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Quebec Update: Montreal Business Class Selection Interviews

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The Quebec Director General of Immigration has recently announced that, in light of the unusually high volume of Business Class applications submitted during the last quarter of 1998 and the first quarter of 1999 (including 2,000 applications received in the month of March 1999 alone), the Ministère des Relations avec les Citoyens et de l`Immigration (MRCI) has initiated a series of measures aimed at reducing the backlog of files.

One of these measures provides for Business Class applicants who filed their applications with the Hong Kong and Damascus Quebec processing posts prior to April 1, 1999 to be allowed to attend a selection interview in Montreal. This interview will replace (and not be in addition to) the selection that would otherwise have taken place abroad.

The Director General emphasized that although the Department is doing its best to process this entire backlog of Business Class cases by the end of the summer of 2000, those applicants who take advantage of the Montreal interview option will experience a waiting period that is “markedly shorter than for those held in Hong Kong and Damascus.”

Interested applicants are requested to notify their counsel of their desire to attend their selection interviews in Montreal. Counsel, in turn, are to provide the Hong Kong and Damascus processing posts with detailed information about each candidate who is willing and able to take advantage of this option.

It is expected that interviews will begin being held in Montreal in the next few months.

The Director General has stipulated that the following guidelines will apply for Montreal selection interviews (and we quote):

  • Notices of selection interviews will be sent in chronological order based on the date of receipt of the file by the MRCI (either in an SIQ office or at the Direction de l’aide à l’immigration d’affaires).
  • Wherever the interview location (at the SIQ office on its territory or in Montreal), the SIQ is responsible for ensuring that the file contains all documents needed to analyze the application and that the applicant is prepared for an interview.
  • The letter giving notice to appear for an interview will list the documents that the applicant must have at the interview; for example: originals of supporting documents, sworn declaration on the source of funds, etc. As far as possible, the counselor conducting the interview must be in a position to make the selection decision at the end of the interview. That is, a file cannot be put on hold because the applicant came to the interview without the required documents.
  • The Regulations for the selection of foreign nationals will be interpreted and applied with equal strictness no matter where the selection interview is held. The fact that an applicant is called to Montreal for an interview must not be interpreted as having a bearing on the decision that will be made on the application for a Quebec selection certificate, since the selection interview is intended to determine if the application meets the criteria and factors defined in the Regulation.
  • Applicants will be responsible for obtaining visas needed for their travel to Montreal from the proper authorities. Neither SIQ offices nor the MRCI may intercede with these authorities to help acquire a visa.
  • Translation expenses will be charged to the applicant and must be paid at the time of interview. The amount to be charged will be specified in the letter convening the applicant.