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Quebec Government Passes Controversial Bill 9: 18,000 Backlogged Applications to be Terminated

In the early hours of the morning on Sunday, April 16th, the Quebec National Assembly passed legislation that will allow a backlog of 18,000 immigration applications to be terminated. This ruling is part of the controversial Bill 9, a piece of proposed legislation tabled by the Quebec government earlier this year.

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The proposal of Bill 9 followed shortly after the election of a new Quebec government in October, 2018. Bill 9’s tabling received widespread criticism from applicants, immigration lawyers and the Federal government, and was met with a legal backlash from Quebec lawyers who argued against the termination in court in February, 2019.

The Bill gives greater control to the Quebec government in determining who is accepted into the province and the means through which they will integrate into the province. Among others, the Bill includes the introduction of a Quebec values and French language test for newcomers, both of which were cornerstones of the Quebec government’s electoral platform at the end of 2018.

18,000 Applications Set for Cancellation

Most significantly, Bill 9 includes an amendment that would result in the cancellation of a backlog of 18,000 existing applications for the popular Quebec Skilled Worker program. The cancellation will affect those who submitted applications between 2005 and August 2018, impacting up to 45,000 people currently awaiting an immigration decision.

Applicants who have had their file terminated will have to resubmit to the Arrima immigration portal and begin the process once again. Quebec Minister of Immigration, Simon Joline-Barrette has stated that he believes the changes brought under Bill 9 will reduce immigration application waiting times from 36 months to six months.

Looking Ahead

The realities of the passing of Bill 9 are still uncertain. We can expect to learn more in the coming weeks, as the Quebec government moves to put these changes into effect. To stay up to date with Quebec’s immigration changes as they occur, be sure to keep an eye on the Canadim blog and social platforms. Sign up to receive immigration news and updates by joining the Canadim newsletter.


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