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Applications to the Quebec Experience Program’s Graduates Stream are being suspended until Nov. 1, 2019, the Government of Quebec has announced.

Details of the suspension are laid out in new ministerial instructions issued July 10 by province’s Immigration Minister, Simon Jolin-Barrette.

There are two exceptions to the new decree. They are:

  • graduates living in Quebec and holding a work permit that is valid on July 10, 2019, and expires before Nov. 1, 2019.
  • candidates who had their application for a Quebec Selection Certificate terminated on June 16, 2019, and were either a temporary resident of Quebec when they had applied or were working or studying in Quebec on June 16, 2019.

June 16, 2019, was the date when reforms to Quebec’s immigration laws were passed that cancelled around 16,000 pending applications to the Quebec Skilled Worker Program.

The suspension of applications from all other Quebec Experience Program (Programme de l’expérience québécoise, or PEQ) graduate stream candidates takes effect immediately and will remain in effect until November 1, 2019.

The PEQ provides a pathway to Canadian permanent residence for eligible temporary residents who have studied or worked in Quebec on a temporary basis.

“The basis of this decision is to give priority to applicants who occupy a job in Québec during this period,” the Government of Quebec said in a news release.

The ministerial instructions cited, among other factors, the significant increase in international students being selected through the PEQ in recent years, saying there is a need to focus on the selection of candidates with either work experience or training in an area of expertise that’s currently in-demand in Quebec and especially those regions of the province where labour shortages are more acute.

The governing Coalition Avenir Quebec party reduced the province’s immigration level by 20 per cent after coming to power in October 2018, to a target of 40,000 for the current year.

Quebec’s Immigration Ministry said it is still possible for Québec graduates who wish to remain in the province to apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit from the Government of Canada

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