Canada Releases New Details for Quebec’s AI, IT and VFX-Focused Permanent Residence Program

March 11, 2021

Key Points

  • Beginning April 22, 2021, Quebec will open a pilot permanent residence program for foreign workers employed in the fields of Visual Effects Technology (VFX), Artificial Intelligence (AI), or Information Technology (IT).
  • Quebec’s government published new details regarding eligibility requirements for upcoming permanent residence immigration pilot programs. These details cover the AI/IT/VFX pilot program.

Overview

Quebec Province will initiate a permanent residence pilot program for foreign workers across Visual Effects Technology (VFX), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Information Technology (IT) sectors. There will be an additional pilot program for nursing aides and orderlies. The Quebec government has published new details on eligibility requirements.

  • Applicants must be proficient in spoken/oral French. Applicants may verify language proficiency with an oral French exam or academic transcripts demonstrating at least 3 years of post-secondary coursework. The coursework must have been completed entirely in French.
  • Additional Details for AI, IT, and VFX applicants:
    • AI – Foreign Worker Subcategory applicants must:
      • Have lived in Quebec for employment or a student exchange program;
      • Have worked full-time under National Occupation Classification levels A, B, or 0 for at least 24 months (within 60 months prior to application filing date);
      • Have a diploma equivalent to a Quebec university-level Bachelor’s degree;
      • Currently have or have accepted a full-time job offer in Quebec’s artificial intelligence sector.
      • The annual gross salary must be, at minimum, CAD 75,000 if the jobsite is beyond Montreal’s metropolitan area. If the jobsite is within the Montreal metropolitan area, the annual gross salary must be at least CAD 100,000.
    • AI – Quebec Graduate Subcategory applicants must:
      • Currently have or accepted a full-time job offer in Quebec’s artificial intelligence sector;
      • Have lived in Quebec for at least half of their study program duration;
      • Have not accepted a scholarship with “return-home” (to country of origin) conditionality after program completion;
      • Have a post-graduate, doctorate, or Master’s diploma from a Quebec institution, earned at least 24 months prior to application filing date;
      • Have maintained full-time employment under NOC A, B, or 0 (if the applicant has a post-graduate diploma) for at least 6 months in their first year post-study.
    • IT, VFX applicants must: 
      • Have lived in Quebec for employment or a student exchange program;
      • Have maintained full-time employment for at least 24 months within 60 months prior to application filing date;
      • Have or will begin full-time employment within Quebec meeting hourly wage requirements (as determined by the Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity);
      • Have full-time employment or a job offer under NOC codes 0213, 2171, 2173, 2174, 2133, 2281, 2241, 5241, 5131 or 5225.

Applications will be accepted between April 22, 2021 and October 31, 2021. The pilot program will run until January 1, 2026.

What are the Changes?

Quebec has issued detailed eligibility requirements for all applicants across AI, IT, and VFX sectors. These requirements cover education level, experience timelines, and employment requirements.

As a reminder: This pilot program is designed to offer permanent residence specifically to high-demand business and technology workers. Later this spring, Quebec will initiate pilot programs for nursing aides, orderlies, and food processing workers.

  • Outbound-to-Canada (Quebec) employees in AI, IT, or VFX can consider applying to this program immediately.
  • Outbound-to-Canada (Quebec) employees in food processing and nursing aide sectors can consider applying to this program later this month.
  • The Quebec government, and Canada as a whole, are assessing increased need for global talent in these industry sectors. Focusing on permanent residence pathways signals governmental interest in long-term retention versus short-term employment. Similar programs may be developed in the future.

Looking Ahead

Like the rest of Canada, Quebec is adding residency options for highly skilled foreign workers in the tech industry. This is part of Canada’s continued effort to be an attractive destination for foreign workers and businesses in highly sought-after industries. Further details and requirements will be released as launch dates approach for these pilot programs.

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Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.

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