Woman from France, Fluent in French, Denied Quebec Residency over Language
A graduate student from France was recently denied permanent residency in Quebec after the province said she had failed to demonstrate adequate proficiency in the French language.
Emilie Dubois who migrated from France to Quebec in 2012, to pursue her doctorate at Quebec City’s French-language Laval University, says it’s a “bit weird” she was denied.”My life is here,” she said. “You cannot tell me that I cannot prove that I speak French.”
Dubois told Radio-Canada, “I have a diploma from a francophone university, the first in Canada. I’m a French citizen, too, and I did all of my studies in French,” She said, quoted on Fox News.
“It’s like an avalanche fell on my head and I don’t know why,” she added.
According to the report on CTV News, after Dubois completed her doctorate in January 2018, she applied for a selection certificate under the Quebec experience program, which allows foreign students with a qualifying diploma or work experience in the province to fast-track their residency applications. However, because part of Dubois’s thesis was written in English, the province told her she had not demonstrated adequate knowledge of the French language.
According to the 31-year-old scientific graphic designer, she had only written one out of the five chapters in her thesis in English because it was based on an English article she had published for a scientific journal.
“In science, we are used to sharing our work and knowledge with the community and this is usually from English-speaking jaws,” she told CTV News. “This is just another way to work in science.”
The 31 year old was not deterred by this seemingly temporary setback, she immediately went on the option B, this entailed proving her command of the French language by taking a test recognized by the ministry. As is to be expected, she passed the test; however, this did not solve her problem.
Instead, the ministry sent her a letter, informing her they were still standing by their earlier decision concerning her residency.
“When I got the answer I was a bit lost,” she said.
Before all this, Dubois had been working as a self-employed scientific illustrator and designer, however, she has plans to become a “qualified worker,” or employee of a bigger organization, and she needs her Residency Permit to achieve these plans. She says she plans to reapply for residency before March 2021, when her three-year work permit is set to expire.
Recently, a Quebec politician and member of the Coalition Avenir Quebec government, Christopher Skeete tweeted that Dubois’s case was being reviewed and Dubois says this gives her ample hope that the province will reconsider its decision.
For the time being, Dubois says she’s just waiting to see if her residency application is continued, as this would give her a chance to stay on in Quebec with her dog and her partner.
“It’s a bit weird, but I’m really hopeful that things will be solved,” she said