Applying for Express Entry while spouse is studying in Quebec


#1

Our situation is a bit convoluted. So I hope someone can guide us to the right direction.

After completing my undergraduate and masters studies, I have moved to Montreal to start my PhD in Computer science this Fall. My wife is in the process of completing hers masters program (Biological science) in US. She will be done in the coming December.

Both of us can show job experience of more than 1 year through our internship/teaching assistantship/research assistantship during our time at the US.

My question is can my wife apply for Express Entry in any province other than Quebec? My concern is me, as a spouse, staying in Quebec will give red flag on my wife’s not having intention of moving to Quebec. So, this is what we are considering:

Steps:

  1. My wife finishes her MS and apply for Express Entry as primary applicant to Ontario.
  2. Once she gets approved she will land to Ontario (and possibly move to Quebec)

Is this possible? As I said my concern is whether it’s the best course of action at this moment.

NB: Quebec announced they will have their own version of “express entry” but the details are still not well documented.


#2

Through Express Entry you can migrate to any province. Its only if you go for the Provincial nominee Program, you should stay in the province which nominated you for some time in good faith before you go anywhere else.


#3

Both of us can show job experience of more than 1 year through our internship/teaching assistantship/research assistantship during our time at the US.

RA/TA cannot be considered in work experience. Full-time/part-time jobs/internships are OK.

Quebec has Quebec skilled workers program which is somewhat similar to FSW (Which is for rest of Canada). You need to determine first which one of these gives you the best chance of securing a PR then apply for that, rather than wondering about red flags at the moment. If you wife can get EE (FSW) she should do that. If you can get QSWP PR you should apply for that, whichever is easier and more certain. Note that if you apply under provincial nomination (PNP) you will need to live in that province for a certain period of time.

There’s not really a legal requirement that husband and wife have to stay together, although that is what is generally expected. They can live apart if they work/study in different places. If you look at it from another angle, you might never have an intention to settle in Quebec but rather move to Ontario, if an immigration officer asks your wife during Federal EE landing = there’s no red flag, especially since it’s not PNP. Since your wife is the primary applicant and not you, she can say that you will be joining her rather than the other way around.

My concern is me, as a spouse, staying in Quebec will give red flag on my wife’s not having intention of moving to Quebec

Did you mean “not moving to Ontario”?


#4

Thanks! So, if my wife applies as primary applicant for EE and lands at Ontario, she can in theory just move to Quebec within a week or month?


#5

In theory, once she is confirmed as a PR she can move wherever she wants. It’s understandably a bit confusing since Quebec has their own immigration track separate from rest of Canada so it conflicts with the Charter of rights and freedom of Canada that allow freedom of movement and work anywhere in Canada if you’re a PR/Citizen. A good way to think about this is that you should apply for QSWP if you intend to land and stay there first. But if it’s easier, just do EE and land elsewhere first and stay there for a while. Be careful when giving address for PR card during the landing though. Probably give Ontario address. You may need QSC to apply for certain government benefits in Quebec so check that.