The province of Quebec has announced they will be lowering immigration targets in 2019. This release has been highly anticipated since the change of Quebec’s government this past October 2018 with a promise of changes coming to the province’s immigration system.
Quebec has a unique relationship to the Canadian federal government when it comes to immigration. The province has power to select the majority of its newcomers on its own terms, a responsibility that no other province has to the same extent. Immigration applications to Quebec go through a two-step process: an application for selection to the province in order to obtain a Certificat de Sélection du Québec (CSQ), and an application for permanent residence to the Canadian federal government.
Quebec’s new government, the Coalition Avenir du Québec (CAQ), made immigration a central issue in their 2018 campaign. The party described their plans of cutting immigration levels by nearly 20%, and using those resources to strengthen services for newcomers once they arrive. Yesterday’s release of the CAQ’s 2019 immigration goals confirmed at least one of those promises.
Across Quebec’s streams, the immigration targets are set to get smaller. Economic immigration will reduce from 31,200 in 2018 to 23,450 in 2019. Spots available for refugees living outside of Canada, and other categories, will drop similarly.
The province plans to accept a total of 40,000 immigrants into Quebec. 72% of those will be chosen by Quebec, therefore requiring a CSQ. 59% will be economic immigrants, and 41% will understand French at the time their applications are submitted.
While Quebec is making moves to restrict the number of newcomers entering the province, the rest of Canada moves in the opposite direction. Processing times for the federal Express Entry system are the shortest they have ever been, with the majority of applicants being processed in just four months. Overall Canadian immigration targets for the next three years continue to increase, with the goal of welcoming over one million newcomers by 2021. With fast growing Canadian industries and the creation of more jobs, the government is looking to expand and revitalize immigration to Canada.
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