Overall admissions remain unchanged from 2022, with little variation across all categories.
According to the Quebec Immigration Plan for 2023, which was released on December 8, the province could admit up to 52,500 new permanent residents in 2023. This goal is identical to the immigration plan for 2022.
In 2023, the majority of new admissions to Quebec will be through the province’s economic immigration programmes, such as the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) and the Québec Experience Program (PEQ).
The new plan adheres to the goals established during the public consultation held in the summer of 2019 as part of Quebec Immigration Planning for 2020-2022.
The economic category, with a maximum target of 33,900, represents the largest proportion of newcomers, accounting for more than 65% of planned admissions. The province anticipates welcoming up to 29,500 skilled workers in this category.
The remaining 18,100 new permanent residents are anticipated to come through various immigration programmes for refugees, family reunification, and other categories.
The Immigration Department of Quebec presents its immigration strategy each year. The document specifies the categories in which the province will admit the amount of new permanent residents it plans to accept in the upcoming year. Plans have only been made public thus far that include goals for the upcoming year. However, a consultation will be held in 2023 after which the province will draught a multi-year plan that will start in 2024.
Attention to French-Speaking Immigrants
The 2023 plan is similar to the 2022 plan because the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) won a second term as the governing party with a large majority earlier this year.
After lowering admission targets in 2019, the 2022 plan, led by current Prime Minister François Legault, aimed to gradually increase the number of newcomers. The CAQ implemented a 20% reduction that year in order to improve the selection and francization of newcomers to Quebec.
The protection of the French language in Quebec is one of the CAQ party’s main pillars, and the new plan focuses on selecting immigrants who already speak French. The Ministry of Immigration, Francization, and Integration anticipates that 79% of economic immigrants and 66% of all immigrants will be fluent in French by 2023.
During this year’s provincial election in Quebec, immigration was a hotly debated topic. Legault pledged during his campaign that he would only allow 50,000 newcomers into Quebec per year for the duration of his term. He claims that this is the maximum number of immigrants that Quebec can accept because it is difficult to integrate newcomers into Quebec society, especially those who need to learn French.
Quebec’s Distinctive Immigration Policy
The only province in Canada that publishes a yearly strategy for immigration levels is Quebec. Additionally, it is the only province whose admissions for economic immigration are completely under its control.
Quebec has greater control over its immigration policies, largely as a result of the establishment of its own immigration ministry there in 1968. Up until more than 20 years later, in 1991, when the Quebec-Canada Accord gave the province the authority to set its own admission targets, the province persisted in calling for greater control over immigration.
Nevertheless, immigration is a joint duty between the federal and provincial governments, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has the last say on all admissions, regardless of the category of immigration. Quebec chooses the skilled workers it wants to admit.
Ways to Move to Quebec
Anyone wishing to immigrate to Quebec must obtain permission from both the provincial and federal governments. Quebec chooses skilled immigrants based on its own criteria and procedures, and applicants must apply directly to the province via one of its immigration programmes.
If a candidate meets the program’s criteria and is chosen by Quebec, they and any accompanying family members will receive a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ). This document was issued by the Quebec Ministry of Immigration, Francisation, and Integration.
After receiving a CSQ, a candidate must apply to IRCC for permanent residence and pass the required security, criminal history, and medical checks.