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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino

Asylum claimants working on front lines of COVID-19 fight given path to permanent residency

Friday, August 14, 2020 @ 3:11 PM | By Ian Burns


The federal government has revealed a temporary measure to provide asylum claimants working in the health-care sector during the COVID-19 pandemic with a pathway to permanent residency.

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco Mendicino said Aug. 14 the government recognizes the “extraordinary contribution of asylum claimants working in Canada’s health-care sector during the pandemic, particularly in long-term care centres.”

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship 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,” he said.

Under the measure, asylum claimants across the country who are working on the front lines providing direct care to patients in health-care institutions will be able to apply for permanent residency if they meet the criteria. Quebec will select those qualifying for this special measure who wish to reside in Quebec. This approach recognizes those with precarious immigration status who are filling an urgent need and putting their own lives at risk to care for others in Canada.

To qualify, individuals must have claimed asylum before March 13, had a work permit issued after they made their claim, have worked in the health-care sector and demonstrate six months of experience in the designated occupation before being granted permanent residence. Applicants will have until Aug. 31, 2021 to acquire this experience.

Family members of the principal applicant who are in Canada would be included in the application and granted permanent residency, if the application is approved. Those who have been found ineligible to make an asylum claim, or who have withdrawn or abandoned their claims, would be excluded from applying.

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