Certificat d’acceptation du Quebec (CAQ)

The Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) is an official document issued by the government of Quebec in Canada. It serves as a prerequisite for foreign nationals who intend to study or work temporarily in the province of Quebec.

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The Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) is an official document issued by the Ministry of Immigration, Francization, and Integration in Quebec (MIFI)  and is specific to the province. It differs from other immigration documents issued by the federal government.


Did you know?

Starting from March 2023, printed copies of the Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) for studies will no longer be provided. Instead, you will receive an Attestation of issuance for your Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ – Québec Acceptance Certificate) for studies. This Attestation will be digitally deposited into your online file!

The Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) allows for a temporary stay in the province, distinct from the Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ), which is for permanent residency. However it’s important to note that certain temporary resident programs in Quebec require a CAQ also. For more information, read here: What is the Difference Between a CAQ and a CSQ?

For those planning to study in Quebec, obtaining a CAQ for studies is essential. This requires demonstrating acceptance into a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). On the other hand, individuals intending to work temporarily in the province need a CAQ for work, necessitating a valid job offer from a Quebec-based employer.


Apply for a CAQ as an International Student

Foreign nationals interested in attending a post-secondary institution in the province of Quebec have to complete an extra step compared to all other provinces and territories in Canada. If a foreign national wishes to study in Quebec for a period longer than 6 months, they must obtain a CAQ. Foreign nationals are only eligible to submit a study permit application after they have obtained a CAQ. But there is also some cases when a CAQ is not necessary

Below are the step-by-step instructions a foreign national may follow to obtain a certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ):

  1. Letter of Acceptance In order to apply for a CAQ, a foreign national must first demonstrate that they have been accepted into a program of study at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) located in the province of Quebec. This is demonstrated through an acceptance letter, an official document issued by the institution attesting to the student’s acceptance into a study program.
  2.  CAQ Documents In order to prepare a CAQ application, a foreign national must first determine which documents are required. Document requirements vary significantly depending on an applicant’s personal situation and country of citizenship. Country-specific requirements are listed on the Immigration Quebec website. Be very careful to ensure that your application is complete because any incorrect information or missing documents could result in the refusal of a CAQ, jeopardizing your chances of success.
  3. CAQ Application When a foreign national is ready to submit their CAQ, they can complete the application using the Immigration Quebec web portal. They must enter the required information and pay the application fees using a credit. Once the payment is submitted, the foreign national must print the application, sign it, and mail it in hard copy to the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI). Please note: Only original signatures are accepted on CAQ applications. Any application submitted without an original signature will be refused.
  4. After CAQ is Received Once an applicant successfully receives their CAQ, they must apply for a study permit from Canada’s federal government. Other than under exceptional circumstances, foreign nationals will not be authorized to participate in studies in Canada unless they have a valid study permit. Please note: Processing times for CAQs vary depending on the applicant’s country of citizenship and the volume of applications received by MIDI. Foreign nationals are advised to plan in advance to ensure they have adequate time to receive their CAQ and study permit before their intended start date.

International Students Requirements for CAQ

When applying for a CAQ, an applicant must ensure that they meet all requirements outlined by the Quebec immigration agency, le Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI). The following are general requirements for staying in Quebec as an international student, though it should be noted that the exact requirements may vary from person to person. To obtain a CAQ for an educational program in Quebec, a foreign national must:

  • Possess an acceptance letter from a DLI in Quebec
  • Pay all application fees for the processing of a CAQ
  • Commit to making studies their principal activity
  • Ensure that they have health and hospitalization insurance for the duration of their stay (Most educational institutions will offer health insurance packages to their students. )
  • Demonstrate sufficient means of financial support to cover tuition costs and cost of living while residing in Quebec (Some applicants are exempt from this requirement)

However, not all students planning to come to Quebec need a CAQ. Check here to see if you need to apply for a CAQ: Do I Need a CAQ to Study in Quebec?


Fees for temporary selection for studies from January 1, 2024

Foreign student: $128

Payment of fees is mandatory and must be made under the following conditions:

  • The entire fee amount must be paid.
  • The payment should be in Canadian dollars.
  • Either you or another person can make the payment.

It is important to note that these fees are non-refundable, even in the event of application rejection. Additionally, these fees cannot be subtracted from any fees imposed by the Government of Canada.

Apply for a CAQ as a Temporary Worker

To apply for a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) for work, you generally need to follow these steps. Keep in mind that the specific requirements and application procedures may be subject to change, so it’s crucial to check the official website of the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) or consult with a qualified immigration professional for the most up-to-date information:

  1. Employer’s Role: Your prospective employer in Quebec must obtain approval from the Quebec government to hire a foreign worker. They need to submit a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
  2. Job Offer: You must receive a valid job offer from a Quebec employer. The job offer should be for a position that falls within the criteria set by the Quebec immigration authorities.
  3. Submit Application: Once the employer receives a positive LMIA, you can proceed to apply for the CAQ for work. Submit the required documents and application forms to the Quebec immigration authorities.
  4. Required Documents: Prepare the necessary documents, which may include:
    • Passport and travel documents
    • A valid job offer letter
    • Proof of qualifications and relevant work experience
    • Proof of financial capacity
    • Any other documents specified by the immigration authorities
  5. Application Form: Complete the application form for the CAQ for work. This form is typically available on the official website of the MIFI.
  6. Application Fee: Pay the required application fee. The fee may vary depending on the type of work permit you are applying for and your country of residence.
  7. Wait for Processing:
    • After submitting your application, you’ll need to wait for it to be processed. The processing time can vary, so it’s advisable to apply well in advance of your intended travel date.
  8. Decision Notification:
    • Once your application is processed, you will receive a decision. If your application is approved, you will be issued a CAQ for work.
  9. Apply for a Work Permit:
    • After obtaining the CAQ, you can apply for a work permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Fees for temporary selection for Temporary Workers from January 1, 2024

Temporary foreign worker: $222

Payment of fees is mandatory and must be made under the following conditions:

  • The entire fee amount must be paid.
  • The payment should be in Canadian dollars.
  • Submit payment when depositing or mailing your application.

Payment methods accepted include:

  • Credit card
  • Canada Post money order;
  • Bank draft drawn on a Canadian bank;
  • Certified cheque drawn on a Canadian bank;
  • Cheque issued by a stockbroker;
  • Cheque from a Canadian company.

Not accepted: cash payments, personal cheques, and traveller’s cheques.

What is the Difference Between a CAQ and a CSQ?

There are certain common errors when requesting information or referring to certain documentation required for the different stages of the migration process in the Study Pathway to Quebec. One of the most common mistakes is confusing the CAQ with the CSQ (Certificat de sélection du Québec).

As mentioned before, the CAQ is a certificate issued by the Quebec government that allows foreign nationals to study and work temporarily in the province of Quebec. It is a prerequisite for individuals who wish to study at a designated learning institution in Quebec. It is important to note this document does not grant permanent residency on its own.

On the other hand, a CSQ is a certificate issued by the Quebec government that indicates that the holder has been selected for permanent residency in Quebec. In other words, it signifies that the applicant meets the criteria set by the province to become a permanent resident of Quebec. After obtaining a CSQ, applicants can then apply for permanent residence with the Canadian federal government through Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

The main difference between a CAQ and a CSQ is that the CAQ is for temporary stays in Quebec for study or work purposes, while the CSQ is for individuals seeking permanent residency in Quebec.

Since autumn of 2018, the new Quebec government uses the term “Certificat de sélection permanente” for the CSQ and “Certificat de sélection temporaire” for the CAQ, which can help newcomers avoid this confusion.


How Canadim Can Help

Canadim’s International Student Program assists foreign nationals with every step of the process to become a Canadian international student. From selecting a school and program of study, to obtaining an acceptance letter, to applying for a CAQ and study permit, clients can expect one-on-one guidance. Every International Student Program client is paired with an Educational Counsellor who will help them discover their dream of living in Canada!

To discuss your eligibility for studies in Canada please complete our free student assessment and one of our Educational Counsellors will contact you to discuss your needs.

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