It’s only a little over a month before the current Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) comes to a close, and the quota set by the province is not even reached by half at this point. Interested and qualified applicants still have a big chance of getting into the program because of the small number of applications that the program has received, but time is really of the essence. Quota reached or not, the QSWP will come to a close on March 31, 2014.

Facts About the Current Quebec Skilled Worker Program

The QSWP caters to a wide range of occupations, but it especially favors nurses and civil engineers, with high points given to these positions. For instance, nurses can receive up to 16 points on their educational qualifications alone (the highest number of points awarded by the program). Meanwhile, civil engineers can get up to 12 points for their experience (up from the previous maximum of 6 points).

The most appealing factor about the QSWP is perhaps the minimum qualifications that it requires. At the basic, as long as applicants meet the required number of points and they have at least a high school diploma, they can qualify.

The current application ceiling for the program is 20,000 (up to March 31, 2014). However, this is barely reached at the moment. As of end of last year (Dec 2013), there were only approximately 6000 applications submitted. However, the QSWP has not announced any extension, so it seems the deadline will remain regardless of the number of applications received.

What to Expect for the Coming Years

Unfortunately, it is not clear how the next QSWP will be like after the current one closes. Will the rules be the same? Will there be new requirements? Will the program become more restricted? There are no answers to these questions yet, and it seems everybody has to wait for announcements.

According to a Canadian lawyer specializing in immigration issues, Quebec “could reopen the program under new rules, extend it under the same rules, or temporarily close it all together.”

Because of the vague future of the QSWP, applicants are now advised to try their best to catch the deadline and send in their applications before March 31, 2014 – especially those who are almost sure of qualifying in the current program. Nobody knows what the next QSWP would be like, so those who can apply now should do so.