Last Updated on octubre 29, 2021
Organizations in Quebec will once again be allowed to sponsor refugees over a roughly one-month period starting Jan. 18 and running through to Feb. 16, says Nadine Girault, the francophone province’s minister responsible for the Ministre de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI).
In November, 2020, the Gazette officielle du Québec published a decision barring organizations from sponsoring refugees for one year. The decision referred only to “serious concerns” which had to be examined. At that time, Quebec’s immigration minister did not expand on that to the news media and refugee advocacy groups lambasted the government for that decision.
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Action Réfugiés Montréal executive director Paul Clarke reportedly then told the French-language daily newspaper La Presse the province was tarring all refugee organizations with the same brush and described Quebec’s decision as unfortunate.
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“They are using a hammer when they should be using a scalpel (to do a job which requires surgical precision),” he said in French.
Quebec’s issues with the sponsorship of refugees by organizations under the Programme des personnes réfugiées à l’étranger (Parrainage collectif) now appear to have been resolved.
“We have reached an important milestone in our collective sponsorship program in terms of ensuring the protection and well-being of refugees as we receive them here in the very welcoming society that is Quebec,” said Girault in French this week.
Quebec Immigration announced Wednesday it will accept 825 applications for the sponsorship of refugees in the coming year, including 400 from organizations and 425 from groups of two to five people. In the eventuality that immigration officials receive more applications than that, the province will hold a random draw to select those applications it will consider.
In its bid to ensure the integrity of the program, Quebec has banned organizations that have submitted false or misleading information in the previous two years from being able to sponsor refugees in the coming year.
Sponsors Cover Refugees’ Costs Of Settling In Quebec
Sponsorship groups can send a maximum of two applications but a Quebec citizen or permanent resident cannot be part of more than one sponsorship group. Those sponsors pledge themselves to provide for the basic needs of the candidate and his or her family for 12 months.
Those responsibilities include providing for:
- costs of getting settled in Quebec, including housing, furnishings, travel, food and clothing;
- expenses for health care, health services and drugs not covered or reimbursed by a public insurance plan, and;
- costs related to helping the candidate enter the job market or look for a job that is not covered by a government program.
The sponsor must also offer the candidate and his or her family help with integration, including:
- assistance in finding a job;
- help with school registration;
- support in accessing public services, and;
- support for participation in community life.
To qualify, the candidate must be a convention refugee or a member of the Country of Asylum Class.