Quebec set to cancel Pending Immigration Applications-50,000 persons Affected

February 08, 2019
The Immigration Minister of Quebec, On February 7, 2019, has scheduled proposed legislation to cancel all pending applications in the skilled worker category about which there was no decision before August 2, 2018.

Quebec set to cancel Pending Immigration Applications-50,000 persons Affected

Introducing the Bill

Bill 9 is regarding increasing the socio-economic prosperity of Québec and to answer to the labor market needs through the integration of immigrants. There will be a further study of this Bill in the Quebec Assembly.  Moreover, after the MP’s pass it and the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec approves it the Bill will become law. Furthermore, there is a proposal to return the government fees to all applicants affected by this development.

Quebec is facing controversy as 50,000 individuals who represent 18,000 main applicants, and also their dependents, who submitted the application in the Quebec Skilled Worker program, wait for the processing result of their applications. The period of waiting for some is 10 years.

The Coalition 

Furthermore, the Coalition Avenir du Quebec is running the present Quebec government, after attaining power in Oct 2018 with the slogan of reducing the immigration level by 20%.

Quebec Immigration Levels Plan




Economic Class



Family Class






The CAQ intends to reduce immigration for a short time with the idea to improve the integration of fresh immigrants. Additionally, after the new law, there will be an end to applications, running into thousands permanently.

Facing labor shortage 

Furthermore, Quebec is facing an acute labor shortage, and the opponents to the government feel that the province needs an increase in immigration, in the Economic Class.

The move of CAQ to continue with the reduced immigration comes in spite of a warning issued by PM Trudeau. He also feels that entrepreneurs and businessmen in Quebec have a concern regarding lacking labor. It is not the best time to reduce immigration numbers. Nationally, Ottawa has announced in Oct 2018 a plan to have 350,000 newcomers for the next two years.

The Practice

The use of legislation taking effect from a date in the past is also a characteristic of the Immigration policies in Quebec.  It has used this in the past for raising the criteria of pending applications. Moreover, this is the first instance where it is canceling applications completely to deal with a backlog of applications not processed.

In August 2018, the province had implemented an EOI immigration system in its QSWP by the name of Arrima. It also has many features similar to the federal Express Entry system. Moreover, it has replaced the former process based on the timing of arrival.  The authorities have not conducted their first draw in this system yet.   Bill 9 has no effect on applicants who submitted their profiles in this EOI system.

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