The pandemic has hit all of us hard. It is not easy to shift to a “new normal”, where everyone is staying home, or wearing masks. Front-line workers especially, work very hard in keeping us all safe.
It is for that reason that Canada decided to provide a pathway to permanent residence to asylum claimants working in the healthcare sector. This is in recognition of their exceptional service in filling an essential need since the beginning of the pandemic.
“The government recognizes the extraordinary contribution of asylum claimants working in Canada’s health-care sector during the COVID-19 pandemic particularly in long-term care centres,” said immigration minister Marco Mendicino, “As these individuals face an uncertain future in Canada, the current circumstances merit exceptional measures in recognition of their service during the pandemic.”
The announcement includes all front-line workers who provide direct care to patients across Canada and who are claiming asylum.
For those wishing to reside in Quebec, the province announced a similar program.
In keeping with the country’s commitment to family reunification, all family members of the applicant will also be included in the application. If successful, the applicants and their families will be granted permanent residence, provided the applicant meets certain criteria.
Applicants found to be ineligible to make an asylum claim are excluded from applying, as well as those who have withdrawn or abandoned their claims.
In order to be considered eligible, the applicant must:
- Have claimed asylum before March 13, 2020.
- Have obtained a work permit after making an asylum claim
- Have worked in the health care sector, in health institutions
- Have worked for at least 120 hours between March 13, 2020 and August 14, 2020.
- Have worked as an orderly, a nurse, a nurse’s aide, a patient service associate, an assistant orderly or as a home support worker.
- Demonstrate 6 months of experience in the occupation before obtaining permanent residence. Applicants will have until August 31, 2020 to fulfil this requirement.
- Be admissible to Canada, especially in regards to criminality, security and health.
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