I am from India studying in Quebec, Canada and now I wish to apply for Permanent Resident status. Obviously, I am on study permit and my wife is accompanying me on an open work permit. Also, my wife has got a job here.

We also have a 7 years of IT experience and we almost have same background for scores so we have similar points.

So, my confusion is about who is supposed to be the primary applicant and how does it matter who is the primary applicant.

I tried to find the information on Quebec immigration but could not find any proper info.

  • It appears that your wife's status is derived from yours. If you are eligible to apply for permanent residency because of your student status, that would suggest that you are the primary applicant. If either of you would be eligible to apply independently, then probably either of you could be the primary applicant.
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 20:56

2 Answers 2


First you should know that the Government of Canada (federal) has final say on immigration matters. Quoting the Quebec Immigration page on this

The Government of Canada has jurisdiction over the final admission of applicants. After obtaining your Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Québec Selection Certificate), you must submit an application for permanent residence (visa) as a skilled worker selected by Québec to the Centralized Intake Office in Canada, in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Looking on the glossary page of the CIC, a principal applicant is simply the main person applying and the one who bears the PR fees. It has more significance if you have children.

Here's a few definitions from their page for more info

Principal applicant: When a family applies together, one member must be the main or “principal” applicant. For example, a mother applying for permanent residence with her three children would be the principal applicant. When parents are included in an application, dependent children cannot be principal applicants.

Accompanying family member (Related term: Accompanying dependant): A spouse, common-law partner, dependent child or dependent child of a dependent child (grandchild), who plans to immigrate to Canada with the principal applicant. Accompanying family members are included on the application.

Right of permanent residence fee: A charge paid by a principal applicant (with some exceptions), and a spouse or common-law partner travelling with them, before the applicant can become a permanent resident of Canada.


In my case, my wife cannot be the primary applicant because her status is derived from my status or in other words she is dependent on me (not financially but in legal terms). I confirmed this during a session on immigration in my college and recently she called the immigration office to get an account created for MonProject where the immigration officer told that she cannot be the primary applicant as she is dependent on me.

Hope this helps others.


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