A key election promise made by the Coalition Avenir Quebec has come to fruition today, as Quebec immigrants will soon have to take the province’s new test on Quebec values. Starting next year, immigrants who want to settle in Quebec will have to prove to the provincial government that they’ve learned the region’s “values,” in order to secure permanent residency in the province.

On Wednesday morning, it was announced that Quebec’s provincial government would be implementing an official test for new immigrants to Quebec, after the Coalition Avenir Quebec made it a key election promise in 2018.

Starting in January 2020, immigrants who want to settle in Quebec will have to take a values test, which will assess their knowledge on the “democratic values and Quebec values” in the province.

If passed, the test will allow the applicant to obtain a selection certificate (CSQ), which is the first step towards permanent residency in Canada. While permanent residency remains under federal jurisdiction, immigrants in Quebec will not be able to obtain this necessary selection certificate without taking the values test, like immigrants are able to in other provinces.

In the Official Gazette of Quebec on Wednesday, the provincial government announced that as of January, qualified workers seeking to stay in the province will have 60 days to take the test, following their request for a CSQ.

All adult immigration applicants in the province will be required to take the test, as will their accompanying family members. All family members who take the exam will have to pass if they want to stay in Quebec, the government explained.

It is still unclear exactly what questions will be asked on the test, but Wednesday’s statement suggests that the knowledge required will be within the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

A grade of 75% will be required to pass the test but in the event of a fail, the candidate can retake the test within 2 weeks. If the person fails again, they will be required to take classes to improve.

Quebec Premier François Legault was able to bypass Ottawa by deciding to require the test during the selection process, which is still Quebec's jurisdiction.

If the test had been part of the permanent residency process, which was the original plan, it would have remained under federal jurisdiction.

The new test will only apply to new immigrants hoping to stay in Quebec from January 2020. 

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