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Over 122,000 response requests ;permanent residence pending

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Around a third of the files concern family reunification.

  • Alexandre Duval (View profile)Alexandre Duval

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“This is a completely unacceptable situation” in the eyes of Monsef Derraji, immigration spokesperson for the Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ). As of October 13, a total of 122,400 people were waiting for their permanent residence in Quebec.

Nearly a third of applications for permanent residence, or 38,400, were in the family reunification category, that is to say people waiting to come and join a loved one in Quebec. Often, this is a spouse living abroad. Sometimes it can even be children.

There are a lot of separated families. The grievances are increasing every day. People question us, call us, indicates Mr. Derraji, who obtained this data after having questioned the Legault government on this subject in the National Assembly.

For the PLQ, these inventories in the category of family reunification are an aberration.

The government is trying to alleviate the labor shortage in particular through temporary foreign workers, but in the meantime, tens of thousands of people have been waiting for years to come and join a spouse.

The government continues to organize international recruitment missions, continues to look for people, but it forgets to limit the inventory that it itself has created! It is the CAQ government which is responsible for the inventory we have today.

A quote from Monsef Derraji, spokesperson for the official opposition in immigration matters

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Monsef Derraji is PLQ spokesperson on immigration.

Marie-Claude Simard, 39 years old, is one of the people for whom family reunification is a long way of the cross.

Seven years ago, she left to join her partner in Brazil. In 2019, they began the process of returning to settle in Quebec, but to date, the family reunification process is not yet complete.

In other words, if Ms. Simard returned home as she wishes, she would have to agree to do so without her partner, at least temporarily.

For us, this is inconceivable. We are not only a couple, but now a family, she explains, because they now have a three-year-old child.

The years go by, we get older, we don't accumulate for retirement. It brings anxiety, worry.

A quote from Marie-Claude Simard

Ms. Simard is fortunate to live in her partner's country of origin, which is not the case for many couples who are completely separated during the reunification process. But she sees the irony of her personal situation.

A trained social worker, she now teaches French to Brazilians who want to immigrate to Quebec; some have already succeeded, while she and her partner are still waiting.

She also emphasizes that she is qualified in two areas currently lacking labor in Quebec. Her partner works in marketing and has studied at university.

I'm not worried about our integration in Quebec! she laughs, while having no idea when she will finally be able to return to her native land accompanied by her partner and their child.

There really is an adjustment to be made, a blindness on the part of Quebec or a poor understanding of what is happening on the ground, comments Me Stéphanie Valois, co-president of the Quebec Association of Immigration Lawyers (AQAADI).

In the immigration plan tabled on November 1 by Minister Christine Fréchette, the government set a threshold of approximately 3,500 permanent residents per year in the family reunification category.

As there are nearly 40,000 waiting at the moment, Me Valois is concerned about the possible increase in delays in obtaining permanent residence, delays which are already close to three years on average for spouses and which are higher in Quebec than elsewhere in Canada.

If we do a quick calculation, it would be 10 years [of waiting], so it's illogical. Everyone should be able to talk to each other to see how we are going to resolve this situation.

A quote from Ms. Stéphanie Valois, co-president of the Quebec Association of Lawyers in Law. immigration

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Me Stéphanie Valois, co-president of the Quebec Association of Lawyers in Immigration Law

We must be able to admit permanent residents in the family reunification category on an ongoing basis, without really restrictions, because it is a right for resident Canadians to be reunited with their family.

Me Valois is also concerned about the 36,400 refugees who are also waiting for permanent residence in Quebec.

The office of the Minister of Immigration, Francisation and Integration, Christine Fréchette, admits to being concerned about the inventories, but places the blame on Ottawa, which is responsible for processing these files.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">We have constant exchanges with the federal government to improve deadlines and processes, indicates in writing Maude Faniel-Méthot, the minister's press secretary, without however comment on the consequences of the immigration thresholds established by the provincial government.

Source: MIFI

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