A French citizen's application for residency in Quebec was denied because she wrote one of her thesis chapters in English and therefore "didn't demonstrate" proper knowledge of the French language, according to a report.
Émilie Dubois, 31, applied for a Quebec selection certificate, the first step toward permanent residency, last year through the province's experience program (PEQ). She had completed a Ph.D program at the French-language Laval University in Quebec City.
However, the Immigration Ministry denied her application because she didn't demonstrate the level of French required to receive a certificate, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
"You did not complete [the] program of study in Quebec entirely in French, including the dissertation or thesis," a letter sent to Dubois said, the station reported on Thursday.
Dubois' thesis on cellular and molecular biology contained one chapter written in English, while the rest of her studies were completed in French, CBC said. The chapter written in English was an article from a scientific journal, the station said.
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."
"It's like an avalanche fell on my head and I don't know why," she added.
Dubois has lived in Quebec since 2012 and started her own business there after graduating.
"My life is here," she said. "You cannot tell me that I cannot prove that I speak French."
The ministry told Dubois in December 2018 that her thesis could be problematic. They sent her the letter a month later, she said.
After receiving the notice, Dubois said she passed a French test and sent the results to the ministry.
Dubois' case is "being reviewed," Quebec politician Christopher Skeete tweeted Thursday morning in response to the CBC report.