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Quebec to Implement Values Test for Newcomers in January

Quebec’s Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government has released an update to the Quebec Immigration Act outlining plans to move forward with implementing a Quebec values test for new immigrants to the province as soon as January 2020.

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Success in the test will be a condition of obtaining a certificat de sélection du Québec or CSQ, a necessary step in the process of applying for permanent residence status in Quebec. A CSQ demonstrates the province’s selection of a candidate for immigration; with one in hand, an applicant can apply for permanent resident status with the federal government.

As of January 2020, permanent resident applicants will have 60 days following their request for a CSQ to take and pass the test, which is described to be an “attestation of learning about democratic values and the Québec values expressed by the Charter of human rights and freedoms”. Those who fail their first attempt may try again; if still unsuccessful an applicant must undergo a one day training course. Under the original terms, newcomers would have three years to pass the test.

Quebec Values Test Met with Opposition

Quebec’s current government created buzz in the Canadian media scene with plans to shake up the province’s immigration system; since their election in the fall of 2018, they have delivered on these promises. The plan to establish a values test for newcomers was coupled with plans to reduce provincial immigration targets by 20%, and the elimination of 18,000 backlogged applications awaiting an immigration decision. Plans for a Quebec values test have received opposition from Quebecers and the rest of Canada, for allowing for discrimination.

Quebec’s premiere François Legault holds that the test will be similar to the Canadian citizenship exam already in place, and will send “a strong signal that if you want to come and live in Quebec you have to know the values of Quebec”. 

While the Quebec government has since changed their yearly projected immigration targets, increasing to between 49,500 and 52,500 by 2022, Quebec businesses call on the government to raise the targets to at least 60,000 in order to address the province’s chronic labour shortage. 

Those feeling uncertain about the immigration climate in Quebec will be happy to know that Canada’s federal government is upholding its largest yearly immigration targets ever seen, and is set to welcome more than a million newcomers in the next three years.


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