Launched back in 2019, the PEQ (Quebec Experience Program) has been a popular immigration channel that has allowed many people who have immigrated into Quebec to gain their permanent residence status quickly.
However, it’s important to know that the program has undergone a few changes since that time. For example, the original work experience required to be eligible for the program has increased in terms of length. Rather than allowing those with only two years of work experience, the program now requires three.
That said, here are a few other changes to the PEQ to show you how the changes might affect you.
Work Experience Requirement
While the work experience length required by foreign workers has increased by one year, students who have obtained a university diploma in Quebec are also now required to earn at least one year of experience before being eligible. However, this experience must fall under the National Occupational Classification codes (NOC) A, B, and 0 level jobs.
Students who have graduated with a diploma in professional studies require one year plus six months of work experience under NOC A, B, C, and 0 level jobs. However, those working at C level jobs need to ensure their work is related to the program they have studied.
Fortunately, in either case, any work experience accumulated during university, such as mandatory internship programs, will be counted into the total hours.
As for the changes in language requirements, spouses of those applying for PEQ will need to demonstrate an “advanced beginner” level of French. This can be done by either taking a French-language exam or by showing that one has completed such a study.
Also, PEQ will no longer accept transcripts that show the completion of a French course, as this has been argued not to be a valid indicator of one’s ability to speak the language.
How will these changes affect you?
These changes do not necessarily affect all individuals interested in immigrating to Quebec.
For instance, if you are a worker who has already been in Quebec before July 21, 2020, and has a work permit, your PEQ application will be processed with the old criteria. The same can be said for students, where if you were a student who is going to receive a diploma before Jan 1, 2021, you would have your PEQ application processed the old way.
If these dates do not apply to your situation, then you will need to consider the changes to ensure you do not run into surprises when applying with PEQ.
While the changes in requirements may have lengthened the time it will take for you to earn a permanent residence status in Canada, this is all done because Quebec has found PEQ to be a little too popular for their liking. They hope that, with the changes made, many people will opt for other means of earning PR status instead.
However, many have opposed the changes, especially regarding certain requirements that seem a little out of place, such as a spouse’s ability to speak French. Nevertheless, these changes will need to be considered carefully to ensure you do not run into surprises when trying to earn PR through PEQ.