Francois Legault, Quebec Premier, said that the Govt. will prioritize 3,700 applications of workers already living in the province.
On 7th February 2019, the CAQ Govt. had introduced Bill 9 which called to terminate all pending QSWP applications. These were all paper-based applications which were submitted before Quebec introduced the EOI system in August last year. However, a few days ago, a judge granted a 10-day injunction against Quebec to continue processing the QSWP applications.
Mr Legault said that candidates will still have to submit an online EOI. Even the ones who are already working in Quebec will need to submit an EOI through the Arrima portal. However, their EOIs will only be processed after Bill 9 has been passed into law.
Marie Rinfret, Ombudsperson of Quebec, had criticized the Govt.’s move to dismiss all pending 18,000 QSWP applications. She said that 18,000 applications added up to around 45,000 applicants including spouses and children. 6,000 out of these applications were already living in Quebec on temporary visas. She also said that the move to dismiss applications lacked empathy.
Rinfret also said that applications which are not prioritized should be refunded their language and application fees. She also said that the applicants should be given an apology letter signed by Simon Jolin-Barrette, Quebec’s Immigration Minister.
Jolin Barrette, at the time of introducing Bill 9, had said that the new EOI system is better suited to meet Quebec’s labour demands. The EOI system will help the Govt. select skilled workers as per the skill shortage in various regions of the province.
Jolin-Barrette also said that dismissing pending applications was important to focus on selecting applicants who had applied through the Arrima portal. The new EOI system aims at reducing the QSWP processing time from 36 months to 6 months, as quoted by CIC News.
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