The current Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) is set to come to a close on March 31, and a new cycle will open on the 1st of April. Quebec has not yet announced any changes in its regulations, but it has released a new areas of training list. This list will favor individuals with a degree and experience in the fields of Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Accounting, Translation, Banking and Financial Operations.

A Look at QSWP and the Areas of Training List

QSWP is a points-based immigration program exclusive to Quebec (it is separate from the Federal Skilled Worker Program). Points are awarded on different criteria referred to as human capital factors. One of these factors is the applicant’s area of training.

In QSWP’s existing regulations, all applicants who get at least 49 points will qualify for the program (or 57 points for those who will be bringing their partner or spouse). An applicant’s area of training can give him as many as 16 points, depending on the specific points awarded in each field. This means that the priority areas of training will get full points, so applicants in the fields previously mentioned will automatically have 30% of the points they need. The distribution of points in the area of training list usually changes based on Quebec’s labour market demands.

Current and Future QSWP

The current QSWP (2014-2015) has a cap of 6500 applicants, and this was filled fast–the cap was reached as early as 4 months into the program’s launch. The cap excludes applicants with a job offer from a Quebec employer, so the program will continue to accept applications from qualified individuals with a job offer until March 31 when the current program closes.

Given this background, it is not impossible for the new upcoming program to be filled fast and for applications to come pouring in when it opens on April 1. Quebec said any changes to the regulations will be announced on the opening of the new cycle, so interested applicants are encouraged to check in regularly for updates.

As of now, the one thing certain is that Quebec will not be aligning its program with the government’s federal Express Entry program, although the province said it might do so in the future.

A Look at Quebec

The province of Quebec is one of the most dynamic provinces in Canada. It has a high population and a strong economy that makes it attractive to many immigrants. QSWP immigrants become citizens of Canada, which means they can live and work wherever they choose (although an intent to live in Quebec is required when applying to the program), but many of them decide to reside and establish themselves in Quebec, with Montreal being one of the most popular destination cities for many. French is the most widely spoken language, although English is also widely used. Those who wish to learn French when they arrive in Quebec can easily do so for free.

Interested applicants to the QSWP are advised to have their documents ready by now so that they can be among the first to submit applications once the program reopens on April.

(Read more articles & news about Quebec Provincial Nominee Program here…)