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Quebec Tells French Woman She Failed to Prove Ability to Speak French

One chapter of her thesis was in English
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2019 3:01 AM CST
Quebec's immigration ministry said Dubois "couldn't demonstrate" knowledge of French.   (Getty Images/Marc Bruxelle)

(Newser) – Are Quebec's French-language requirements for immigrants too strict? The answer is "oui," according to a French woman whose application was denied because authorities decided she hadn't shown enough proficiency in her native language. Biology graduate Emile Dubois says her application to settle in the Canadian province was rejected because one of the five chapters of her thesis—an article that was published in a scientific journal—was in English, the CBC. Dubois completed her PhD at the French-language Laval University in Quebec City. "You did not complete program of study in Quebec entirely in French, including the dissertation or thesis," the letter from immigration officials stated.

Dubois, who came to Quebec from France in 2012, tells the BBC that she alternated between "laughing and not understanding" after she received the letter. "If someone who is French and born in France, going to a French-speaking university and doing everything in French and they are still denying this, it's nonsense," she says. Dubois applied to settle under a program that grants fast-track residency to foreign students who can demonstrate proficiency in French. The province's immigration minister admitted Thursday that the decision "doesn't seem to make much sense" and said officials would look into it. (Read more Quebec stories.)

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