In a move to attract skilled workers in high-demand positions, the Québec government has launched a new pilot program for workers in the artificial intelligence, information technologies and visual effects sectors who wish to settle in Quebec permanently.

The program will run for five years from April 22, 2021 to January 1, 2026, and aims to attract international talent working in these sectors, while seeking to retain those already in Quebec on a temporary status.

Each year, the pilot program aims to select up to 550 workers, accompanied by their families, to submit an application for permanent selection and obtain a “Certificat de sélection du Québec” (CSQ). Once received, the selection certificate allows workers to apply for permanent residency at the federal level, putting them on a direct path to Canadian citizenship.

What are the program’s general eligibility criteria?

  • Be 18 years of age or over and have the intention of settling in Quebec to work;
  • Hold or have accepted a job in Québec’s artificial intelligence, information technologies or visual effects sectors that meets certain requirements;
  • Have complied with the conditions of your stay in Quebec, if applicable;
  • Demonstrate your ability to be financially independent.
programmer team working

The program is broken down into two components, each with additional eligibility criteria:

Artificial intelligence component

The Artificial intelligence component is available to foreign workers who hold a diploma equivalent to a bachelor’s degree and have held full-time eligible employment, for at least 24 months in the 60 months preceding the submission of their application.

This component also applies to Quebec graduates who have obtained a post-graduate diploma, a master’s degree or a doctorate in the 24 months preceding their application and were present in Quebec for at least half of their studies.

Information technologies and visual effects component

The Information technologies and visual effects component applies to foreign workers who hold a diploma equivalent to a diploma of collegial studies in a technical program or university bachelor’s degree. Applicants under this component must also have held full-time eligible employment, for a period of at least 24 months in the 60 months preceding the submission of their application.

Are you proficient in French?

The French-speaking profile under each of the two components allows applicants who can demonstrate a high-level oral knowledge of French to apply irrespective of the yearly quota. Other conditions apply if you have limited to no knowledge of French in order to support your learning of the language.

To find out whether you or a hire is eligible to apply for this pilot program, get in touch with the lawyer in charge of your file or, if you are not already a client, get in touch with one of our immigration lawyers through our website.

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