The Quebec Immigration Plan for 2023, announced on December 8, suggests that the province might accept up to 52,500 new permanent residents in 2023. The immigration strategy for 2022 has the exact same goal in mind.
In 2023, the province’s economic immigration initiatives, such as the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) and the Québec Experience Program, will account for the majority of new admissions (PEQ).
The updated strategy adheres to the goals set during the public consultation held as part of the Quebec Immigration Planning for the years 2020–2022, which took place in the summer of 2019.
The economic group, with a maximum objective of 33,900, accounts for the highest percentage of newcomers—more than 65% of anticipated admissions.
The province anticipates accepting up to 29,500 qualified employees and up to 4,300 business immigrants, that included investors, business owners, and independent contractors.
The remaining 18,100 new permanent residents are anticipated to come through various immigration programs for refugees, family reunification, and other groups.
The Immigration Department of Quebec presents its immigration strategy each year. The document specifies the sectors 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.
Emphasis on immigrants who speak French
The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) won a second term as the country’s party in power previously this year with a solid majority, hence the 2023 plan remains quite close to the 2022 plan.
The 2022 plan set forth under the guidance of current premier François Legault, is intended to progressively increase the participation of newcomers after decreasing admission targets back in 2019. The CAQ implemented a 20% cutoff that year to enhance the selection and francization of newcomers to Quebec.
The CAQ party’s protection of the French language in Quebec is one of its key tenets, and the new strategy emphasizes choosing immigrants who are fluent in French.
In 2023, 79% of economic immigrants and 66% of immigrants, in general, are expected to be fluent in French, according to the Ministry of Immigration, Francization, and Integration.
The issue of immigration in Quebec was heavily discussed during the provincial election this year. Legault pledged during his campaign to limit immigration to Quebec to 50,000 per year while in office. He claims that given the difficulty of integrating newcomers into Quebec society, especially those who must acquire French, this is the highest number of immigrants that Quebec can support.
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 granted the province the authority to set its own acceptance goals, the province persisted in calling for greater control over immigration.
Still, while Quebec picks the skilled workers it desires to admit, immigration remains a shared duty between the federal and provincial governments and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has the ultimate decision on all entries, irrespective of the class of immigration.
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