French citizen’s bid to immigrate to Quebec moving forward — after spat over her thesis

Canada World

A French citizen who was told her immigration application to Quebec was rejected because one chapter of her PhD thesis was in English has been told her application will move forward after all. 

Émilie Dubois applied to come to the province after completing a PhD at French-language Laval University in Quebec City. 

In a letter sent to Dubois earlier this year, the Immigration Ministry said the 31-year-old French native had not demonstrated she had the level of French required to receive a Quebec selection certificate, the first step toward permanent residency, under the province’s experience program.

“You did not complete program of study in Quebec entirely in French, including the dissertation or thesis,” the letter read.

Speaking to Radio-Canada, Dubois noted she has “a diploma from a francophone university” and that she did “all of my studies in French.”

One of the five chapters of her thesis on cellular and molecular biology was written in English because it was a scholarly article published in a scientific journal.

The rest of her studies were in French, including the seminars and thesis defence. 

After Radio-Canada broke the story Thursday, Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette said the situation made no sense, and asked officials to reopen Dubois’ file. She was later informed she would receive the certificate.

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