The Quebec Skilled Workers Program has been constantly in the media headlines for the past month as Quebec's Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barette announced surprise reforms which would affect at least 18,000 submitted applications.
If you had trouble keeping up with the most recent news regarding Bill 9, we don't blame you. The news surrounding Bill 9 and the 18,000 cancelled Quebec Skilled Worker applications have been constantly evolving and it is hard to keep up to date. We have decided to provide of the timeline of the events that happened so that you can be up to date:
Quebec Immigration Ministry (Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Diversité, et de l'Inclusion or MIDI) announces that they have a backlog of 18,000 applications for the Quebec Skilled Workers Program, with some files dating back to 2005. Prime Minister François Legault reassures that all applications will be processed within the next 6 months.
Quebec Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette suddenly announces that 18,000 applications in the Quebec Skilled Workers Program will be cancelled and refunded unless a decision to refuse, reject or select has already been in the process. The basis of the cancellations is the new proposed legislation, bill 9, which is not yet confirmed in parliament. The MIDI immediately stops working on any pending applications submitted through Mon Projet.
The Association Québécoise des Avocats et Avocates en Droit de l'Immigration (AQAADI), or the Quebec Immigration Lawyers Association, files an interlocutory injunction at the Quebec Superior Court. This is an "emergency" measure, intended in immediate and urgent situations where a person can suffer a serious and irreparable prejudice if the order is not emitted. The judge measures the balance of inconvenience for both parties. The length of the interlocutory injunction is 10 days, but can be extended.
The Honorable Superior Court Judge Bachand orders the injunction in favor of the AQAADI and the 18,000 applicants. The MIDI's plan to cancel the 18,000 applications is temporarily paused as they are forced to resume the processing of all QSW applications. In his decision, Judge Bachand stated that the MIDI could keep processing at its previous rate, which is around 1000 applications per month.
The injunction is extended (renewed) until the approval and adoption of bill 9. The injunction is now a safeguard order until further notice. The MIDI has agreed to keep processing the 18,000 QSW applications but mentioned they would not add any additional staff to help with the backlog.
According to newspaper La Presse, 571 applications were processed between February 25th, 2019 to March 25th, 2019. Out of the 571 processed applications, 443 were refused, which means that only 128 of the estimated 18,000 applicants received a CSQ since the court order was issued.
At 4:08 am on June 16th, 2019, the Quebec immigration minister tweeted that Bill 9 has been approved by the Quebec government. Essentially, this means that the outstanding immigration files will now be cancelled and application fees will be returned. Candidates are now directed towards the ARRIMA portal for Quebec Skilled Worker candidates. The Quebec government used the "Bâillon", which is an exceptional legislative procedure that allows the government to quickly adopt new legislation or modify the rules of a legislation.
Here's the tweet from Quebec's Immigration Minister:
In the midst of the adoption of Bill 9, the Quebec government made a decision to save approximately 3000 out of the 18,000 applications, candidates who are currently in Quebec and have a valid study or permit will still have their applications processed!
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