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Quebec judge orders government to process pending QSWP applications

Saskatchewan

A Superior Court judge of Quebec has ordered the provincial government to continue processing the pending applications to the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP). The Quebec government wanted to cancel these 18000 pending applications to QSWP that had been submitted before the province introduced the Expression of Interest system to submit online applications to the program.
Justice Frédéric Bachand, who issued the order, granted a 10-day temporary injunction in response to the argument by an immigration lawyers’ group that the Quebec government’s move to dismiss the backlog of applications was completely illegal. They also argued that the consequences of the move would be devastating for the affected applicants.
The Coalition Avenir Québec government introduced the proposal for terminating all the pending applications Quebec Skilled Worker Program submitted prior to August 2, 2018, in a legislation tabled February 7. According to the legislation, also known as Bill 9, the termination order was supposed to take effect immediately.
The request for injunction was made by the Association québécoise des avocats et avocates en droit de l’immigration (AQAADI) on behalf of Seeun Park, a South Korean nurse, an affected QSWP applicant. AQAADI sought an order from the court asking the government to continue processing QSWP applications “at the usual pace” until Bill 9 is passed by the National Assembly of Quebec. They said the situation was urgent as the move to cancel 18000 applications would affect tens of thousands of individuals if the spouses and dependents of the applicants were also taken into consideration.
The Quebec government’s move to cancel pending QSWP applications had invited widespread criticism. Many argued that the legislation was unfair considering the length of time that many applicants have been waiting for a decision on their file and the fact that thousands of these applicants were currently living and working or studying in Quebec as temporary residents.
The Quebec government wanted to terminate those applications which had been submitted when the QSWP used to paper-based applications on a first-come, first-served basis. The government also wanted the affected applicants to create a profile on the Quebec’s online Expression of Interest system, which was introduced last August.
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