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Quebec to terminate backlog of Skilled Worker Program applications

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The Government of Quebec is planning to eliminate backlog of 18000 applications for Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) submitted before August 2, 2018. The move is part of Quebec’s efforts to improve the processing times and align immigration to the needs of the Quebec’s labour market.
All applications submitted before August 2, 2018 that have not yet been approved, refused or rejected, will be cancelled. It means the backlog of around 18000 applications will be cleared and the government processing fee will be returned to the applicants. With the latest move, Quebec is aiming to bring down the processing time of applications from 36 months to six.
Quebec Expression of Interest system
Quebec’s Immigration Minister, Simon Jolin-Barrette has explained that the backlogged applications were those submitted when the QSWP operated on a first-come, first-served basis. According to the minister, this system of accepting applications was not tailored to the needs of the Quebec labour market.
Quebec introduced the Expression of Interest system in place of the first-come, first-served system in August 2018. Under the Expression of Interest system, the applicants must first register their profiles with the Immigration Ministry (MIDI) of Quebec and the profile must include details such as education, training, work experience and language abilities of the applicant.
Based on these eligibility of the applicants as well as on the demands of the Quebec labour market, MIDI would invite candidates to apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate (Certificat de séléction du Québec, or CSQ).
The candidates whose applications would be cancelled under the new move of the government can re-apply through the new Expression of Interest system.
New immigration bill
Eliminating the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) backlog is one of the many proposals in the new immigration bill introduced by Quebec’s new Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government. The other proposals in the bill include changing the Immigration Act of Quebec to emphasise on an immigrant’s “responsibility” to learn Quebec values and French. The Quebec government is also thinking about imposing conditions on permanent residence. These conditions may be imposed on the basis of public health, regional and sectoral labour needs or “the foreign national’s linguistic, social and economic integration,” among other factors.
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