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The Quebec Experience Class (PEQ – Programme de l’expérience québécoise) provincial legislation, unique to Quebec, is a Canadian immigration system designed to attract skilled workers, international students, and other talented individuals from across the globe who are interested in permanently settling in Quebec.
This program was developed and is fully controlled by the Ministry of Immigration, Francization and Integration (MIFI) of Quebec. The main goal of PEQ is to simplify and expedite the immigration process for foreign nationals who have gained work experience in Quebec or have completed a study program in the province.
There are two main streams or categories in this program: Quebec Graduate and Temporary Foreign Worker. Applicants must meet certain eligibility criteria including demonstrating advanced intermediate knowledge of spoken French.
The legal framework surrounding PEQ is based on two major legislations: the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Quebec Immigration Act. The IRPA governs immigration to Canada as a whole, whereas the Quebec Immigration Act deals specifically with immigration to Quebec.
The IRPA incorporates federal rules that allocate the number of immigrants that can enter Canada annually, establishing different categories like refugees, family-class immigrants, and economic immigrants, which further includes Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) like the PEQ. Despite this federal legislation, Quebec has more autonomy in its immigration policies due to the Canada-Quebec Accord on Immigration.
Legal experts interpret the Quebec Immigration Act as permitting Quebec to establish its immigration requirements that align with its specific workforce needs and cultural preservation efforts. This allows Quebec to have a customized immigration system that suits its socio-economic needs better.
However, it’s important to note that the legal framework of PEQ has been subjected to several changes over the years. For instance, restrictions on which degrees and jobs are deemed admissible were put in place in 2019 but were rolled back due to public outcry. In 2020, there were also proposed changes to French language requirements and the duration of work experience required, showing how fluid the guidelines can be.
In conclusion, the Quebec Experience Class provincial legislation has its roots in both federal and provincial laws. It’s shaped by the unique labor market needs, cultural concerns, and demographic objectives of Quebec. The program’s legal framework has been designed to ensure both the integration of newcomers and the prosperity of Quebec. However, it is subject to change and must be regularly checked for updates.