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Permanent immigration pilot programs in Quebec

Three pilot programs, each with a lifespan of five years, is one of the solutions put in place in 2021 by Quebec to respond to the labor shortage in sensitive sectors. Over the five-year term, each program will host a maximum of 550 principal applicants. The goal is to issue targeted Certificats de sélection du Québec (CSQ) that will allow these candidates to access permanent residence more quickly.


Most important things to know about the three pilot programs


The three pilot programs launched this year and that remain into force until January 1, 2026 are as follows:

  1. i) Pilot program for permanent immigration of workers in food processing launched on March 24, 2021;
  2. ii) Pilot program for orderlies launched on March 31, 2021;

iii) Pilot program targeting artificial intelligence, information technology and visual effects sectors launched on April 22, 2021.


For each program, specific conditions have been enacted. These selection criteria are, however, similar in certain points. Applicants must in fact:

  • be 18 years of age or over;
  • have fulfilled the conditions for your stay in Quebec, if applicable;
  • intend to settle in Quebec to hold a job;
  • have obtained a diploma minimally corresponding to a high school diploma or a Québec diploma of vocational studies, obtained in a study program of at least one year, full time;
  • have a work experience of at least 12 to 24 months depending on the program;
  • have knowledge of oral French that corresponds to Level7 on the Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français des personnes immigrantes adultes or its equivalent;
  • demonstrate financial self-sufficiency for at least the first three months following your arrival in Quebec.


In the program for workers in food processing, the profiles sought are for instance:

  • NOC 9462 – Industrial butcher and meat cutter, poultry preparer and related worker;
  • NOC 9617 – Labourer in food and beverage processing;
  • NOC 9618 – Labourer in fish and seafood;
  • NOC 6732 – Specialized cleaner;
  • NOC 9461 – Process control and machine operator, food and beverage processing;
  • NOC 8431 – General farm worker, but only in the position of chicken catcher;
  • NOC 9463 – Fish and seafood plant worker.


The beneficiary attendant program recruits:

  • NOC 3413 – Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates.


For any work experience acquired outside Quebec in a profession other than the one mentioned above, it must correspond to one of the following NOC codes:

  • NOC 3011 – Nursing coordinators and supervisors;
  • NOC 3012 – Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses;
  • NOC 3124 – Allied primary health practitioners;
  • NOC 3233 – Licensed practical nurses;
  • NOC 4412 – Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations.


For its part, the pilot program targeting artificial intelligence, information technology and visual effects sectors is looking for the following profiles:

  • NOC 0213 – Computer and information systems managers;
  • NOC 2133 – Electrical and electronics engineers;
  • NOC 2171 – Information systems analysts and consultants;
  • NOC 2173 – Software engineers and designers;
  • NOC 2174 – Computer programmers and interactive media developers;
  • NOC 2241 – Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians;
  • NOC 2281 – Computer network technicians;
  • NOC 5131 – Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations;
  • NOC 5225 – Audio and video recording technicians;
  • NOC 5241 – Graphic designers and illustrators.


The three pilot programs promote the transition from temporary resident to permanent resident status. The program targeting artificial intelligence sectors nevertheless encourages the arrival of foreigners. Of the 550 candidates who will be selected each year, 275 will be selected from among foreign workers; the other 275 must have Quebec experience and be employed by a Quebec company.


How do I apply for one of these programs?


The application to the pilot programs takes place entirely on Arrima, Quebec’s dedicated platform for the selection of immigrants who must reside in its territory. We have already published a comprehensive article that explains how Arrima works and how to submit your expression of interest, which you can view here.


Submitting an application on Arrima requires creating an account, filling out the appropriate forms, paying the indicated fees, submitting your profile and supporting documents to justify the information provided. The selection review of your case may result in a selection, a refusal or a rejection.


As part of these pilot programs, it is particularly important to use an experienced firm like ours to provide support. It will save you time, energy and financial resources whether you are an individual or a company. In fact, the selection conditions for these pilot programs are more severe than in the usual programs such as the one of regular workers in Quebec (RSWP).


Our firm remains fully available to give you sound advice and to support you in your efforts on the Arrima platform. Please do not hesitate to contact us here to discuss the various possibilities.

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