Thousands of skilled workers who were seeking to immigrate to Quebec were told their applications were going to be canceled earlier this month, however the court has put a halt to this temporarily. A judge from the superior court issued a ten day injunction that will force Quebec’s ministry of immigration to resume the processing of applications which will give migrants the Quebec selection certificate. The certificate is required for securing permanent residency from the federal government.
Jolin-Barrette the provincial immigration minister outlined the plans earlier this month to scrap more than 18,000 applications who were hoping to obtain a selection certificate. This would include applicants families so would essentially be affecting as many as 50,000 people would be affected. Barrette had said that the plans was for these immigrants to invited to re apply under a new system, which would place more emphasis on regional labour market needs, French language skills and Quebec values.
The bill was yet to be voted in the National Assembly but Jolin-Barette had already ordered his ministry to immediately stop processing skilled workers applications. In the injunction request the Quebec Immigration Lawyers Association argued that the order was illegal and would cause more irreplaceable harm to the 3,500 applicants who were already living in Quebec, either on temporary work visas or student visas.
Quebec’s Ministry of Immigration stated that, given that the proposed legislation would terminate all pending applications anyway, it was more efficient to stop processing all claims as soon as the bill was processed.
Justice Frédéric Bachand disagreed with the government, noting the current law says immigrants have the right to have their applications studied. Quebec’s immigration minister “has to act in conformity with the law in place, not on the basis of proposed legislative modifications,” Bachand wrote in his decision.