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Quebec Holds Largest Arrima Draw Of the Year

In the biggest draw of 2021, Quebec invited 515 eligible candidates to apply for permanent selection on August 12, 2021.

This is the first round of invitations held since Quebec introduced a new points system last month.

Who received an invitation in this Quebec draw?

In this most recent draw, Quebec extended invitations to four groups of candidates. Individuals invited had submitted an expression of interest to the ARRIMA pool and,

  • had work experience in one of the select targeted occupations and a minimum score of 591; or
  • had a validated job offer from a Quebec employer outside of the Montréal Metropolitan Community; or
  • are currently residing in Quebec as diplomats or consular officers of a foreign country or the United Nations and who are accomplishing official duties associated with their position in the province; or
  • are self-employed  

The previous round of invitations was held June 17th, 2021 and invited just 69 candidates to apply for permanent selection.

MIFI has included a validated job offer in Quebec as a requirement for every draw held this year. For that reason, individuals looking to immigrate to Quebec should strongly consider the possibility of obtaining a validated offer of employment, as this could be beneficial to increase their chances of selection.

Which Occupations Did MIFI Target in This Draw?

This draw invited certain candidates on the basis of their work experience. In addition to meeting the minimum point requirement, these individuals must have had experience in one of the following occupations:

NOC codeOccupation
0213Computer and information systems managers
2133Electrical and electronics engineers
2141Industrial and manufacturing engineers
2147Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
2171Information systems analysts and consultants
2172Database analysts and data administrators
2173Software engineers and designers
2174Computer programmers and interactive media developers
2175Web designers and developers
2241Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
2281Computer network technicians
2282User support technicians
2283Information systems testing technicians
5131Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations
5223Graphic arts technicians
5241Graphic designers and illustrators
6221Technical sales specialists – wholesale trade

What is a Validated Offer of Employment in Quebec?

The process of obtaining a validated job offer (VJO) is similar to that of a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). However, the VJO must undergo its own evaluation by the MIFI.

Before submitting a VJO application, the position offered must meet the following requirements as set forth by the government:

  1. The employment must be a permanent and full-time position;
  2. It must be a skill level classified as an NOC 0, A, B or C;
  3. The foreign national must have the needed qualifications to occupy the position;
  4. The employment must be offered by an employer who has been in business for a minimum of 12 months;
  5. The job position being offered must not come into conflict with a labour dispute of another employee.

In addition to the job offer requirements, the employer will also need to show proof of recruitment efforts. This is to demonstrate all efforts made to fill the position locally. However, if the foreign national is already working for the employer with a valid work permit, the employer is exempt from this obligation.

The processing time for these applications currently stands between three to four months. Should the MIFI determine that the position offered is valid and meets all the requirements, the foreign national will be issued the validated job offer for their expression of interest on the ARRIMA portal.

What a Validated Job Offer Can do For a Foreign National

Not only does a VJO increase a foreign national’s chances of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent selection, a VJO could also significantly impact their QSWP scoring. Since the Quebec Skilled Worker Program operates on a points-based system, a candidate interested in applying under this stream can secure up to 14 points for the validated offer of employment criteria alone. Applicants who do not meet the minimal scoring to be eligible for this program may secure a validated job offer in Quebec in order to help them meet the passing mark to qualify for the QSWP.

As there limited draws for permanent selection in Quebec, the province encourages interested candidates to secure a VJO from a Quebec employer.

How does the Quebec Skilled Worker Program Work?

Quebec’s immigration system operates different than other provinces in Canada. The federal government has an agreement with Quebec that allows them to select their own immigrants. Therefore, candidates interested in settling in Quebec cannot apply directly to the federal government for permanent residence (PR). To apply for PR in Quebec, skilled worker candidates must first apply to receive a CSQ, or Certificat de sélection du Québec. This certificate shows that Quebec accepts the candidate and can be used to apply for PR to the federal government.

What is Arrima?

Arrima is Quebec’s equivalent to the federal Express Entry pool, that is, a platform that manages the province’s Expression of Interest profiles. The system also allows Quebec companies to connect directly with candidates in the Arrima pool to meet their labour needs. Arrima manages profiles through the following four Quebec programs:

  1. Regular Skilled Worker Program (also known as the Quebec Skilled Worker Program)
  2. Québec Experience Program
  3. Permanent immigration pilot programs
  4. International Student Program (only to transmit documents)
Serena Nashed

Serena Nashed is an Immigration Attorney and member in good standing at the Quebec Bar, and a member of the Quebec Immigration Lawyers Association (AQAADI). She has a developed interest in assisting foreign nationals gain temporary and permanent residency status in Canada through various programs.

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