A Superior Court Judge in Quebec, Canada has ordered the state government to continue processing Skilled Worker Program applications. The Govt. wanted to cancel the processing of 18,000 pending SWP applications.
The ruling was made by Justice Frederic Bachand. He granted a 10-day long injunction in response to immigration lawyers calling the move to stop processing “illegal”.
The provincial government of Quebec had earlier proposed to terminate all QSWP applications submitted prior to 2nd August 2018. As per the Bill 9 legislation, the termination of processing was to be effective immediately.
Simon Jolin-Barrette, Immigration Minister of Quebec, said that the govt. will honour the Superior Court’s ruling. He also said that Quebec will continue processing SWP applications till Bill 9 is passed into law by the National Assembly.
The injunction was requested in the name of Seeun Park by AQAADI. Seeun Park was a nurse from South Korea whose application for a CSQ was one of the affected ones.
Under the QSWP, candidates must obtain a CSQ before applying for a Canadian PR. AQAADI requested the court to direct the Govt. to continue processing SWP applications till Bill 9 was passed into law. AQAADI told the court that the situation was urgent and would affect 18,000 applicants and their dependents.
As per CIC News, other groups like the Conseil du Patronat and the Canadian Bar Association have also raised concerns about the Govt.’s move to dismiss the backlog.
The Quebec Govt.’s move to dismiss the backlog has been criticized by many. The move has been called unfair keeping in mind the amount of time applicants had to wait for a visa decision. Also, many applicants were already living in Quebec as temporary residents.
The Quebec Govt. has said that applicants will now need to submit an online EOI. As per the earlier proposal, the Govt. wanted to cancel those applications which were made when the QSWP accepted paper-based applications.
The Immigration Minister said that cancelling the application backlog was necessary to expedite the QSWP. The EOI system will help Quebec bring down the current processing times of QSWP from 36 months to 6 months.
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