As the second quarter of the year begins, Quebec has announced that it will be making some changes in the intake cap for three of its immigration programs: the Quebec Skilled Workers program, as well as the Investor and the Entrepreneur/Self Employed Classes under its Business Immigration Program. Changes will cover both the intake caps and the duration for accepting applications.
What is the Basis for the Change?
According to the Quebec government, it will be enforcing a more stringent intake cap and deadline to ensure that the number of applications it will get is going to be manageable. Quebec also wants to ensure that proactive and well-prepared applicants will be duly rewarded.
The New Intake Caps
Skilled Workers. Acceptance of applications in this category will be from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015. The program will be accepting only up to 6,500 applications during this period.
Investors. Acceptance of application in this category will be from September 8-19, 2014 only. The program will only accept up to 1,750 applications for review, and only up to 1200 applications from any one country. An exception will be made for those whose French speaking skill is at the high-intermediate level –no cap will be set for them.
Entrepreneurs and Self-employed Individuals. Only a maximum of 500 applications will be accepted in this category from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015.
Impacts to Aspiring Immigrants
The changes made in the different Quebec immigration programs this year will impact skilled workers and investors the most.
This year’s cap (6,500 applications) for skilled workers is not even half of the cap during the previous year, which was 20,000. Last year’s applicants were as many as 10,000. And if it will be the same this year, that means many might not make it. Interested applicants will have to prepare the requirements faster because there will be tougher competition this year.
As for investors, the change made has nothing to do with the intake cap – it’s the same as last year. However, the duration for accepting applications has become very short – merely two weeks. And if the number of applications received last year will be the basis (which is 5,000 vs. 1,750 approved), then the competition for spot will also be tougher this year.
Quebec continues to be one of the top choices of immigrants to Canada, so the government is expecting a continuous influx of a large number of applicants. With the changes this year, everyone is advised to prepare beforehand to ensure they get a slot.