French Language Requirement Makes It Hard For Ukrainians to Immigrate to Quebec

French Language Requirement Makes It Hard For Ukrainians to Immigrate to Quebec
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Ukrainians are struggling to learn French before the expiration of their work permits after fleeing to Quebec to escape the Russian invasion of their home country.

One of Quebec’s permanent residency requirements is to be proficient in the language, which can be displayed by taking French tests.

Many Ukrainians who moved there have been taking government-offered francization courses, but that is not enough to develop the level of proficiency the government requires, due to which they are unable to obtain a Quebec selection certificate are thus not acknowledged to be accepted as permanent residents.

Ukrainians also need two years of work experience in a job requiring some specialized training or education, which many of them are unable to obtain because of the short timeline of their three-year work permits.

The deadline to extend their temporary stay – although available – is approaching, and is on March 31.

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In a statement, a spokesperson for the Quebec Immigration Ministry said that there are no current plans for the French province to change its requirements for issuing a certificate of selection, as per CBC News.

President of the Quebec chapter of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Michael Schwec, said he hopes the different levels of government will exercise flexibility with their permanent residency requirements for the Ukrainians who fled the war, the majority of whom are women whose husbands are still in Ukraine.

“The people who are coming from Ukraine during wartime to Montreal, they’re welcoming the challenge to learn French, to get the kinds of jobs they need to meet the criteria, to get permanent residency,” he said.

“They want to succeed.”

However, Quebec’s difficult PR requirements are making the process even more stressful for them than it already is.

The Quebec immigration process is unique in comparison to the rest of the country. Quebec has its own set of criteria based on which it issues the candidate and their family a Certificate de selection du Quebec (CSQ), after they have applied to one of its immigration programs.

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Following this, the candidate can apply to IRCC for a Canada PR and pass the medical, security, and criminal checks to obtain the immigration status.

The following economic immigration programs allow foreign nationals to apply for a CSQ:

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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.