Lawyers’ group seeks to delay dismissal of 18,000 Quebec Skilled Worker applications

CIC News
Published: February 21, 2019

Pour lire cet article en français, cliquez ici.

An immigration lawyers' group is seeking a court order that would force Quebec's government to continue processing backlogged applications to the Quebec Skilled Worker Program.  

The province's Coalition Avenir Québec government proposed terminating the backlog of around 18,000 pending applications in legislation tabled February 7.

The legislation, known as Bill 9, said the termination order was to take effect immediately.

In an injunction request filed Wednesday, the Association québécoise des avocats et avocates en droit de l'immigration (AQAADI) says the government's proposal is "completely illegal" and would have "devastating" consequences for affected applicants.

"It destroys the ability of these individuals, many of whom are already well engaged in and at the final stage of the process of selection, to realize their plans for a new life in Canada," the request reads in French.

The request argues that Quebec's Immigration Minister is required by law to issue decisions on the pending applications and does not have the discretionary authority to refuse to do so.

AQAADI is asking Quebec's Superior Court to order the government to continue processing applications for a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) "at the usual pace" until the legislation is passed by Quebec's National Assembly.

A CSQ must be granted by the Government of Quebec before a Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) candidate can apply for Canadian permanent residence.

"With each passing day, dozens of applications for a CSQ that could have been processed are not," the request reads.

"The situation is clearly urgent."

The request says each application potentially concerns not just the applicant, but their spouse and children.

"These 18,000 applications represent tens of thousands of individuals," the request reads.

The AQAADI is expected to argue its case in court on Friday.

The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government's proposal has been widely criticized as unfair given the length of time that many applicants have been waiting for a decision on their file and the fact thousands are already living and working or studying in Quebec as temporary residents.

The government says affected applicants will instead have to create a profile using the province's new online Expression of Interest system, which was introduced last August to manage the pool of candidates for the QSWP.

The applications the government wants to terminate were submitted when the QSWP accepted paper-based applications on a first-come, first-served basis.

When the proposed legislation was introduced, Quebec's Immigration Minister, Simon Jolin-Barrette, said the Expression of Interest system is a better fit for the CAQ government’s efforts to tailor the selection of skilled workers to labour shortages in regions around the province.

When Bill 9 was introduced, Jolin-Barrette said dismissing the application backlog was necessary so the government could focus on selecting candidates in the Expression of Interest pool and reduce processing times from 36 months to six months.

"It’s a strong measure," he said, “but it’s the only one capable of breaking a stalemate that we can no longer accept."

© 2019 CICNews All Rights Reserved

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at media@canadavisa.com
Related articles
Study finds more newcomers are considering moving to escape housing costs
Typical homes in Canada
British Columbia and Manitoba invite PNP candidates in latest draws
BC and Manitoba have invited candidates in latest PNP draws.
16 interesting facts about Canada to celebrate Canada Day
A Canadian flag blows majestically in the wind.
British Columbia, Quebec, Manitoba and Alberta issue nominations in latest provincial selections
A scenic view of the Yukon mountains.
Top Stories
Can I be a dual citizen if I immigrate to Canada?
From work to study: How Americans can begin their Canadian journey
8 Tips for the Listening Component of your CELPIP Test
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
Subscribe
More in Sponsor Content
8 Tips for the Listening Component of your CELPIP Test
When the time comes to take your CELPIP Test, listen carefully to the recordings.
Helpful advice for newcomers landing in Canada: A post-arrival checklist for newcomers to Canada
When you arrive, you will have to go through a process to confirm your identity.
Studying in Canada? Get Support with Increased Awards from the CAEL Scholarships!
As a test explicitly designed to measure students' English language proficiency in an academic context, CAEL is one of the most effective assessments for identifying individuals with the skills needed for success at Canadian universities and colleges.
How Pre-Arrival Services Help Immigrants to Canada Even Before They Arrive
Planning for Canada Team
Link copied to clipboard