Since the beginning of the week, a new immigration system is officially in force in Quebec. Initially announced by the previous Liberal government before its entry into force postponed, the Arrima system is now "operational", certified Monday the Minister of Immigration, Simon Jolin-Barrette.
Concretely, many things will change in the selection of newcomers. These measures, however, will take several months to become fully applicable.
The law, which was sanctioned by the Lieutenant Governor Sunday night, ends the "first come, first served" procedure. Foreign nationals wishing to come to Quebec under the Regular Skilled Worker Program (PRTQ) must now complete a declaration of interest form.
To date, nearly 115,000 people have already completed this document.
In this declaration of interest, the applicant is asked for information about his family situation, his career, his schooling and his knowledge of French and English. The candidate can also mention if he has a job offer.
The Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion (MIDI) subsequently invites applicants meeting the needs of the labor market to complete their file, which will be analyzed later according to a selection grid.
The steps in Arrima
- Complete a declaration of interest form;
- Invitation from the Ministry to complete a request for permanent selection;
- Evaluation of the request by MIDI according to the selection grid.
Invitation criteria that will evolve
How will MIDI select candidates to submit an application?
"The invitation criteria will be modulated according to the needs of Quebec," says the ministry.
The goal is to invite people who have the greatest potential for integration in Quebec. Since access to a job is one of the factors favoring integration, the potential of the person to meet the labor needs of Québec society will obviously be considered.
The first invitations will be launched "in the coming weeks," said Minister Jolin-Barrette.
A selection grid that should be reviewed
In fact, for the moment, the study of these immigration applications will not change, since the selection grid dating from August 2, 2018 is still in effect. This method of selection is also criticized by the business community, which deplores the excessive place given to diplomas of candidates.
"Two-thirds of our vacancies require a secondary 5 or less," says Véronique Proulx, President of Quebec Manufacturers and Exporters. We do not need engineers, but clerks, day laborers. "
The President of the Federation of Quebec Chambers of Commerce (FCCQ), Stéphane Forget, is giving a similar speech.
We must review the score and improve this grid. People with a vocational or technical degree should not have fewer points because they do not have a university degree.
"MIDI is constantly working to improve its different processes," says a Ministry spokesperson. Public consultations will also be held in August, and MIDI has already invited stakeholders to comment on the "Selection and Admission Objectives".
"We hope for changes this fall," said Yves-Thomas Dorval, who heads the Conseil du patronat.
A portal for employers in February 2020
The main novelty will see the light of day in February 2020 with the launch of the "self-service employer portal". This is the famous "Tinder of Immigration", mentioned in February by Minister Jolin-Barrette.
With this tool, Quebec employers will be able to directly consult the profiles of candidates who have filed a declaration of interest and communicate with them. They will be able to make a job offer to a candidate, which could facilitate and accelerate his arrival in Quebec.
Employers will be able to go directly to the ministry's website, consult the profiles of immigration candidates to make them an offer of employment, to invite them. And as soon as there is a network between employers and candidates for immigration, we will invite them first.
Starting this summer, "an interface for MIDI partnership advisers will be launched so that they can support employers in the regions of Quebec to get in touch with people who have the profiles they want to come to work in Quebec," he says. noon.
Subsequently, tests of Quebec values and French could emerge, as has already claimed the Prime Minister. These could be part of the "conditions" for permanent residence, but should be introduced through a regulation. Quebec will also need the support of the federal government if it wants to take this route.
Judicial challenges evaluated
The passage of this bill will cancel the processing of thousands of immigration files. This consequence could open the door to legal challenges, lawyers say. "We are currently assessing possible remedies," wrote Stéphane Handfield on his Facebook page. The Quebec Association of Immigration Lawyers (AQAADI), at the initiative of the injunction issued by the Superior Court in February forcing the government to resume processing these cases, defends the same position.
Priority to candidates already in Quebec
Initially, as announced by François Legault at the end of February, after the announcement of the abandonment of more than 18,000 pending immigration files, permanent immigration candidates living and already working at the Quebec will have priority.
An amendment was tabled by the government a few hours before the adoption of this bill. This decision concerns about 3700 cases, or about 5500 people.
Within seven months, the Minister undertakes to "invite" candidates "to apply for permanent selection" under the PRTQ provided they have completed a declaration of interest in Arrima.
The foreign national invited will then have 60 days to submit this application.
Nearly 2000 files processed
Moreover, since the decision of the Superior Court at the end of February forcing MIDI to continue to study these thousands of cases, almost 2,000 cases have been processed, confirmed Minister Jolin-Barrette.
Between March and May, the acceptance rate was around 13%. In his judgment, Judge Frédéric Bachand pointed out that MIDI was "able to process between 1000 and 2000 requests per month under the PRTQ". The acceptance rate was around 50% over the last three years.
All in all, by removing the files of candidates living in Quebec who can be selected through Arrima, 12,000 to 13,000 records in the inventory of MIDI will not be processed.
These candidates will be reimbursed expenses related to the presentation of their application, for an amount of about $ 1000.
However, the costs of translation, document compliance, and language test fees will not be reimbursed. This request, made by Quebec Solidaire at the end of the week, was rejected by the government.