporary foreign workers are treated fairly by employers.”

The report also highlights the need for more complete information on the Canadian labour market to support evidence-based policy decisions on Canada’s foreign worker programs. While certain sectors, such as agriculture, face genuine labour shortages, as shown by federal government data, and require TFWs to fill labour market vacancies, it is difficult to determine whether other sectors are facing similar labour shortages due to limitations in Canada’s labour market data.

BC PNP Skilled Worker – 2016 – An overview



On January 27th, 2016, the province of British Columbia launched a new intake system for the Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP).

The BC PNPs new Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS) is a points-based system that gives candidates a registration score that determines whether they are invited to apply. Their score is based on a number of factors that reflect an individual’s ability to succeed in the labour market and contribute to the provincial economy such as level of education, years of direct work experience and a B.C. employment offer.

For example, B.C.’s tech sector is consistently growing faster than the overall economy. For many employers their need for talent is urgent, especially in highly specialized areas. The new registration system allows employers to access skilled labour quickly to bring highly-skilled newcomers into the Province to support continued growth in the industry.

General Requirements

The following are requirements in all categories of both the Express Entry BC and the regular Skills Immigration streams:

1. Offer of employment must be indeterminate, full-time employment in an eligible occupation (Exception: Skills Immigration – International Post-Graduate and EEBC – International Post-Graduate).

2. Be qualified for the position as according to the National Occupational Classification (NOC) and industry standards to determine the minimum qualifications for an occupation.

3. The wage must be competitive with B.C. wage rates for the occupation.

4. For occupations under NOC level B, C and D occupation, one must demonstrate English/French proficiency at CLB level 4. Under NOC level 0 or A occupations, its at the discretion of BC PNP and they may request it to demonstrate proficiency to perform the duties of the position. (For regular Skilled Worker program)

5. Must meet the minimum income requirements.


6. Must not have an ownership/equity of more than 10 percent in the B.C. company.

7. Must provide economic benefit to B.C. Example:

– maintaining or creating jobs for Canadians
– transferring knowledge and skills to Canadians
– supporting the development of proprietary new products
– building the workforce for a major project

8. Have a federal Express Entry profile (For Express Entry BC PNP Skilled Worker only). In this case, the language requirement will have to match under the federal program you are qualified for.

Employer Requirement

The employer requirements will remain as before, with the major requirements being:

1. Have at least five full time employees within Metro Vancouver and three full-time employees outside of Metro Vancouver.
2. A Recruitment efforts should be made for at least 14 days

Point System

This new selection process has been adopted from the original Express Entry system (at least in Canada) started by the federal government in January of 2015.

Here is a brief rundown of the maximum points in each category:

Skill Level: 60
Wage: 50
Location: 10
Experience: 25
Education: 25
Language: 30

Each applicant has a chance to receive a guaranteed inviation if their score surpasses a minimum score designated to each category.


1. Create a BCPNP Online profile and receive a registration score
2. Periodically, the BC PNP will invite the highest-scoring registrants from each category to apply
3. Once/if you are selected, you have 30 days to submit your application
4. Once/if you are accepted, you receive your nomination

Quick Facts

* The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is the Province’s only direct economic immigration tool for bringing in new British Columbians.
* B.C.’s quota of PNP nominations is set by the federal government.
* For 2015, that allocation was 5,500 and the province negotiated an additional 300 to achieve 5,800 – more than any other province.
* The 2016 PNP allocation from the federal government has yet to be confirmed.
* B.C. continues to work with the federal government to increase economic immigration and receive more PNP allocations.
* Since the 2001 inception of the program, more than 34,000 workers and entrepreneurs have been attracted to the province through the PNP.
* In 2014, 80% of B.C.’s total immigrants came to British Columbia through federal immigration streams.

Quebec Skilled Worker second intake will start on January 18, 2016

View of downtown Montreal from Mont Royal Park

View of downtown Montreal from Mont Royal Park

The Quebec Skilled Worker Program has received the maximum number of applications for the first intake period.

The Skilled Worker Program is a Canadian immigration program aimed toward highly-skilled and trained workers. There is an extra step for those planning on applying to this program who intend to live and work in Québec. The government of Québec has a special agreement with Canada’s federal immigration service, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). An applicant must be selected by Quebec’s immigration authority, Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI) and receive a Quebec Certificat de Sélection (CSQ) to file an application with the CIC for permanent residency.

The maximum number of applications for the Québec Skilled Worker Program has been met as of November 10, 2015. The first application intake period, which started on November 4th, was set to receive a maximum of 3,500 applications. The second intake period will start on January 18, 2016 and run through March 31, 2016. This second intake period will be open for a maximum of 2,800 applications, which must be submitted online.

Though, the maximum limit has been met with applications you may still apply. Either by mail up until December 31, 2015, or online as of January 5, 2016 if one of the following applies to you:

  • You have an Ministére approved job offer or;
  • You are currently a temporary resident and qualify for the Certificat de sélection du Québec.

Breaking: The date for the controvercial citizenship rules change has been announced: June 11th


Immigration Miniser, Chris Alexander announces that June 11th the remaining citizenship rules will come into effect.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has announced the date the citizenship rule changes will come into effect.

One of the most contentious changes will be:

Adult applicants must declare their intent to reside in Canada once they become citizens and meet their personal income tax obligations in order to be eligible for citizenship.

The wording is loose and some think the rule changes may also apply to after one becomes a citizen.

This raises questions:

  • Can you be deemed not eligible for citizenship if you’re not showing enough intention and bond with Canada?
  • What are the standards and meaning of intention?
  • Are you breaking the rules that you signed up for and have your citizenship revoked if you don’t meet the standard?

It will be interesting to see if debates and the coming election in autumn will make this controversial and vague rule change more clear.

Here is a clip with CIC Minister Chris Alexander in the Senate committee meeting on June 12 2014 trying to respond to the concern of the wording:

779 candidates have been selected under the Express Entry system


The 779 candidates who were selected, have two months to submit a complete application for permanent residence after receiving a letter, requesting that they submit a full application. This is the first draw from the Express Entry pool where candidates who are qualified under one the economic immigration programs, which consist of Federal Skilled Worker, Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Trades and a portion of nominated applicant through the provincial programs.

This draw indicates that the new Express Entry system is working and that submitting a profile can truly lead to permanent residence.

Canada has purposely kept the first draw small as this is the first time where Immigraiton Canada can fix any potential glitches or problems and to test and make sure that the process moves forward without issues.

Candidates in the Express Entry pool are ranked according to a Ranking System (CRS) based on a number of factors and only top ranked candidates are invited to apply.  For this first draw, the candidates selected had relatively high scores. The candidates all had either a provincial nomination or an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment – Qualifying job offer), which guarantees that you will have enough points to be selected under Express Entry.

CIC has indicated its intention to conduct up to 25 draws this year and plans on meeting its immigration targets 285,000 under the 2015 immigration plan. Of that, it is expected that over 180,000 will be selected under the Express Entry system. Future draws are expected to occur more frequently and the government is expected to issue a much greater number of invitations to apply to a wider array of candidates in the Express Entry pool.

CIC expects that a significant proportion of invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence will be issued to people without job offers from Canadian employers as there simply are not enough people with validated job offers or provincial nominations to fill the need for skilled immigrants.

Alex Khadempour, senior immigration consultant at CICS Immigration Consulting Inc. advises: “If you’re planning to apply under Express Entry, do it as soon as you can show that you are qualified for one of the economic programs. This includes having your IELTS test score, and if trying to qualify under Federal Skilled Worker, your Education Credential Assessment. However, it’s important that you don’t rush into the first step of the process, as this is where you need to make sure that you are able to present the best possible and strongest application with your work experience as the focal point. Mistakes at the beginning of the process can severely damage your following plans.”

Canadians Choosing to Live in Urban Cores – Report

High density neighbourhood in Downtown Vancouver. A new report says Canadians are choosing the shorter commute times and proximity to work offered by residences in city cores over larger houses in the suburbs (photo credit: Guilhem Vellut from Vancouver, Canada)

Canadians are increasingly preferring downtown living over life in suburbia, according to a new report on Canada’s real estate market.

Issued jointly by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Land Institute (ULI), the annual report aims to track trends in the country’s real estate market, and has identified the growing preference for urban living as a major shift that will shape Canadian cities.

The emerging trend toward living in the urban core is accompanying greater construction of high density mixed-use development which can include residential, retail, office and hotel units under one roof.

The report cites a declining tolerance for long commutes among Canadians, as well as municipal policy to encourage intensification in city cores over an expansion of their suburbs, as the major forces behind the growing trend.

It warns that the reverse migration to city cores could spell trouble for commercial real estate in the suburbs. An expansion by American firms in Canada, amid a strengthening U.S. economy, could counteract this drop in demand for suburban office space, the report says.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program Applications Fall By 74%

Following the big changes to the Canadian Foreign Worker Program, the month of August, 2014 saw a drop by nearly three quarters on the same month in 2012 in the number of applications made to hire temporary foreign workers.

Speaking during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Employment Minister Jason Kenney stated that “We announced a fundamental sweep of reforms to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program earlier this year to ensure that it is used as a last and limited resort and that Canadians always come first in the workforce.

Kenney Temporary Foreign Program

“Since those reforms were announced we’ve seen a 75-per-cent reduction in the number of applications in temporary foreign workers on the part of employers,” added Mr. Kenney, who used to hold the Citizenship and Immigration portfolio within the Government of Canada.

New rules for hiring temporary foreign workers introduced in June make it more difficult for employers to hire internationally, requiring them to meet strict criteria to ensure Canadians are first in line for jobs. It has also seen a large increase in the application fee, from 0 to $1000 per application for every employee. 

Immigration Will Have Large Effect On Population Changes, Says Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada, the federal agency assigned to produce statistics to better understand Canada, has released its latest population projections. It is projected that immigration will heavily influence the makeup of the country over the coming decades.

Alberta, for example, will most likely overtake British Columbia as the third most populace province by 2038, reaching between 5.6 million and 6.8 million. Its current population is just over 4 million. A young workforce attracted to the province by a strong economy will result in Alberta continuing to have the lowest proportion of seniors in the country.

Quebec’s population will also increase, mostly due to immigration, but its share of the Canadian population will reduce in size as the populations of other provinces increase more rapidly.

The population of Ontario is expected to increase to between 14.8 million and 18.3 million by 2038. Ontario would remain the most populous province according to all scenarios. In all scenarios, immigration would remain the key driver of Ontario’s population growth.

Most scenarios show Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick all losing population over the next 25 years. This is due to their relatively older age structure, their small share of Canadian immigration, and the tendency of many younger members of their Canadian-born populations to seek work in other provinces.

The overall population of Canada is projected to be between 39 million and 48 million by 2038.