express entryFreedom of mobility

Express Entry & the Quebec Skilled Worker Program

Published on: February 15th, 2022
Last updated: October 13th, 2022

Did you know that eligible applicants can have an Express Entry profile and a Quebec Skilled Worker profile at the same time? This way, you can maximize the likelihood that you are accepted.

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Quebec’s immigration system operates independently from the rest of Canada. Foreign nationals immigrating to a province outside of Quebec can use the Express Entry system. Express Entry is a points-based system and Canada’s fastest and most popular pathway to immigration. However, those who intend to reside in Quebec cannot use this system and must first apply to the Ministry of Immigration, Francisation and Integration (MIFI) for approval.

Quebec Skilled Worker Program

Quebec’s Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) also uses a points-based system to determine who can apply, and who will receive a permanent selection from the province. Candidates interested in applying through the QSWP must submit a profile to Quebec’s Arrima portal. Like Express Entry, Quebec holds regular draws that may target a minimum Arrima score, among other criteria. Arrima draws determine who Quebec will invite to apply for permanent selection, and eventually, permanent residence.

Express Entry

Candidates that are eligible under one of Canada’s federal economic Express Entry programs may submit a profile for the chance to be invited to apply for permanent residence. The Express Entry system holds regular draws where candidates above the CRS cut-off may receive an invitation to apply (ITA).

Candidates in the Express Entry pool also have the chance to be invited through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Provinces regularly use the Express Entry pool to invite candidates to apply for nomination.

This means, by submitting a profile to the Express Entry pool and the Arrima pool, you have the chance to receive an immigration invitation from a PNP, the Quebec government, and the Federal government.

Intention to reside requirements of QSW and Express Entry

Since Quebec’s immigration system operates separately from the rest of Canada, Quebec immigration programs require that applicants intend to reside in the province. For the same reason, Express Entry requires that candidates intend to reside in a province outside of Quebec.

As such, you apply to Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW) program, you should provide sufficient proof of your intention to reside in the province of Quebec. If you apply to Express Entry, you should provide sufficient proof to live outside of Quebec.

If you are invited to apply under either of these programs, you should withdraw your profile from the other program.

Freedom of mobility

While QSW and Express Entry programs require that candidates demonstrate that they intend to reside in Quebec or outside of Quebec, they are not required to remain in those provinces. While you must have these intentions up until your application is approved, as a Canadian Permanent Resident, your freedom of mobility in Canada is protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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