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Quebec overturns decision to deny French woman immigration documents over language issue

Last Updated Nov 10, 2019 at 12:40 pm MST

Emilie Dubois is shown in her office Friday, November 8, 2019 in Quebec City. There's little doubt in Dubois' own mind about her ability to speak French - after all, it's her native tongue. But the Quebec government doesn't see Dubois' bona fides the way she does, having denied her permanent residency in the province because part of her PhD thesis was written in English.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

MONTREAL — The Quebec government has overturned a decision to deny a French woman her Quebec immigration documents because of a chapter in English in her PhD thesis.

Emilie Dubois says she is relieved after receiving the news late Friday from an Immigration Department official.

Dubois, a native of France whose mother tongue is French, had been denied a Quebec selection certificate after bureaucrats ruled her level of French wasn’t adequate under the Quebec experience program.

Her story made headlines around the world and on Friday she was told the initial decision was overruled.

Dubois says a certificate will soon be sent that will allow her to move forward on her efforts to get permanent residency, continue to operate her own business and remain in Quebec City, where she’s lived since 2012 when she moved from France to do her doctorate at Universite Laval.

Dubois hopes her case highlights problems with the way immigration decisions are made.

Late Friday, the Legault government backtracked on changes to the Quebec experience program made by the province’s immigration minister amid a week of heavy criticism from across the province from students, businesses and university leaders alike.

In place since 2010, the popular program allows foreign students with a qualifying diploma or people with work experience in Quebec to receive an expedited selection certificate, fast-tracking residency and making it possible to stay in the province.

The Canadian Press

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