New Program Guide Published By Quebec Immigration Department

Quebec-Bound Permanent Residence Applicants Can Now Get Open Work Permits Under IMP+
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A new guide detailing all the procedures prospective permanent residents need to take under each of the immigration programs has been published by Canada’s francophone province of Quebec.

Published in French on the website of the province’s immigration department, the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI), is simply titled the Guide des procédures d’immigration (GPI), the Immigration Procedures Guide.

“The (original) GPI was removed from the MIFI website on Aug. 2, 2018,” wrote immigration department spokesperson Arianne Méthot in French in an e-mail.

“That previous GPI referred to the old Regulations for immigration to Quebec (Regulations for the selection of foreign nationals) and not the existing legal framework which has come into effect, that is Quebec Immigration Act and Regulations for Immigration to Quebec.”

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Among the topics included in the new guide is the controversial values test for new immigrants.

In mid-2019, the ruling Coalition Avenir Quebec party used its majority in the National Assembly to ram through Bill 9, a reform immigration bill that imposed on new arrivals a values test. It came into effect in January last year. 

The new guide states that foreign nationals and the members of their families over 18 years of age who are coming to Quebec need to demonstrate that they have learnt about democratic values and Quebec values as outlined in the Quebec Charter of human rights and freedoms, the Charte des droits et libertés de la personne, unless prevented from doing so by a medical condition.

Arrima Portal For Online Applications

Another update to the new immigration procedures guide is the inclusion of the Arrima online immigration portal which was launched in June 2019 to speed up the processing of applications. 

The Arrima portal was also created to more easily match potential immigrants to gaps in the labour market. The Arrima employer portal was launched in February last year.

“The Arrima systems allows us to better respond to Quebec’s labour market needs,” said Simon Jolin-Barrette, the Quebec’s minister of immigration, diversity and inclusion, in announcing the online immigration portal.

“Immigration is one of the solutions to the scarcity of labour that affects all of Quebec and we are taking the steps to ensure that immigrants who choose to establish themselves here will be able to participate fully in Quebec society,” he said. 

The Quebec immigration minister described boosting immigration as one of the province’s priorities and something needed to meet the needs of Quebec businesses.

“The new system is what we have been demanding for years and it’s going to change things for the better,” said Michel Leblanc, then president of the Montreal Chamber of Commerce, reportedly said when the Arrima system was announced.

The Arrima system, initially used primarily to submit profiles to the Quebec Expression of Interest system, was later expanded to be used for applications, supporting documents and to pay required fees.

After the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic hit Quebec hard in the second half of last year, the province expanded its use of the Arrima system in mid-January this year to include Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) applications. 

Last month, the province stopped accepting paper applications for PEQ applications. They must be submitted electronically through Arrima. 

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