Residence Programs

New immigration application intake rules

March 29, 2018 – New rules regarding applications for a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Québec Selection Certificate) that can be received by the Ministère will be in effect from April 1, 2018 to August 15, 2018, inclusive. These new rules pertain to applications submitted by economic immigration candidates (skilled workers, investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed workers), as well as applications submitted under the Collective Sponsorship Program.

Note that the rules regarding the maximum number of applications received by the Ministère do not change Québec’s immigration objectives. Consequently, for 2018, Québec expects to admit between 49,000 and 53,000 immigrants.

Skilled workers

The new application intake rules for the 2017-2018 Regular Skilled Worker Program will be maintained and extended until August 15, 2018. Consequently, for this Program, the Ministère can receive up to a maximum of 5,000 applications for a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Québec Selection Certificate) by August 15. Other details relating to this will be announced at a later date.

Reminder — Candidates who can submit an application at any time

Candidates with an employment offer validated by the Ministère or who are temporary residents of Québec and authorized to submit an application for a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Québec Selection Certificate) can do so at any time by using the Mon projet Québec secure space.

Those who wish to submit an application under the Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ – Québec Experience Program) can also do so at any time by following the instructions related to the PEQ.

Investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed workers

For the period from April 1, 2018 to August 15, 2018, no applications for a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Québec Selection Certificate) will be received under the Investors Program, the Entrepreneurs Program and the Self-Employed Workers Program.

Collective sponsorship

Given the large number of refugees whose applications are still being processed, the Ministère has decided to extend the suspension of intake of new sponsorship applications already in effect until June 30, 2018. Consequently, no collective sponsorship applications will be received on or before August 15, 2018.

Modernization of the immigration system

Remember that the Ministère is currently working on modernizing the Québec immigration system in order to select the persons who have the best chances of integrating into the Québec labour market. Candidates under the Regular Skilled Worker Program will be the first to benefit from this new system based on the declaration of interest.

For more details on the new immigration application intake rules, please consult the page Immigration rules and procedures and the page Collective sponsorship.


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USCIS Updates Webpage to Share More Accurate Processing Times

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today launched a pilot to test a redesigned processing times webpage that displays the data for all forms in an easier-to-read format and also tests a new way of collecting data and calculating the processing times for some forms.

The pilot will test four forms using a new automated methodology for calculating processing times. The four forms are:

  • Form N-400, Application for Naturalization;
  • Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card;
  • Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status; and
  • Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.

The new webpage makes it easier for anyone to see approximately how long it will take USCIS to process a form, which will help users determine when it is necessary to contact USCIS to make an inquiry if their case is outside the normal processing time.

For the four pilot forms, the information on the webpage reflects a new methodology for collecting and calculating processing times. The new methodology is automated, more accurate, and allows USCIS to post data on processing times within two weeks, compared to six weeks under the old methodology.

The updated page displays processing times in a range for each form based on the date USCIS receives it. The low end of the range for pilot forms shows the time it takes to complete 50 percent of cases, and the high end shows the time it takes to complete 93 percent of cases.  The high end for the non-pilot forms will be adjusted by 30 percent above current cycle times to reflect the time it takes to complete a majority of the cases.

Applicants, petitioners, and requestors can create an online account at to track the status of their cases. They may make an “outside normal processing time” case inquiry for any cases pending longer than the time listed for the high end of the range by submitting a service request online or calling the USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283.

USCIS will continue to seek user feedback during the test phase and expand this methodology to additional forms in the future.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), and Facebook (/uscis).

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Processing of online applications – update

February 27, 2018 – Processing of applications for a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Québec selection certificate), submitted through Mon projet Québec under the Regular Skilled Worker Program, began in June 2017. Since then, Québec selection certificates have been issued to several candidates.

We are aware of the longer processing times for certain applications. However, there are several factors that can affect processing times from one file to the next, in particular:

  • Selection objectives
  • Volume of applications received
  • International context
  • Conformity of the documents submitted
  • The time it takes for you to respond to any request from the Ministère
  • Waiting for proof of your French proficiency
  • A notice of appointment for a selection interview


For the year 2017, the processing time for applications for a selection certificate under the Regular Skilled Worker Program was 32 months.

With the introduction of the new immigration system based on the declaration of interest, only candidates that meet the needs of Québec will be invited to submit an application for a selection certificate. This new system will make it possible to put an end to the principle of first come first serve, currently in effect for processing applications, and to considerably reduced average processing times.


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Australia’s business, tax and superannuation systems for visa holders

Clients may ask their RMA for advice on a variety of topics, including how to enter into the business, tax and superannuation (super) systems in Australia. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) advises that for the most up to date information, you should direct your client to the relevant Government website detailed below, or to get into contact with a registered tax agent.

If your client has been asked to get an Australian Business Number (ABN) for a job, they should check if they qualify for an ABN before applying, as not everyone is entitled. If your client wants to find out more information, they should use the ABN entitlement tool.

To get an ABN, the individual must be carrying on a business or be in the process of setting up a business in Australia. Your client won’t need an ABN if they are an employee, for example working for a business that is not their own, or using the tools or equipment of an employer.

ABN holders have their own reporting obligations, including: lodging and declaring income, contributing to their own super and registering for GST where necessary.

Your client may also ask you if they’re entitled to super. You should direct them to the ATO’s Am I entitled to super tool to check if they’re eligible. Temporary residents may be able to claim their super as a departing Australia superannuation payment once they have left the country. They can check the requirements for making a claim at

It is important to note, that only tax practitioners registered with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) can provide tax agent services for a fee or other reward.

More information about working in Australia, including how to apply for work visas and other useful information can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website. To find out more about what the ATO is doing to combat misuse of ABNs, visit the Australian Business Register website. Together, the ATO and the Department of Home Affairs are working to protect the rights of visa holders.

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2018 customs compliance priorities

The Australian Border Force (ABF) is an operationally independent, frontline body in the newly created Home Affairs portfolio. Working alongside us in the portfolio are our colleagues from the Department of Home Affairs, Australian Federal Police, Australian Crime Intelligence Commission, and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre. The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation will also form part of the portfolio following the passage of legislation.

The ABF is and will remain Australia’s customs service, with trade facilitation a key priority. Keeping trade facilitation and traditional customs functions together, alongside Australia’s national security agencies, has enhanced our ability to identify and focus our efforts on those consignments and people who represent the highest risk. This, in turn, has meant we are able to ensure the seamless facilitation of legitimate people and goods, particularly with record numbers of trade and travellers crossing the border last year and projected to continue into 2018.

Throughout 2018, we will continue to work closely with industry to facilitate trade and reduce illegitimate and non-compliant imports and exports. The ABF will identify and address non-compliance issues and undertake education and enforcement action where necessary to improve voluntary compliance. We encourage businesses to codify their compliance processes and to take advantage of the benefits of becoming a Trusted Trader.

The ABF will maintain its intelligence-led, risk-based approach to the broad spectrum of non-compliance across supply chain integrity, regulated and restricted goods, and economic harm. Throughout the year, particular areas of focus may arise based on intelligence we receive at the time or through analysis of information, incidents and behaviours, but our overall approach of risk assessing all importations and prioritising intervention against highest threats remains the same.

While we’ll focus broadly on supply chain integrity, this year, all customs licences will be ready for renewal, so we’ll be checking that our licensees are compliant with their licence conditions and continue to be eligible to hold their licence. We have increased resources allocated to this important task.

Our continued focus on regulated and restricted goods aims to protect the Australian community from items that pose a risk—preventing the importation of illicit firearms and weapon parts, asbestos and illicit tobacco, alongside emerging threats in prohibited substances such as opioid drugs.

In relation to the protection against economic harm, we will be looking carefully at revenue evasion through misclassification, undervaluation and non-declaration of goods; false claims for GST exemptions; or improper application for preferential treatment under free trade agreements or duty refunds and concessions.

Businesses that have worked closely with us to become Trusted Traders will continue to reap tangible benefits as we welcome new Mutual Recognition Arrangements, and adopt their suggestions for improvements to the programme. Last year we signed an exciting arrangement with China, which gives Trusted Traders a competitive edge with better access and speed to market. We also launched consolidated cargo clearance reporting, which allows Trusted Trader importers to lodge a single import declaration for consolidated cargo for all sea cargo types and for air cargo, which is already saving business an average of 10 per cent in import charges at the border.

While we will continue to work with Trusted Traders to help ensure their supply chain security remains strong, our focus continues to be on trade that is not accredited and poses an unknown risk.

Increased compliance by industry, brokers and the whole supply chain facilitates legitimate trade, ensures a level playing field for industry, and contributes to the protection of Australia’s border. As we progress this important work in 2018, we will continue to work closely with industry to achieve better outcomes for you and the Australian community as a whole.

We acknowledge there is more we can do to improve the ways we work together. For example, we are currently assisting with the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s own motion investigation into our use of legislated powers under the Customs Act 1901 in relation to the processing of inbound containerised sea cargo. We have welcomed the opportunity to demonstrate our operational processes in relation to trade and goods border facilitation and intervention and look forward to the findings of the review.

It is a shared responsibility to protect the border and facilitate legitimate trade with minimal intervention. In the near term, we will look to how our processes can be further streamlined and how voluntary compliance can be more readily achieved so that interventions are minimised. In the longer term, initiatives within the expansive trade modernisation agenda will deliver higher levels of automation and pre-importation compliance that will greatly enhance facilitation and strengthen border protection measures.

For more information visit Trade and goods compliance or contact


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Points based system: Tier 1 (Investor)

Modernised guidance for how UK Visas and Immigration considers applications in the Tier 1 (Investor) category of the points-based system.

Published 7 March 2014
Last updated 19 January 2018 — see all updates


PDF, 866KB, 73 pages

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.


UK Visas and Immigration modernised guidance for how it considers applications on the Tier 1 (Investor) category of the points-based system.

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Points-based system: Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)

Guidance for how UK Visas and Immigration considers applications in the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category of the points-based system (PBS).


PDF, 1.24MB, 141 pages

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.


UK Visas and Immigration guidance for how it considers applications in the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category of the PBS.

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Entry into force of Law n. º 102/2017 of 28 August

Law n.º 102/2017 provides the fifth amendment to Law n.º 23/2017 of 4 July, which approves the legal system for entry, stay, exit and removal of foreign nationals from the national territory, as amended by Laws ns.º 29/2012 of 9 August, 56/2015 of 23 June, 63/2015 of 30 June and 59/2017 of 31 July, and which have transposed the following directives:

a) Directive 2014/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the conditions of entry and stay of third-country nationals for the purpose of employment as seasonal workers;
b) Directive 2014/66/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer;
c) Directive (EU) 2016/801 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2016 on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of research, studies, training, voluntary service, pupil exchange schemes or educational projects and au pairing

The new legal system defines still a set of amendments to Law n. º 23/2017 of 4 July concerning some categories of immigrants. Therefore:

– Facilitation of a specific system for entry into the national territory for seasonal work, by the issuance of a short-term visa specific for working hours of less than 90 days, and those interested keep their place of residence in a third State;

– Introduction of two new categories of investment for the granting of the residence permit for investment (ARIs): the transfer of capital for the constitution of companies or for the reinforcement of the company’s share capital already existing and the transfer of capital dedicated to investment of companies, which are submitted to the process of corporate recovery (PER). Moreover, the reduction of amounts less than those previously required of capital transferred for the acquisition of units in units of investment funds or of venture capital dedicated for the capitalisation of small and medium-sized enterprises which, for that purpose, present their viable capitalisation plan;

– Introduction of residence visas and authorisation permits for teaching activity and for cultural activity, allowing the difference between the activity of investigation and the teaching activity in a teaching facility or of vocational training, adopting a better definition of the system of entry and stay of these categories of immigrants;

– Implementation of a certification regime for higher education institutions and other entities for hosting students, internships and voluntaries, in general, through the adoption of Directive (EU) 2016/801, allowing a faster processing and simplification of treatment of their requests of visas and of residence permits;

– Inclusion, in the specific regime for foreign students, of the access into national territory for the frequency of professional training, as well as for the frequency of level 4 and 5 courses of the National Qualifications Board;

– Introduction of an exception system for the granting of a residence permit for the activity by immigrant entrepreneurs, with the possibility of residence visa exemption, corresponding to an effort of attracting all new business models, connected to technology and innovation, in order to contribute for a more competitive economy by attracting foreign entrepreneurship. For that purpose a mechanism for certification of companies/incubators for hosting of foreign entrepreneurs, determining the residence visa as a “Startup Visa – Decree Order n. º 344/2017 of 13 November;

– Introduction of a certification regime of hosting entities, more attractive, adopting a better definition of the entry and stay regime of entrepreneur and highly qualified immigrants; – Introduction of a new type of residence permit, a special regime for the delocalisation of companies of other Member States to Portugal, in which one can recognise the resident status assigned by other Member State to its holders, administrators and workers;

– With the transposition of Directive 2014/66/EU, Law n. º 23/2007 allows for companies with head office in Member States of the European Union the temporary transfer of their managers, specialists and internships for its branches and affiliates located in Portugal, either in a permanent regime of for mobility purposes.

For more, please note:

SEF Contact Centre
All working hours from 9 am to 5.30 pm
Phone: 808 202 653 (land line) or 808 962 690 (mobile phone)

Law n.º 102/2017 of 28 August
Fifth amendment to Law n.º 23/2007 of 4 July, approving the legal regime for entry, stay, exit and removal of third-country nationals from the national territory and transposing Directives 2014/36/EU of 26 February 2014, 2014/66/EU of 15 May 2014, and 2016/801 of 11 May 2016.

SEF Legispédia
Immigrant and Borders Service’s project for clarification of those dealing with foreign nationals situations and seeking information on legal framework and the administrative practice concerning the wide set of issues addressed by the legal regime in force.

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Visa Information System (VIS)

The VIS is a system for the exchange of visa data among Schengen Member States. These States share a common area of free movement without internal border controls. They have a common visa policy which includes exchanging information on visa applicants.

The VIS is a system for the exchange of visa data among Schengen Member States. These States share a common area of free movement without internal border controls. They have a common visa policy which includes exchanging information on visa applicants.

The specific objectives of the VIS are to facilitate visa procedures, to enhance the security of the visa application process and to facilitate visa checks at the external borders of the Schengen Area.

The visa applicant’s biometric data (10-digit finger scans and digital photograph) is collected. It is a simple and discreet procedure that only takes a few minutes. Biometric data, along with the data provided in the visa application form, is recorded in a secure central database. Data is kept in the VIS for 5 year.

Any person has the right to be informed about his/her data in the VIS. Any person may request that inaccurate data about him or herself be corrected, and that unlawfully recorded data be deleted by lodging the form for this purpose and sending it to the following e-mail .

Informative brochure: EN / FR

Model letter for requesting access / deletion / rectification to VIS:

Model letter for requesting access to VIS (EN)

Model letter for requesting rectification in VIS (EN)

Model letter for requesting deletion in VIS (EN)


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Temporary Reintroduction of Border Control at the Portuguese borders during the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis

Temporary Reintroduction of Border Control at the Portuguese borders during the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis


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