Bill 9 is a piece of new legislation proposed by Quebec’s immigration minister, Simon Jolin-Barrette, in February. If adopted, the bill would result in sweeping changes to Quebec’s immigration policies and procedures, the most contentious change being the cancellation of a backlog of Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW) applications which are in processing.
At the time of Jolin-Barrette’s announcement, there were more than 18,000 applications in the backlog, some dating back more than 10 years. Jolin-Barrette ordered Quebec’s immigration ministry to immediately stop the processing of these applications. Last week, a group of lawyers and advocates slammed the government with a legal case arguing that the cancellation of these applications was unjust and inhumane. The court case was successful, resulting in a 10-day injunction, forcing the government to resume processing of the 18,000 QSW applications.
Today, in another victory for QSW applicants, the government has agreed to continue processing the backlog of applications until Bill 9 is adopted into law. It is expected that it would take several months for Bill 9 to be adopted as law, which means many QSW applicants will have their applications processed in the interim.
If Bill 9 is adopted, whatever QSW applications remain in the backlog would be subject to cancellation. However, it is unclear as to whether or not Bill 9 will be adopted. Since the bill was introduced, it has faced massive public backlash and legal trouble. There is a definite possibility that the bill could be defeated before it becomes law.
In the meantime, those QSW candidates waiting for their CSQ applications to be processed can remain hopeful that they might receive a decision in the coming months, before a decision has been made on Bill 9.
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