Criticism Mounts Over Quebec Family Immigration Delays

Quebec Issues 1,007 Canada Immigration Invitations In New Expression Of Interest Draw
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The ruling Coalition Avenir Québec’s (CAQ) lack of decisive action to reduce the long processing times for family sponsorships has been criticized by Quebec’s immigration critic.

“Imagine having to wait three years to be reunited with your spouse who is currently outside the country,” said the Liberals’ immigration critic, André Morin.

“It’s inhumane. These interminable delays due to the ideological stubbornness of the CAQ are unacceptable in a welcoming society like Quebec.

“The CAQ government must shift into solution mode and come to an agreement with Ottawa because we are dealing with human beings here.”

The Member of the National Assembly’s comments come in the wake of a lawsuit launched by an immigration lawyer against the government in which he challenges the provincial government’s entire handling of the immigration portfolio going back to 2018.

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That immigration lawyer argues the Canada-Quebec Accord, a deal between the federal and provincial government which determines how immigration issues are to be handled in Quebec, does not allow the francophone province the right to put a cap on the family sponsorships.

Although there are 38,400 Quebeckers waiting to be reunited with their loved ones, the province is currently only accepting a maximum of 10,600 per year.

That means that at the current rate of processing for family sponsorships in Canada, it will take three years for those applications to be processed. In the rest of the country, these cases are resolved in one year.

The Liberals in Quebec are demanding the province process all of these family sponsorship applications within the next two years.

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“Why does a spousal sponsorship application take three times longer in Quebec than in the rest of the country?” asks Morin.

“Through its chaotic and ideological management of immigration, the CAQ has created two classes of citizens in Canada. We are proposing that the minister put in place a 24-month plan to clear the waiting list and finally allow these 38,400 Quebecers to be reunited with their families.”

Quebec Premier François Legault has repeatedly stated he will hold the line on immigration and made it clear his government is deeply-committed to ensuring the survival of the French language.

Quebec Premier Is Holding Line On Immigration

The premier has gone so far as to put forth proposals to limit all economic immigration to the province to French-speaking immigrants by 2026.

“As premier of Quebec, my first responsibility is to defend our language and our identity,” said Legault. “During the past few years, the French language has been in decline in Quebec. Since 2018, our government has acted to protect our language, more so than any previous government since the adoption of Bill 101 under the Levesque government.

“But, if we want to turn the tide, we must do more. By 2026, our goal is to have almost entirely francophone economic immigration. We have the duty, as Québécois, to speak French, to daily pass on our culture and to be proud of it.”

Temporary workers who come to the province on work permits and international students in Quebec who are there on study permits often later seek to immigrate to Canada through either the federal Express Entry system’s Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program, Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) or the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) of the provinces.

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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.