Immigration: if the Department loses a document, the candidate must not be penalized | Protecteur du Citoyen
February 15, 2021

Immigration: if the Department loses a document, the candidate must not be penalized


Man at work searching for a document

The complaint

Because of a missing document, a man’s application for the Québec Selection Certificate (CSQ) was refused. Yet, he really had sent the document in question. He complained to the Québec Ombudsman.

The context

  • A man applied for a CSQ.
  • The following month, he received a letter from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration indicating that his application was incomplete because a document was missing. The candidate had 60 days to provide it.
  • Very quickly, he sent the document by registered mail.
  • A few months later, his file was rejected because of a missing document—the one he had mailed in.
  • The candidate had to request an administrative review so that his file would be studied again.
  • After the review, the Department upheld its decision.

What our investigation showed

  • The man had kept proof of mailing. A note in his Department electronic file also confirmed receipt. 
  • The Department was well aware of this evidence during the review process. However, even if the evidence showed that the document had gone missing internally, the Department upheld its rejection of the application. The Québec Ombudsman considered this decision unreasonable.
  • As the Québec Ombudsman saw it, administrative review should not be mandatory when the Department has made a mistake. This procedure slows down processing of the file. Instead, the Department should be more flexible and correct its decisions promptly.

The outcome 

The Québec Ombudsman intervened with the Department. In such situations, the Department now makes correcting its decisions a priority. 

In the end, the candidate who had filed the complaint received his CSQ.

For more information about this file, read our 2019-2020 Annual Report.

The Québec Ombudsman ensures that your rights are upheld in your dealings with Québec public services. Are you dissatisfied with the services of a Government of Québec department or agency? Or with those of a health and social services network institution (2nd level of recourse)? File a complaint with the Québec Ombudsman by calling 1-800-463-5070 or use our online complaint form.