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Canada To Launch New Immigration Pathways For Refugees Working In Healthcare

Starting from December 14, Canada will begin accepting applications for permanent residence from refugees working in healthcare facilities or who directly provide healthcare to Canadians. The programs will be available only to refugees working in healthcare, or who worked during the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr. Marco Mendicino, Canada’s minister of immigration had announced two new temporary immigration programs this past summer.

One is for refugees living in Quebec province, and the other is for those in other Canadian provinces. The program is intended primarily for nurses, service aides, and orderlies.

Applications will be opened from December 14 to August 31, 2021. Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements such as those related to security, criminality, and health. They can also include their immediate family members who are in Canada to be a part of the permanent residency application.

Applicant’s internship experience may also be considered regardless of whether it was paid or not. But, it must be an important part of a post-secondary study program, or professional order or vocational training program requirement in one of the designated occupations.

The new measures also apply to the spouses and common-law partners of refugee claimants and asylum seekers who died from contracting coronavirus in Canada. These family members may be qualified for the program if they arrived in Canada before August 14, 2020.

Applicants must forward their applications to the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. Canada’s immigration ministry will make the decisions on which applicants are granted Canadian permanent residence, based on whether they meet eligibility requirements and other admissibility criteria.

Applicants in Quebec

Applicants from Quebec province must first lodge their applications to the IRCC department. Once Canada has determined that they meet the requirements, Quebec province will then take over the application.

The Quebec immigration ministry, the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI), will verify and determine whether or not the applicants meet the eligibility requirements for their special asylum seekers’ program.

If the applicant is eligible, they will receive a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ).

The federal government will grant Canadian permanent residence once all eligibility requirements are met.

Quebec province has more immigration powers than other Canadian provinces and territories. They are allowed to set separate eligibility requirements for refugees.

To be selected by Quebec, applicants must:

  • Have applied for asylum before March 13 and have received a work permit;
  • Have worked at least 750 hours in one of the eligible occupations before September 1, 2021;
  • Have worked a minimum of 120 of those hours between March 13 and August 14 202.

Internships gained in the health sector as part of a study program leading to eligible jobs or to meet the criteria of a professional order for eligible jobs may be counted towards the hours needed by the program.

In addition, the Quebec program will also take applications from the spouses and common-law partners of refugee claimants who were hired in employment eligible for the program between March 13 and August 14, 2020, and who have contracted or died from coronavirus.

This new regularization program for asylum seekers or refugees claimants who worked during the COVID-19 pandemic is the result of several months of negotiations between the federal government and Quebec provincial government. There is no limit on applications for the Quebec program.

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