Quebec has launched an economic immigration pilot project for foreign workers employed in AI, IT and visual effects on April 22.
The five-year pilot project will allow for a total of 550 principal applicants and their family members to be selected per year. Applicants must intend to settle in Quebec to work.
This program aims to recruit highly qualified workers in key employment sectors of the Quebec economy that are facing a significant labour shortage.
“With the launch of this new pilot program, our government wants to provide companies with the tools they need to recruit the best international talent and to support and accelerate innovation in new technologies. More than ever, Quebec’s economic recovery needs innovative and promising tools for wealth creation,” said Quebec Immigration Minister Nadine Girault in French in a press release.
About the new pilot program
There are two streams under this pilot: Artificial intelligence, and Information technology and visual effects.
If you are interested in applying under the AI stream you can do so as a foreign worker or as a Quebec graduate.
Each stream also includes two types of profiles: Francophone and francization. Those applying under the Francophone profile must have an oral proficiency of 7 on the Quebec scale of proficiency levels in French for adult immigrants. Candidates applying under the francization profile will have to commit, at the time of submitting their application for permanent selection, to learn French and will automatically be registered with an immigrant integration service. The purpose of this process is to support newcomers in learning French and integrating into Quebec society.
Three new pilot projects now officially open
Today’s pilot program launch comes almost a month after the launch of similar programs for orderlies, and food processing workers.
The three pilot projects were announced in October 2020 by the Quebec Immigration Ministry and are now officially open for applications. A total of 1650 spots per year have been allocated, which translates into 550 spots per program. Quebec has implemented these permanent immigration pilot programs to address ongoing labour force shortages in several sectors in the province. Candidates who meet the program’s conditions, can submit an application for permanent selection and obtain a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ).
Once a CSQ is granted, an application for permanent residence must be submitted to the federal government.
Having a good knowledge of the French language is generally a prerequisite to immigrate to Quebec. The possible selection of non-francophones under this pilot project is an important exception to the usual procedure for immigration to the province.
For the current year, the application period is open from April 22 to October 31, 2021.