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Nearly 155,000 workers want to immigrate to Quebec

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar22,2024

Nearly 155 ;000 workers want to immigrate to Quebec

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Recent data paints a very detailed portrait of skilled workers who wish to settle in Quebec.

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Announced last year, the reform of the Legault government's immigration programs does not seem to slow down the desire of many qualified workers to settle in Quebec. Nearly 155,000 applicants are waiting in the government's Arrima portal, Radio-Canada has learned, and recent data offers a very detailed portrait of their socio-demographic profile.

More precisely, as of January 31, there were 154,700 qualified workers who had an active declaration of interest in the Arrima portal, that is to say they had already made a formal request, still valid, with the aim of immigrating to Quebec permanently.

In descending order, Algerians seem the most interested in Quebec (20,465 requests for interest), followed by Cameroonians (17,249), Moroccans (14,073), Senegalese (13,088), Egyptians (10,969) and Syrians (10,395).

Followed by the Tunisians (8284), the Ivorians (6148), the French (6091), the Indians (6038), the Togolese (2705) and the Haitians (2579). Next comes a long series of countries of origin which all generated fewer than 2000 expressions of interest.

These data, which come from a request for access to information available on the website of the Ministry of Immigration, Francisation and Integration (MIFI), demonstrate that Quebec continues to be attractive, according to Me Maxime Lapointe, immigration lawyer.

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Despite the rigidity of employment policies x27;immigration from Quebec, demand remains very strong.

A quote from Me Maxime Lapointe, immigration lawyer

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Me Maxime Lapointe, immigration lawyer

Last year, the Legault government announced a series of upcoming changes to its economic immigration programs.

As of November 2024, for example, qualified workers who submit a declaration of interest in the Arrima portal will have to demonstrate level 7 (intermediate) knowledge of oral French prior to their arrival in Quebec.

That said, the data shows that currently, barely 30,000 active expressions of interest, or less than 20% of the total, come from qualified workers who have demonstrated this level of French.

This data is surprising since the list of countries of origin shows that the majority of expressions of interest come from French-speaking or Francophile countries.

The former director of planning at MIFI, Anne Michèle Meggs, who is also at the origin of the request for access to information which generated this data, suspects that several applicants who master French do not have simply not passed the knowledge test, perhaps due to costs.

However, when the criterion of prior knowledge of French comes into force , in November, will these workers be wrongly rejected by the system? Ms. Meggs is concerned about this, because it would deprive Quebec of talent that meets linguistic requirements.

There are surely some very good candidates in the pool of people who have declared an interest who, perhaps, would be missed […] if they did not include the fact that they have testing evidence.

A quote from Anne Michèle Meggs, former director of planning at MIFI

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Anne Michèle Meggs, former director of planning and reporting at MIFI

At the time of writing these lines, the MIFI had not yet responded to Radio-Canada's questions on this subject.

The data also shows that almost two thirds (62.8%) of expressions of interest are made by young adults aged 18 to 35. More than 7 in 10 applicants (71.9%) are men.

Almost half have a college degree, whether undergraduate (29.5%) or graduate (19%).

About 1 in 10 applicants (9.6%) work in a senior or middle management role, while 31.2% have an occupation requiring a college degree.

According to Ms. Meggs, Quebec would have every interest in prioritizing these workers in immigration planning.

Arrima is clearly better for everyone, for the government, for society, for immigrants, rather than going through all the stages and years of temporary status, she says.

Not only do people who arrive have all the rights and services they need, stability, and they can work for who they want […], but we can plan them more easily.

A quote from Anne Michèle Meggs, former director of planning at MIFI

Me Lapointe, however, does not share his opinion. He gives the example of temporary immigrants, such as students and foreign workers, who are already in Quebec, who are already integrating and who could possibly try to immigrate through the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ). /p>

I would still prioritize people in Quebec versuspeople in their country of origin. There are already people in Quebec who are on the sidelines, he illustrates.

Moreover, Me Lapointe maintains that the thresholds Quebec immigration rates are too low. In addition to the 154,700 active requests for interest in Arrima, he recalls that more than 122,000 people were recently waiting for their permanent residence in the province.

This is without counting the other temporary immigrants currently in Quebec, who could soon submit an application for permanent selection.

According to Me Lapointe, there are [ therefore] more than 300,000 people today who would like to immigrate to Quebec permanently, but the Quebec threshold should instead be around 60,000 for the current year.

This imbalance between supply and demand no longer makes sense, according to Mr. Lapointe, especially to the extent that the Quebec government continues to carry out recruitment missions abroad.

The government should perhaps stop carrying out recruitment missions abroad for the next few years […]. We recruit foreign workers and, on the other hand, we tell ourselves that the reception capacity has been reached […]. There is a lack of consistency, he says.

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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