Last Updated on August 14, 2020
Canada is to make some asylum seekers who worked in hospitals and care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic eligible for permanent residence.
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino made the announcement in Montreal on Friday, August 14, after an agreement was reached with Quebec, where the majority of the affected candidates live.
Quebec was hit by a care home staffing crisis at the height of the pandemic, with grim reports emerging about conditions in care homes.
The majority of deaths from coronavirus in Quebec have occurred in care homes.
Now around 1,000 asylum seekers who helped are to be rewarded with eligibility for permanent residence, provided they meet other requirements.
To be eligible, candidates must:
- Have applied for asylum before March 13, 2020.
- Have a work permit.
- Have cared for patients at a health-care institution for a minimum of 120 hours between March 13 and August 14.
- Have six months of experience in inpatient care at a health-care institution by August 31, 2021.
- Meet other permanent residence criteria, including health and safety requirements.
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These requirements have been tightened following negotiations with Quebec. Ottawa initially wanted the program to include all asylum seekers working in hospitals and care homes, not just patient care positions.
Candidates in Quebec will still require a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ), as is the case for all permanent residence candidates.
Spouse or common-law partners and dependent children will also be eligible for permanent residence.