QUEBEC EXPERIENCE CLASS (PEQ)
If you have studied or worked in the province of Quebec, you may be eligible to immigrate under this fast-track Canadian immigration program.
There are two categories under the Quebec Experience Class (Programme de l’experience Quebecoise, or PEQ): one for foreign students and another for individuals with work experience in Quebec.
Immigration to Quebec is a two-step process in which an applicant first applies for a Certificat de selection du Quebec (also know as a Quebec Selection Certificate or "CSQ"), a document that allows the holder to immigrate to Quebec. Once the applicant obtains a CSQ, he or she must then submit an application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for federal approval before the Canadian Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visa can be issued. Federal immigration authorities will primarily be responsible for processing criminal and medical checks.
Potential applicants who do not meet the eligibility criteria for the PEQ, but who have experience working or studying in Quebec, may also be eligible to apply for a CSQ through the Quebec Skilled Worker Program. Read more about the differences between the PEQ and QSW programs.
Foreign students in Quebec will be eligible to apply under this program if they meet the following requirements:
- The student must have obtained a degree or diploma from an educational institution recognized by the Quebec Ministry of Education within the past 36 months;
- The student must have studied in Quebec for at least 1,800 hours (two years); and
- The student must show that he or she has successfully completed an advanced intermediate level French course at a Quebec educational institution, if his or her studies were not completed in French, or prove French ability by way of a standardized language test recognized by the government of Quebec.
Temporary Foreign Workers
Temporary Foreign Workers in Quebec will be eligible to apply under this program if they meet the following requirements:
- The worker must have 12 months of work experience in Quebec in a skilled, managerial, or professional occupation in the 24 months prior to submission of the application;
- The worker must be employed and show legal status in Quebec at the time of his or her application; and
- The worker must show that he or she has successfully completed an advanced intermediate level French course at a Quebec educational institution, if his or her studies were not completed in French, or prove French ability by way of a standardized language test recognized by the government of Quebec. Alternatively, he or she can show that he or she has satisfied the French language requirements of the professional order governing his or her occupation in Quebec.
Quebec immigration authorities expect the assessment of applications under the PEQ to be completed on a fast-track basis.
It is important to note that all applications from individuals who have obtained a CSQ are then processed in a separate priority queue at the federal level.
Quebec Experience Class FAQ
Frequently asked questions about the Quebec Experience Class Canadian immigration program.
1. What is the Quebec Experience Class/Programme de l’experience Quebecoise?
The Programme de l’experience quebecoise (Quebec Experience Class, or PEQ) is a Canadian immigration program prioritizing applicants who have studied or are working in Quebec.
2. Is the PEQ the same thing as the Quebec Experience Class?
The PEQ is a program that selects applicants based on their study or work experience in Quebec. The name ‘Quebec Experience Class’ is an English translation of Programme de l’experience quebecoise.
3. Is the PEQ program the same as the Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW) program?
No. These are two separate immigration programs for applying for a Certificat de selection du Quebec (Certificate of Selection for Quebec – CSQ). Once an applicant obtains a CSQ, he or she can submit an application to the federal government for Canadian permanent residence.
4. Is there a minimum points requirement for the PEQ?
No, there is no requirement to meet a minimum point score in order for an individual to be eligible for the PEQ.
5. Who is eligible for the PEQ?
Applicants can apply to the PEQ on the basis of their experience in Quebec, either as a graduate with an eligible diploma, or as a foreign worker. All applicants must prove advanced intermediate ability in oral French (speaking and listening).
6. What is the PEQ – Diplome du Quebec category?
The Diplome du Quebec (Quebec Graduate) category is for applicants who have obtained an eligible diploma from a recognized educational institution in Quebec, or expect to obtain such a diploma in the six months following their application.
7. What is the PEQ – Travailleur etranger temporaire specialise category?
The Travailleur etranger temporaire specialise (Skilled Temporary Foreign Worker) category is for applicants working in Quebec, who have at least 12 months skilled work experience in Quebec in the last 24 months.
8. When can applicants submit an application to the PEQ?
Applicants in the graduate category can submit an application at any time from six months before obtaining a diploma, up to 36 months after graduation, as long as all the other eligibility criteria are met. Applicants in the foreign worker category can submit an application as soon as all the eligibility criteria are met and as long as the applicant is currently employed in a full-time skilled job in Quebec.
9. How is an application submitted?
As the PEQ is still a paper-based program, applications must be mailed to the offices of the Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion (MIDI) in Montreal, Quebec. It is not possible to submit an application online, as is required for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program.
10. How long will it take to get a CSQ?
Currently the MIDI states that applications will receive a prioritized processing time of 20 days, excluding postal delays. This estimation is applicable to complete applications when the Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion (MIDI) does not require any further documents to support the application. Applications deemed incomplete will be returned to the applicant.
11. Is there an interview process for the PEQ?
No. There is no interview required for applicants to the PEQ.
12. Can a spouse or common-law partner be included in the application for a CSQ?
Yes, an accompanying spouse or common-law partner can be included on the application.
13. Are there any eligibility requirements for accompanying spouses?
There are no eligibility requirements for accompanying spouses. This includes proof of language ability, which is only required for the principal applicant.
14. Can children be included in the application for a CSQ?
Yes, all children must be declared on the application form, whether they are accompanying the principal applicant on the application or not. Children aged 19 and under can be included in the application. However, only children born outside of Canada are included in the application for a CSQ, as children born in Canada are already citizens.
15. Must Canadian-born children be declared on the application?
All children must be declared on the application form. However, if an applicant has a child born in Canada, the child is already a Canadian citizen. In this case the child is not declared as accompanying the applicant on the application for a CSQ, as the child does not need a CSQ. Government processing fees are not required for Canadian-born children.
16. Are there any government fees?
Yes. Government processing fees for 2017 can be reviewed in the table below. Full payment must be supplied with the application or the application will be deemed incomplete.
|Principal Applicant||CAD $779|
|Spouse, de facto spouse||CAD $167|
|Each dependant child||CAD $167|
17. What documents do I need to provide?
The checklist of required documents is included in the required application form. The form is only available in French, but documents can be submitted in English or in French. An official translation must be provided for any document that is not in English or French. All required documents and forms must be submitted to the MIDI in the correct format, along with payment, in one single application. Incomplete applications are returned to the applicant.
18. Is French required for the PEQ?
The principal applicant of the application must provide proof of advanced intermediate ability in oral French. This equates to a B2 level in a valid, recognized French test (taken within the two years preceding the application). An applicant in the graduate category who completed his or her Quebec diploma in French can submit the final transcripts for that diploma as proof of French. An applicant in the foreign worker category can submit proof that he or she has satisfied the French language requirements of the professional order governing his or her occupation in Quebec. The following documents are also accepted for applicants in both categories:
- Results of a recognized French test demonstrating at least a B2 level of oral French;
- Final transcripts attesting to at least three years of secondary or post-secondary education completed entirely in French. If the course of study was completed in a country in which French is not the official language, a letter from the institution attesting that the applicant completed his or her studies entirely in French is also required to supplement the transcripts;
- Final transcripts from an eligible French course taken in Quebec, in a recognized institution. This course can be at the secondary, college, or university level. The lists of recognized courses in 2016 can be found here:
19. Does the applicant have to take a French test?
If the applicant can provide sufficient proof of French language ability through eligible transcripts or other recognized documents, he or she does not have to take a French test.
20. Where can French tests be taken?
French tests must be taken at a recognized test centre.
- For a list of recognized test centres for the TEFAQ, please click here
- For a list of recognized test centres for the TCF/TCFQ, please click here
- For a list of recognized test centres for the DELF and DALF, please click here
21. Can an applicant submit results from different language tests?
Yes. When providing results from a recognized language test, applicants can submit test results from different days and different institutions as long as both test results are still valid. For example, an applicant can submit a TEFAQ Listening certificate and a TCFQ Speaking certificate.
22. Does the accompanying spouse have to prove French language ability?
No. There are no language requirements for the accompanying spouse.
23. Which diplomas are eligible for the PEQ – diplome du Quebec category?
Quebec diplomas eligible under the PEQ are:
- a bachelor’s degree (university undergraduate);
- a master’s degree (and an MBA);
- a doctorate;
- a Diplome d’etudes collegiales techniques (DEC – diploma of college studies);
- a Diplome d’etudes professionnelles (DEP – diploma of vocational studies) of at least 1800 hours of study or more;
- a Diplome d’etudes professionnelles (DEP – diploma of vocational studies) followed by an attestation de specialisation professionnelle (ASP – attestation of vocational specialization) totaling a minimum of 1800 hours of continuing education and leading to a particular trade;
- Two separate DEPs amounting to 1,800 hours together are not eligible.
24. What jobs are eligible for the PEQ – travailleur etranger temporaire specialise category?
The foreign worker applicant must have at least 12 months of full-time work experience in a skilled, managerial, or professional occupation. Full-time work is defined as at least 30 hours a week. Unlike the Quebec Skilled Worker program, part-time work experience cannot be cumulatively counted towards full-time work experience. Part-time work experience is not recognized in the PEQ application.
25. Can applicants submit an application to the PEQ from abroad?
Graduate applicants can submit their application from abroad. Foreign worker applicants must be in Quebec and currently employed in order to submit an application.
26. After obtaining a CSQ through the PEQ, can a applicant leave Canada and work abroad during the federal processing stage?
Yes. An applicant can leave Canada during the processing of his or her federal application, however, if he or she wishes to return to Canada he or she must meet any conditions for re-entry.
27. Can transcripts from a French university be submitted as proof of French language ability?
Yes. For both the graduate and foreign worker categories, a secondary or post-secondary diploma of at least three years’ duration completed entirely in French will satisfy the French language requirements.
28. Can a work permit be extended if it expires before the federal processing stage for permanent residence is complete?
To extend a work permit, the applicant would need to obtain a job offer from an employer. Such a job offer would be exempt from a Labour-Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) as the applicant has a CSQ. The applicant may then take the job offer and his or her CSQ to a Quebec Port of Entry to obtain a closed work permit for that employer. Applicants can only obtain a new or renewed work permit if they are currently residing in Quebec with a valid work permit. For a graduate applicant living in Quebec on a post-graduate work permit that will expire during the federal processing stage, the same applies. A post-graduate work permit cannot be extended beyond the length of the student’s period of study.
29. What happens if an applicant’s work permit expires before he or she obtains permanent residence status?
If an applicant cannot renew his or her work permit before it expires, and he or she is not yet a permanent resident, he or she must apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to change to visitor status if he or she wishes to remain in Quebec as a visitor. Otherwise, the applicant can leave Canada until he or she obtains permanent residence status.
30. If an application is returned or refused, can the applicant submit again?
If an application is returned to the applicant because it is incomplete, the applicant can resubmit the application again with the required additional documents. If the application is refused because the applicant does not meet the eligibility criteria, the applicant can submit an application to the Quebec Skilled Worker program if he or she meets the criteria for that program. Alternatively, if an applicant is refused because he or she does not meet the eligibility criteria, and the applicant later becomes eligible, the applicant can resubmit to the PEQ.
31. If a potential applicant is not eligible for the PEQ, is there another way to apply for a CSQ?
Yes. Potential applicants who do not meet the eligibility criteria for the PEQ, but who have experience working or studying in Quebec, may also be eligible to apply for a CSQ through the Quebec Skilled Worker Program.