In a bid to recognize the immense contribution and selfless sacrifice that health-care workers in Canada have made in during the pandemic, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, has announced that on December 14, 2020, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will start accepting permanent residence applications from refugee claimants who work in Canada’s health-care sector and offer direct care to patients.
On August 14, 2020, Minister Mendicino disclosed the intention of the Government to effect this special measure, as such, two temporary public policies have since been for ulated—one for refugees living in Canada outside Quebec while the other policy is for refugee claimants that reside in Quebec.
Under the Canada-Quebec Accord, Quebec is solely responsible for selecting economic immigrants and resettled refugees destined to Quebec.
Consequent to the eligibility criteria announced in August and in recognition of the fact that there may be refugee claimants who got infected with COVID-19 and subsequently died, spouses and common-law partners of these individuals who are in Canada and arrived the country before August 14, 2020, may be granted permanent residence under this public policy.
Furthermore, applicants’ internship experience (both paid and unpaid) will be considered, if it is a major part of a post-secondary study program or vocational training program in any of the designated occupations. Also, an internship done as part of a professional order requirement in any of the designated occupations will be considered.
To apply, applicants who reside in Canada (outside Quebec) must submit an application for permanent residence to the IRCC. The department will evaluate eligibility and make sure that admission requirements are met. Applicants may then be issued permanent residence.
For applicants residing in Quebec, they must first submit an application for permanent residence to the IRCC. Once IRCC has certified that they meet the requirements, the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration du Québec will determine whether the applicants meet the requirements under the Special program for asylum seekers during the COVID-19 period and issue a Quebec Selection Certificate. IRCC will issue permanent residence to applicants that meet every eligibility requirement.
Applications will be accepted from December 14, 2020, till August 31, 2021. Family members of the principal applicants that are in Canada can be included on the application. Every applicant will be required to meet the existing admission requirements, including those related to criminality, security and health.