Refugee pathway to Permanent Residence

Refugee pathway to Permanent Residence During COVID

Refugee pathway to Permanent Residence During COVID
In August 2020, the Government of Canada announced that a special program would be unveiled, to provide an opportunity for refugee claimants in Canada to apply for permanent residence if they have been assisting on the front-lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On December 9, 2020, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Marco Mendicino, announced that the program will be opened and that the IRCC will start to accept applications in December 2020.

If you are a refugee claimant, who made a failed or pending refugee claim before March 13, 2020, and you are working in a specific class of healthcare work, you will be eligible for this program. 

Here’s What You Need To Know

From December 14, 2020, to August 31, 2021, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration will accept applications for this program, as a way to acknowledge and thank those who have put their health and safety at risk in order to serve Canadians.

Permanent Residency

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Have claimed asylum in Canada before March 13, 2020 (those who have been found ineligible to make an asylum claim or who have withdrawn their applications would be excluded from applying)
  • Were issued a work permit after they made a claim for asylum
  • Have worked in the healthcare sector, in health institutions (for example, hospitals, long-term care homes, home care through an organization or agency, assisted living facilities)
  • Have worked in a designated occupation for no less than 120 hours between March 13, 2020 and August 14, 2020. The designated occupations are orderlies, nurses, nurses’ aides and patient service associates, assistant orderlies and certain home support workers.
  • Show 6 months of experience in the designated occupation before being granted permanent residence. If you do not have this experience yet, you will have until August 31, 2021 to acquire the necessary experience.
  • If residing in Quebec, have a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ)
  • Meet existing admissibility requirements, including those related to criminality, security and health.

In-Canada family members of the principal application would also be included in the application and granted permanent residency if the application is approved.

The government has also recognized that there are refugee claimants who have contracted COVID-19 and have died. For this reason, their spouses and family members who are in Canada and arrived before August 14, 2020, may also be granted permanent residence.

This is a tremendous opportunity for refugee claimants, as there are many who work in the healthcare field, and who selflessly provide services to members of Canadian society. The impact of the pandemic has been felt strongly in the immigration world, and we thank the Government of Canada for their effort in putting together this program and recognizing the incredible impact of refugees in Canadian society.

If you feel that you meet the criteria set out above, and wish to apply for this application, please contact our immigration lawyers at Hummingbird Lawyers LLP immediately for a consultation. We would be happy to review the details of the program with you, ensure that you fit any and all criteria associated with the program, and immediately work to put your application materials together.

Adam Hummel is an Associate Lawyer in the Immigration practice, and Wills & Estates practice groups at Hummingbird Lawyers LLP.

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